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Rice sowing picks up in Orissa

Bhubaneswar, June 14 (IANS) Rice sowing has picked up in Orissa with the onset of monsoon, a state government official said here Monday.

‘Sowing has been completed in about 35,000 hectares of low land areas’ Babaji Giri, director of the agriculture department, told IANS.

Last year, 3,264 villages in 15 of the state’s 30 districts faced drought due to a poor monsoon. ‘We are expecting normal monsoon rains this year,’ he said.

Orissa contributes almost one-tenth of the rice output in India.

‘We aim to produce 63.88 lakh tonnes of rice this year on about 36.50 lakh hectares, against last year’s production of 62.93 lakh tonnes on 41 lakh hectares,’ Giri said.

The monsoon hit the state Sunday, bringing rains to 11 districts.

‘The monsoon has already covered five districts fully and six districts partially,’ S.C. Sahu, director of the Bhubaneswar meteorological centre, told IANS.

‘The monsoon has covered fully the districts of Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore.’

The districts which have been covered partially are Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda, Cuttack, Jajpur and Mayurbhanj.

‘The condition is favourable for monsoon’s advance into the remaining parts of the state in the next 2-3 days,’ he said.

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