Manipur Agriculture Minister V. Hangkhalian and others have expressed fear that there may be a famine-like situation in the State since the quantum of paddy production will be slashed in the coming days. Officials said that due to incessant rain last year, verdant paddy plants were destroyed due to flash floods. Due to this, the price of 1 kg of Manipur rice and ‘black rice’, which is unique to the State, has been hiked to a point where the average citizen cannot afford it, said officials on Friday. Manipur rice usually sells at ₹30 per kg, but is currently being sold at ₹50 per kg. ‘Black rice’ is available at ₹75 per kg.“In the wake of dry season, the government tried to buy all water pumps available in the market. Vast areas were irrigated though many other fields were left out as there is no source of water,” said Mr. Hangkhalian. No canals for irrigationSocial activists said that though there are some small village dams across the ankle-deep rivers, the parched fields cannot be irrigated as there are no canals.In view of the problems faced by farmers, the State Cabinet resolved last week to approach the Centre to have Manipur declared as a drought-hit State, said officials. However, till date there has been no response from the Centre.State Consumer Food and Public Distribution Minister Karam Shyam said that currently Manipur has ‘comfortable’ rice stock.