CM announces compensation for rain-affected farmers

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Hyderabad, Feb 26 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy today announced a special package, including compensation and market intervention to purchase damaged crops, for farmers affected by unseasonal rains in Prakasam.

Making a statement in the State Assembly, the Chief Minister announced Rs 4,500 per hectare as compensation for cultivators of paddy, groundnut, chillies and vegetables and Rs 3,750 per hectare for growers of pulses, maize and sunflower.

In the Legislative Council, Agriculture Minister N Raghuveera Reddy read out the statement on behalf of the Chief Minister.

Dr Reddy said soon after assuming the office, the Congress government had hiked the compensation amount by 25 per cent, then by another 25 per cent and now it had doubled the compensation for farmers.

For the first time in the state, the Markfed was instructed to procure damaged Bengal gram at Rs 1,700 per quintal, the Chief Minister said, adding that his government was in touch with the Centre for relaxation of specifications by the Food Corporation of India for procurement of damaged paddy.

The Tobacco Board, coming under the Union Commerce Ministry, had come forward to provide assistance to tobacco growers at the rate of Rs 5,000 per hectare for fully damaged crops and Rs 2,000 per hectare for partially-damaged crops and the disbursement would be commenced immediately, he said.

Special Bankers' meetings were held at the district level to reschedule crop loans and issuance of fresh loans, he added.

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