Drought Prepardness: A meeting to review the drought preparedness and Kharif activities including progress of sowing in Maharashtra was held under the co-chairmanship of Shri Samuel Praveen Kumar, Joint Secretary (Extension), DA&FW, Govt. of India and Shri Sunil Chavan, Commissioner of Agriculture, Govt. of Maharashtra in Commissionerate of Agriculture, Pune. Apart from this, the implementation of various Centrally Sponsored Schemes and Central Sector Schemes in Agriculture was reviewed in detail in the presence of all the concerned scheme nodal officers of the State.
The progress of monsoon in the state and forecast for the month of July 2023 was reviewed with Shri K.S. Hosalikar, Addl. Director General of IMD, Pune and Dr S.D. Sanap, Scientist-D of IMD, Pune. The rainfall deficit in the state stood at 39% as on date and during the month of July the monsoon is expected to pick up in the state as per IMD. While Konkan region has received above normal rainfall, it has been deficient in other regions namely Marathwada, Vidharbha and Madhya Maharashtra. However, considering the fact that over the next two weeks rainfall is likely to be either normal or above normal, the outlook is quite optimistic.
During the meeting, a detailed presentation was made by Shri. Dilip Zende, Director of Agriculture, Govt. of Maharashtra giving an overview of the Agriculture activities, main crops and the schemes being implemented in Maharashtra. He also highlighted the measures being undertaken for drought preparedness in the state. It was acknowledged that all the instructions of the Central Government for drought preparedness have been received by Maharashtra and that planning is underway accordingly and that necessary steps will be taken from time to time as per need.
Director of Agriculture, further stated that “Krishi Sanjeevani Week” was celebrated from 25th June 2023 to 1st July 2023 in the entire state of Maharashtra. During this week long event, programmes were organised to create awareness on issues like Soil health, crop technologies, processing technologies etc and this week concluded with Hon. Late Vasantrao Naik’s birthday 1st July being celebrated as “Krishi Din”.
Contingency plans for every District have been prepared with the help of four SAUs in the state, CRIDA and KVKs and communicated to all field functionaries i.e. Joint Directors of Agriculture, District Agriculture Officers and also the District Collectors.
As on 3/07/2023, 20.60 lakh ha of area has been sown in state and is expected to further pick up over the next few days. Soybean and Cotton are major kharif crops in the State followed by Pulses and paddy.
As far as implementation of Central schemes is concerned, Maharashtra state has performed exceedingly well in implementing Per Drop More Crop scheme. In the year 2022-23, under this scheme subsidy has been distributed to 1,27,627 beneficiary farmers and an area of 1,12,000 ha land has been brought under irrigation.
Apart from this, implementation of various Centrally Sponsored Schemes and Central Sector Schemes was reviewed and it was informed by the Commissioner Agriculture, Govt. of Maharashtra that State Level Sanctioning Committee (SLSC) meeting was held on 17/05/2023. During discussion on fund releases under centrally sponsored schemes.
It was informed that fund requisition for all centrally sponsored schemes has been submitted to Govt. of India after fulfilling the stipulated criteria except for RKVY-DPR component which will be submitted within next 2-3 days. The state has already received first installment of funds under Sub Mission on Agriculture Extension. It was assured by the State that all steps would be taken to utilize the funds as per guidelines so as to expedite smooth release of further installments.
The meeting was held at a crucial juncture to take care of any eventuality that may arise in the event of a drought like situation in the state due to deficit rainfall and to ensure that all the contingent measures are planned and put in place.