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Drought-like situation in 14 Assam districts

PTI 06 Aug 2014, 20:15:40 PM IST
Guwahati: A total 14 districts in Assam are facing drought-like situation due to lack of rains this year, state Agriculture Minister Nilamani Sen Deka told the assembly today.

"At present, 12 districts have witnessed normal rains and there is drought-like situation in 14 districts across the state," Deka said.

Baksa got the least rainfall but its yields are still higher, he said responding to a supplementary query by Congress MLA Pijush Hazarika during question hour.

Deka said because of the drought-like situation, the resources of the state have become minimum and may affect the food production. Also due to less rain irrigation schemes are not successful.

Referring to agricultural produce in the state, he said rice grown in Assam went to West Bengal and Bangladesh.

"Red rice produced in Dhemaji is exported to USA for its high protein value. Its available for Rs 1,800 per quintal, which is more than the normal rice."

Deka said Assam State Agriculture Marketing Board has been procuring the red rice directly from farmers and FCI stopped doing so two years ago.

Earlier this month, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had asked Agriculture Secretary Amlan Barua to come up with measures to tide over the drought-like situation prevailing in some districts.

Deka too had directed his department officials to take all measures to tackle the situation and sought detailed reports from deputy commissioners and the agriculture officials of the affected districts.

More than 60 per cent of the agriculture land of the state have already been tilled by farmers, barring some parts in Barak and Brahmaputra valley, official sources said.