In some respite for farmers, the Maharashtra 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 the 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,” said Fadnavis.