December 12, 2010 3:25:43 pm
Demanding declaration of ‘agri-emergency’ in Andhra Pradesh,BJP on Sunday asked the Centre and the state government to urgently extend help to distressed farmers who have lost their standing crops due to unseasonal rains.
“The devastating effect of the incessant and untimely heavy rains during and after harvesting has caused unprecedented damage to the farmers,who lost their entire standing crops,particularly in coastal districts of the state,” said senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu.
Over 25 lakh acres of paddy and five lakh acres of other crops like cotton,red gram,black gram and turmeric have been affected due to heavy rains last week,he said.
Naidu said Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar should visit the affected areas to understand the sensitivity and gravity of the situation. “The poor farmers who lost their entire standing crops are looking at the government for help. It was a rarest of rare severity and natural calamity which has broken the backbone of the farming community in the state,” Naidu said adding that an agri-emergency be declared in the state.
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The Centre and the state government should come to the rescue of farmers who are in distress by providing them Rs 5000 per acre as immediate assistance,the BJP leader said. “The Centre should generously help Andhra Pradesh mitigate the hardship being faced by farmers,” he said.
Urging leaders of various parties to raise above their political affiliations to help farmers in distress,Naidu said all government departments should concentrate on relief and rehabilitation of the affected agriculturists in rain affected districts.
Naidu,who visited rain-affected areas in Guntur and Krishna districts,said about 40-50 per cent of the crops are still submerged in water.
He said tobacco farmers too had suffered greatly. “The tobacco crop has been badly affected in 32,709 hectares and the estimated loss is around Rs 250 crore so far as per the tobacco board.”
BJP’s state unit president G Kishan Reddy,former Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya,national secretary K Laxman state party general secretary N Ramachander Rao were also present at the press conference.
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