Bhubaneswar, Aug 26: Odisha Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy said that the farmers population has been decreasing drastically as per the last two censuses conducted since 2004. Farmers population in the state decreased by 4, 60,058. This information was revealed by the Agriculture Minister in Odisha Assembly while replying to a set of questions raised by BJP MLA Dilip Ray.
The minister said that the census of farmers was done twice in the year 2005-06 and 2010-11 since 2004. As per these two censuses, the number marginal farmers reduced by 2, 37, 515, medium farmers population reduced by 2, 11,709 and large farmers population reduced by 8,534.
Maharathy said that Odisha has barren land of 8.49 lakh hectares in 2012-13, 7.56 lakh hectares in 2013-14 and 7.22 lakh hectares in 2014-15. For last five years around 2.29 lakh hectares of land was not cultivated. In the current fiscal year, Odisha has total 61.80 lakh hectares of cultivated land, out of which only 33.35 lakh hectares are being irrigated during Kharif cultivation and 16.57 lakh hectares of land are being irrigated during Rabi Crop cultivation.