In some respite for farmers, the state government on Saturday increased bonus for paddy cultivation from Rs 200 to Rs 500. The decision is set to come as a boon for paddy farmers, who are mostly concentrated in Bhandara -Gondia district of Vidarbha region.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced the decision during his day-long tour to Gondia and Bhandara.
He also waived annual lease on ponds of the size of 500 hectares used by farmers for fishing. The decision comes in wake of growing demand from farmers, who undertake fishing as an allied business.
The government further announced that fishing ponds would be compulsorily given on contract to fishing societies, comprising fishermen and farmers. This would lead to elimination of middlemen, who often avail government schemes to earn from fishing business undertaken by farmers in such ponds, said officials.
In Vidarbha region, these ponds — most between 500 hectares to 1,000 hectares in size — are leased annually to individuals on contract for a paltry amount. “No lease needs to be paid for ponds up to 500 hectares in size. Ponds of size 600 hectares and 1,000 hectares will be leased for Rs 600 and Rs 900, respectively,” said Fadnavis.
During the tour, Fadnavis also conducted bhoomi pujan of infrastructure projects worth Rs 518.64 crore. The projects include works for national highways.
While addressing a rally during his visit at Sakoli village in Gondia, the CM said: “The government is committed to higher capital investment in agriculture to enhance the annual income of farmers. In the last four-and-a-half years, the total investment in agriculture sector has been around Rs 50,000 crore.”