A high-level Central team will tour Bihar on Wednesday to assess the situation arising out of monsoon failure, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had sent a detailed report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh two days ago and based on that a Central team has been constituted to go to the affected areas and assess the situation on ground, he said during Question Hour.
To a supplementary, he said the Centre can send a team to Jharkhand but a request has to come from the state.
"I have not received any suggestion from the Jharkhand government. I have written to the Governor seeking information and he has sent a report about 7-8 districts," Pawar said.
However, about Uttar Pradesh, he said no such information was received.
Lalu Prasad (RJD) wanted to know what arrangements are being made by the Union government for these drought-hit states.
Answering another supplementary on benefits of extension services in agriculture, the Minister informed the House that the schemes, which started three years ago, has been amended with a scope of some financial assistance to the respective states.
Yashwant Sinha (BJP) said the scheme was only on papers and there was nothing on the ground. He demanded that respective MPs should be involved in such programmes.
To this, Pawar said Jharkhand government has informed that the scheme was being implemented in 24 districts. "I have to respect the state government...there is no reason for me to disbelieve the state," Pawar said.
He, however, said that there was a scope for collective action by the Centre and the state government and the scheme has been amended accordingly.
"Over 112 lakh farmers have been benefited under the scheme during last three years including about 27 lakh women farmers," the minister said adding that this was not sufficient and a lot more needed to be done for women farmers.
An information relating to agriculture related extension activities is disseminated through 25 Kisan Call Centres set up across the country which can be accessed by farmers during designated hours on all days.