Govt aid ‘not enough’ for drought-hit

Kapilvastu, October 21:

The relief fund provided by the government for Kapilvastu district after declaring it a drought-affected region will not be adequate for farmers of the district. Chief District Officer (CDO) and chairman of the District Natural Disaster Rescue Committee (NDRC) Narendra Dahal said the government has provided Rs 6 lakhs only as relief fund for the district.

The government has provided a maximum of Rs 6 lakhs and a minimum of Rs 1.5 lakhs to 45 drought-hit districts.

Saying that the relief fund provided by the government would not be able to meet the demands of the district’s farmers, CDO Dahal said, “Though the funds are inadequate, we have decided to use it in buying seeds of onion, mustard and other vegetables and sell them to farmers at a 50 per cent subsidised rate.”

The NDRC has decided to buy onion and other vegetable seeds worth Rs 2 lakhs, mustard seeds worth Rs 3 lakhs, feed for livestock worth Rs 1 lakh and distribute the seeds to farmers through the Agriculture and Livestock Service Centre. Senior Agriculture Development Officer Chandra Kant Khanal said upto 1 kg of mustard seeds and 200 grams of other vegetable seeds will be provided to each farmer on a first- come first-served basis.

He said, “We need more funds to buy 1000 tonnes seeds of maize, pulses and potato and 1000 packets of vegetable seeds.”

The District Agriculture Development Office said there would be a 35 per cent decline in paddy production in the district this year due to drought.