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Drought like situation declared in State
Published on 16 Jul. 2009 12:20 AM IST
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Nagaland government has declared that the state was reeling under drought like situation, due to insufficient rainfall on Wednesday. The decision was taken following a high level meeting called by the chief minister, Niephiu Rio in Kohima today in view of the delayed and substantially reduced rainfall in the State, press secretary to the CM said in a statement. The Committee on Calamity relief would immediately work out an action plan for mitigation measures and also approach the government of India for necessary assistance to the affected farmers. As per official data available with the State, Nagaland has witnessed a drop of 37.1% of rainfall during the period from January 1 to July 15 in comparison to the corresponding period during the last five years. The reduced rainfall was considered as ‘acute’ according to the comparative rainfall data as maintained by the department of soil & water conservation. The state also received alarming reports from the agriculture & allied sector departments such as horticulture, forest, sericulture, agriculture as also the office of the commissioner. According to the press statement, the departure from the normal rainfall has adversely affected 15% of the jhum cultivation and 25% of the Wet Terrace Rice Cultivation (WTRC) as assessed presently. The more crucial issue was that rainfall had been delayed by almost two months and further the rains have been erratic and meagre. This has adversely affected the cultivation process and has also affected the flowering and fruiting process for fruits and horticultural crops. It was pointed out that unusual pest infestations were also being noticed. Under such circumstances, the state government felt it was difficult for the small and marginal farmers to pursue normal agricultural activities which would seriously affect their livelihood. Further, under such abnormal conditions, the government felt it necessary to undertake steps to prevent any large scale unemployment, food scarcity and general fall in income of the people. Considering all the relevant facts, the state government declared that drought like situation was prevailing in the state. The meeting was attended by minister for agriculture, additional chief secretary, development commissioner and agriculture production commissioner, administrative head of departments of agriculture and allied departments, PHE, home and commissioner, Nagaland. The meeting discussed the prevailing weather condition in the State and the reports submitted by the concerned departments. Meanwhile, the Assam government on Wednesday declared more than half of the state as drought-hit, saying agriculture was badly hit due to scanty monsoon rains, reported IANS. The 14 districts declared drought-hit are Bongaigaon, Cachar, Dhubri, Goalpara, Golaghat, Hailakandi, Jorhat, Kamrup, Karbi Anglong, Kokrajhar, Lakhimpur, Morigaon, Nagaon, and Sivasagar. 

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