Bhubaneswar, May 12 (LocalWire): The Odisha government has announced a comprehensive relief package for farmers who have incurred losses in the wake of cyclone Fani early this month.
Besides agriculture, those involved in animal husbandry, fisheries, and handlooms & handicrafts sectors have also been badly hit.
To mitigate the problems, the Naveen Patnaik-led government has announced a slew of sops and monetary compensation to support livelihood of people affected in the May 3 cyclone.
It has decided to provide an agriculture input subsidy for small and marginal farmers who have suffered crop loss — up to Rs. 6,800 per hectare in non irrigated areas, Rs.13,500 per hectare in irrigated areas and Rs.18,000 per hectare for all perennial crops. Also, the input subsidy will not be less than Rs.2000 for perennial crops and Rs.1000 for other crops.
It further said that 50,000 acres of demonstration programmes of different crops will be taken up in the affected districts during the current Kharif season.
A special assistance of Rs. 20,000 per ha will be provided under the sustainable sugarcane initiative, while Rs.12,500 per ha will be given under Ratoon Crop Management. Around 5,000 pump sets would also be provided to the affected farmers with 50% subsidy.
Around 200,000 farmers will be provided with free seed treatment chemicals and training, and urgent steps will be taken to distribute quality seeds and other inputs during the Kharif season.
The state government has also decided to provide a farm mechanization subsidy amounting to Rs150 crores in the affected districts.
An incentive of Rs 15,000 per farmer will be provided for betel vine cultivation, while Rs. 40,000 will be provided for construction of shade net/thatched structure for mushroom units. Also, Rs. 2,000 per box will be provided to 500 honey bee growers.
The government will also provide fruit seedlings, mango grafts and coconut seedlings to 50,000 affected farmers for livelihood support.
It will promote four lakh nutri-gardens and fruit tree plantation, covering over 14 lakh hectares for three years, to provide income support.
An incentive of Rs. 25000 per ha will be provided to banana farmers covering 1,650 hectares.
The government will also provide farm credit to tide away the immediate problems of the farmers. Short and medium term loans will be provided to farmers during the Rabi season.
The due date of short-term loans will be extended to 30th June, 2020 to facilitate conversion of short term loans into medium term loans.
Expeditious steps will be taken to conduct crop cutting experiments to settle the claims of the affected insured farmers under crop insurance scheme PMFBY.
The state government also said that it will urge the center to provide an interest incentive of 3% for medium term (Conversion) loans.
Farmers will also be provided fresh finance for cultivation during the current Kharif season, which started from April 1, 2019.
The government has also decided to pay compensation for loss of animals — 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 bird (maximum Rs.5,000).
It will also provide Rs. 50,000 to each farmer for construction of cow sheds damaged during cyclone and Rs. 30,000 for goat sheds.
To support dairy farmers, it will provide cattle feed assistance up to Rs. 32 per kg per cattle per day for 10 days in the affected areas.
Dairy animals will be provided with de-worming medicine, mineral mixture and nutritional supplementation per farmer.
One lakh dairy farmers will be supported for seasonal fodder cultivation in the affected districts.
The state government has also announced financial assistance and subsidies for goat and poultry farming, fishery, handicrafts and handlooms sectors, special grants for women SHGs, gram panchayats, Community Investment Funds, and livelihood schemes, among others.
It has also decided to provide 100 percent remission in respect of cess on land revenue for 2019-20 for all cyclone affected villages. Also, 100 percent exemption of water rate to farmers in cases where the crop loss is 33% or more of the total during the Rabi season.