OUAT to Help Odisha in Drought Management
By analyzing dry spell, rainfall and moisture conditions at appropriate times, the Odisha University of Agriculture Technology (OUAT) will now guide the State Government in drought management.
SRC and Disaster Management Secretary Bishnupada Sethi informed that, the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has asked the State Government to take the support of OUAT as a scientific and support organisation for drought management.
The Ministry has wanted that the OUAT compile and analyze dry spell, rainfalls and moisture stress to firm up Drought Management Plan (DMP) of the State Government.
It has also asked the State Government to include the OUAT in the proposed State Drought Monitoring Centre (SDMC), which would be staffed by a multidisciplinary team to provide critical inputs regarding drought.
The SDMC would hold a Crop Weather Watch Group (CWWG) every week to monitor the situation of dry spell and rainfall data taking IMD, CGWB, NRSC, SRSC, CWC and OUAT as scientific partners.
Earlier, drought conditions could be said to exist if the total sown area under Kharif crops was less than 33.3 per cent sown area by the end of July/August.
However, the Union Government has changed this saying that drought condition can be said to exist if the total sown area under Kharif crops is less than 85 per cent of the total normal sown area by end of July/August.
It would be considered as “severe” nature, if the area under crops falls to 75 per cent of the normal sown area. In case of Rabi crops, coverage of sowing of less than 85 per cent of the normal sown area during October-November is a strong indicator of drought condition.
Official said that, drought would be termed “severe’ if area under Rabi crops falls to 75 per cent of the normal sown area during the above period, said the official.