Updated: August 1, 2021 12:31:28 am
Agriculture Minister Dadasaheb Bhuse talks to The Indian Express about loss of kharif crop due to the recent flood and Maharashtra government’s plan to seek financial package from the Centre.
What is the impact of flood on kharif crops in Maharashtra?
As per the primary report, standing crops on six lakh hectare have been damaged due to flood in western Maharashtra, Konkan as well as parts of Vidarbha and Marathwada. The crop loss is likely to increase with some districts in north Maharashtra witnessing heavy rain. We have to survey Dhule, Nashik and Nandurbar districts in north Maharashtra.
Moreover, panchanamas of flood-affected talukas in districts of Sangli, Satara and Kolhapur are yet to be completed. In several districts, areas are still cut off.
What measures have the state taken to help farmers?
The state government is committed to provide financial assistance to farmers for the crop loss. In eight to 10 days, when we compile data for crop loss, a comprehensive proposal will be sent to the Centre seeking financial package. As per NDRF norms, Centre is bound to provide funds to states affected by natural calamities.
Earlier this week, Union Agriculture Minister Narendrasingh Tomar had announced Rs 700 crore aid for Maharashtra.
The amount of Rs 700 crore is meant for natural calamities in 2020. Last year, the state had sent a proposal seeking a financial package of Rs 3,700 crore for crop loss due to natural calamities. The assessment was based on the period between June to November 2020.
However, without waiting for the Centre’s relief package, the state had already disbursed Rs 2,400 crore to the affected farmers.
How much funds will the state seek from the Centre for kharif crop loss in 2021?
We are still making the assessment. Once we compile data for standing crop region wise, it will have to be further segregated based on the nature of agriculture for final evaluation. It should be completed in eight to 10 days.
What is the status of kharif sowing?
Across Maharashtra, kharif sowing has been done in 85 to 90 per cent of the areas.
How will the flood impact kharif crops?
In western Maharashtra, the flood will affect sugarcane production, specially in the Sangli, Kolhapur and Satara which are sugar belts. Of the 9.5 lakh hectare under sugar cultivation, these three districts account for more than two lakh hectare.
In Konkan, flood has washed away paddy saplings. In Vidarbha, heavy rain and thunderstorm has affected main crop soya bean and cotton.
Also, with extended monsoon, we have to see if a second sowing is possible to recover the crop loss.
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