To overcome shortage due to drought,a state cabinet meet decided Wednesday to produce 100 per cent pure food grain,cereal and oil seeds under a Rs 65-crore five-year plan. The focus will be jowar,bajra,rice and wheat.
Water scarcity has stunted growth of both kharif and rabi crops and production is likely to come down by up to 40 per cent.
Based on average monetary returns per hectare,the government has declared drought in 7,896 villages growing kharif crop and 3,905 villages growing rabi.
Under the five-year plan,30 seed processing units and warehouses would be built. Rs 4 crore has been set aside for the purpose since the annual seed produce will be 80,000 quintals and the cost per quintal Rs 500.
An official in the agricultural ministry said high seed quality would ensure a good yield. Since produce has suffered greatly in the past two years due to drought,it has become important for us to make good quality seeds available before the next sowing season, he said.
Meanwhile,the number of scarcity-affected villages has increased to 1,663 and hamlets to 4,490 with 2,136 tankers supplying water. The water stock is only 37 per cent of supply quantity.
There is 13,830 million cubic metres of water in 2,475 big,medium and small irrigation projects across the state. Last year this time,the stock was 42 per cent. In Marathwada,the stock is only 12 per cent.
CM Prithviraj Chavan said Wednesday Rs 119.20 crore would be released immediately to expedite completion of Tembhu and Urmodi dams along Krishna river. The Urmodi dam will irrigate 27,750 hectares in and around Parli.