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India - Patnaik announces Rs 300 cr package for flood-affected farmers

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday announced a special package of Rs 300 crore for livelihood support for farmers to ameliorate their sufferings due to the recent floods in the state.

In the farm sector, agriculture input subsidy will be provided to small and marginal farmers who have sustained crop loss of 33 per cent and above at the rate of Rs 6,800 per hectare of land in rain-fed and non-irrigated areas, a statement from the Chief Minister’s office said.

Rs 13,500 input subsidy will be provided per hectare of land in areas under assured irrigation and Rs 18,000 per hectare for all types of perennial crops, the statement said adding perennial crops will include mango, cashew, coconut, kewra and betel vines.

Incessant rainfall triggered by a series of low-pressure areas over the Bay of Bengal and consequent flood during last week of August in different districts have caused damage to standing crops.

The government assistance shall be provided to the actual cultivators. Agricultural input subsidy to any affected farmer will not be less than Rs 2,000 for perennial crops and Rs 1,000 for other crops, the statement said.

Twenty thousand pulse seed mini-kits will be provided to the flood-affected farmers during Rabi season of 2020, it said.

Demonstration programmes in respect of different crops will be taken up in 60,000 acres in the affected districts in the ensuing Rabi season, it said. As many as 2,000 pump sets will be provided with 50 per cent subsidy limited to a maximum of Rs 15,000, while 5,000 power sprayers will be made available to the flood-affected farmers at a subsidy of 50 per cent limited to a maximum of Rs 3,000 for battery operated sprayers and Rs 600 for hand- operated sprayers.

One lakh farmers will be trained in seed treatment programmes. They will be given a free supply of seed treatment chemicals and bio-pesticides to cover one lakh acres to increase the production of Rabi crops. Immediate steps will be taken to arrange and distribute quality certified seeds in sufficient quantity for the Rabi season.

Special assistance will be provided to farmers with a higher subsidy of around 75 per cent for certified quality seeds, it said.

Farm mechanisation subsidy of Rs 10 crore will be disbursed to the affected districts, while expeditious steps will be taken for crop loss assessment and to meet mid-season adversity under the crop insurance scheme, it said.

In order to promote vegetable cultivation, one lakh farmers will be provided with vegetable kits having seeds of various vegetables to meet their immediate needs. Each kit will cost Rs 130.

As many as 75,000 farmers will be provided with 10 quick growing fruit plants like papaya, banana and drumstick at Rs 160 per affected farmers in the flood-affected districts, it said.

Assistance will also be provided for shade net, thatched structure for the renovation of 10,000 mushroom units affected by flood to farmers and women self-help groups for livelihood support.

Short term Kharif loans advanced in the flood-affected areas having crop loss of 33 per cent and above will be converted into medium-term loans, the statement said.

Due date of short term Kharif loans advanced in the affected areas will be extended by one year from the date of finance (maximum up to September 30, 2022) to facilitate the conversion of such loans into medium-term loans, it said.

Affected farmers will also be provided fresh finance for Rabi cultivation during the coming season from October 1.

Assistance for replacement of animals shall be provided towards loss of animals at the rate of Rs 30,000 per milch cow and buffalo, Rs 25,000 per draught animal (up to 3 animals), Rs 16,000 per calf (up to 6 animals), Rs.3,000 per goat (up to 30 animals), Rs 50 per poultry bird (maximum Rs 5000), it said.

In the fisheries sector, financial assistance of Rs 12200 per hectare will be provided to freshwater and brackish water fish farmers for the repair of damaged fish ponds and dykes. Input subsidy of Rs 8200 per hectare will be given for desilting, restoration and repair of damaged fish seed farm.

In the handloom and handicrafts sector, the assistance of Rs 4100 per weaver and handicrafts artisan will be provided for replacing tools, equipment and Rs 4100 for loss of raw materials, goods in process and finished goods, it said.

Steps will also be taken for the generation of employment. Works under MGNREGA will be intensified once flood water subsides and focus will be on works like repair and maintenance of gram panchayat roads, playfields, canals, earthen bunds, goat shed, cowshed and fodder cultivation, the statement added.

Source – https://www.deccanherald.com