Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare minister Radha Mohan Singh on Saturday is expected to visit Banaskantha and Patan districts where a sizable amount of Kharif crop, sown over six lakh hectare, has been destroyed in flood. He is scheduled to hold a meeting with both the collectors.
Banaskantha Collector Dilip Rana said according to preliminary estimates, crops sown in at least 40,000 hectare have been damaged. “A correct assessment can only be made once the floodwaters recede,” said Rana.
In Banaskantha, crops, including groundnut, cotton, bajra and moong, were sown in over 4,47,200 hectares of land.
Neighbouring Patan Collector Anand Patel said they are yet to get the preliminary assessment of the damage. “We are waiting for the waters to recede in a number of villages. Our priority now is to rebuild the road network there. We have already kept 89 survey teams ready. ” Farmers in Patan district have sown cotton, urad dal, guar and bajra in over 2.07 lakh hectare. State government has already deployed 150 teams to assess the crops and livestock damage in these districts.
Apart from the two districts, the floodwaters have also affected the farms in Sabarkantha, Mehsana, Mahisagar, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Panchmahal, Aravalli, Kheda and Anand districts. As on July 24, over 70 lakh hectare of Kharif crop has been sown across the state, which is 800 per cent of the sowing in the last three years.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his recent visit to Gujarat, had already promised an initial flood-relief package of Rs 500 crore. When asked if farmers who are not registered under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) will be able to get compensation, a senior IAS officer in Gandhinagar said, “The state government has a mechanism in place to compensate farmers who are yet to register under the PMFBY.”