New Delhi: A high-level Central team will
tour Bihar Wednesday to assess the situation arising out of
monsoon failure, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said in Lok
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had sent a detailed
report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh two days ago and based
on that a Central team has been constituted to go to the
affected areas and assess the situation on ground, he said
during Question Hour.
To a supplementary, he said the Centre can send a team to
Jharkhand but a request has to come from the state.
"I have not received any suggestion from the Jharkhand
government. I have written to the Governor seeking information
and he has sent a report about 7-8 districts," Pawar said.
However, about Uttar Pradesh, he said no such information
Lalu Prasad (RJD) wanted to know what arrangements are
being made by the Union government for these drought-hit
Answering another supplementary on benefits of extension
services in agriculture, the minister informed the House that
the schemes, which started three years ago, has been amended
with a scope of some financial assistance to the respective
Yashwant Sinha (BJP) said the scheme was only on papers
and there was nothing on the ground. He demanded that
respective MPs should be involved in such programmes.
To this, Pawar said Jharkhand government has informed that
the scheme was being implemented in 24 districts. "I have to
respect the state government...there is no reason for me to
disbelieve the state," Pawar said.
He, however, said that there was a scope for collective
action by the Centre and the state government and the scheme
has been amended accordingly.
"Over 112 lakh farmers have been benefited under the
scheme during last three years including about 27 lakh women
farmers," the minister said, adding that this was not
sufficient and a lot more needed to be done for women farmers.
An information relating to agriculture related extension
activities is disseminated through 25 Kisan Call Centres set
up across the country which can be accessed by farmers during
designated hours on all days.