10% crop gone, Agri Dept sounds alert
THE SPECTRE of drought looms large over several districts which have recorded scanty rainfall in August. Already, 10 percent of the crop has been lost in these districts. In view of the situation, the Agriculture Department has sounded an alert.
In fact, the Department now pins all hopes on the revival of monsoon to save the remaining ‘kharif’ crop. “If there is good rainfall in September, then there are chances of crop revival,” an Agriculture Department officer said.
The worst affected districts are located in Bundelkhand, Purvanchal and west UP. The Agriculture Department has put the districts into two categories —-those that have received highly deficient rainfall and those that have received scanty rainfall. The highly deficient districts that have received below 50% of normal rainfall include Lalitpur, Bareilly, Jhansi, Firozabad, Hameerpur and Saharanpur. Twenty districts have received scanty rainfall (below 40%). They are0 Etawah, Ambedkarnagar, Fatehpur, Maharajganj, Aligarh, Baghpat, Bijnor, Jyotiba Phule Nagar, Azamgarh, Chandauli, Hathras, Sonebhadra, Hardoi, Deoria, Budaun, Meerut, Pratapgarh, Sant Ravidas Nagar, Mainpuri, Pilibhit, Mau and Kushinagar.
Director Agriculture Sabhajit Tiwari said all the district agriculture officers had been directed to take required measures to protect the standing crop. “We have directed the Agriculture Department officers to coordinate with the divisional commissioners and DMs.” Agriculture production commissioner Anis Ansari said the officers had been directed to change all the out-of-order transformers within 24 hours to ensure regular supply of power. “Measures should be taken to protect the moisture of the soil,” he said.