Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Sunday said the state government would invest Rs 4,000 crore in 15 drought-hit districts of Maharashtra to boost agriculture production and provide higher remuneration to farmers. The government also plans to lower the interest rate on crop loans provided by financial institutions to farmers.
“We have prepared a Rs 4,000-crore plan with the help of World Bank projects, which would be implemented in villages in 15 districts. We are working on making higher investments to increase the productivity and also provide agro-industrial infrastructure to provide higher minimum support price to the farmers,” said Fadnavis. Addressing the farmers on his radio programme Mi Mukhyamantri Boltoy, the CM spoke on initiatives of the state government in the farm sector post loan waiver.
Emphasising on the cluster farming model and greater use of technology, he said, “After the Rs 34,000-crore crop loan waiver to 89 lakh farmers, we are working on doubling the production of farm produce to help individuals earn more.” He said incentives would be provided to farmers to own technology and machines, which could be hired on low rentals by small and marginal farmers to enhance crop production in every field.
“Currently, the rate of interest for crop loan up to Rs 1 lakh is zero per cent. For crop loan between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 3 lakh, the interest rate is 2 per cent. We are working to give more discount on the rate of interests for crop loans availed by the farmers from the financial institutions,” said Fadnavis.
According to the current loan norms, banks and financial institutions give Rs 30,000 per acre for toor (pulses), Rs 40,000 for soybean and cotton, Rs 45,000 for paddy, Rs 70,000 for orange and mosambi (sweet lime), Rs 90,000 for sugarcane, Rs 1.1 lakh for pomegranate and Rs 1.2 lakh for banana.