The direction for setting up the team was given by Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh. The team will consist of officers of the agriculture ministry and a representative of ICAR-Central Rice Research Institute at Cuttack.
“The team … will shortly visit Odisha for assessment of drought situation and to suggest remedial measures,” the agriculture ministry said in a statement. Earlier, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who belongs to Odisha, urged the agriculture minister to depute a central team to the state and suggest remedial measures to combat agrarian and rural distress.
Pradhan said as many as eight districts – Dhenkanal, Khurda, Bolangir, Boudh, Bargarh, Subarnapur, Kandhamal and Kenosha – had received less than normal rainfall this year. In addition, agricultural activities in 103 blocks in 23 districts were adversely affected, he added.