State writes to Centre on agri input subsidy hike

The State Government on Wednesday requested the Centre to enhance the rate of input subsidy by at least 50 per cent to farmers affected by disasters in rain-fed areas.

Published: 16th November 2017 02:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th November 2017 07:22 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The State Government on Wednesday requested the Centre to enhance the rate of input subsidy by at least 50 per cent to farmers affected by disasters in rain-fed areas.
With no provision to assist farmers who have sustained crop loss below 33 per cent, the State suggested the Centre to fix a minimum assistance of `2,000 for rainfed crops and `3,000 for irrigated areas.
Writing to Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Chief Secretary AP Padhi said the current rate at which agriculture input subsidy is provided to the farmers is quite low compared to the crop loss they have sustained. The quantum of subsidy should be enhanced to alleviate the problems of distressed farmers, he added.

As per the existing norm of assistance from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), farmers are eligible to get agriculture input subsidy of `6,800 per hectare for rainfed areas and `13,500 per hectare for areas under assured irrigation. The assistance provided to the farmers is too small compared to the production cost.

“The State Government earnestly suggest that the rate of agriculture input subsidy to farmers affected by disasters especially for rain-fed areas may be enhanced at least by 50 per cent. The minimum assistance to the farmers may be fixed at `2,000 for rainfed and `3,000 for irrigated areas,” Padhi said.
Since the existing norms of SDRF and NDRF do not provide for expenditure on revival of defunct lift irrigation points which is crucial in a drought situation to save the standing crops and for taking up the next crops, Padhi requested the Centre to allow the State Government for such expenditure by making necessary amendments to the existing guidelines.

The Chief Secretary further requested the Union Home Secretary to consider the State’s proposal for granting permission for full restoration of all infrastructures damaged during major disasters. Under the existing norms, the states are permitted for temporary restoration of damaged public infrastructure.
A similar request was made to the Central team which visited the State recently.
The State Government had also submitted a memorandum to the team, headed by Union Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, seeking an assistance of `1713.75 crore for long-term measures to combat the twin calamities of drought and pest attack on crops.

Ban on 11 companies selling pesticides
Bhubaneswar: THE Government on Wednesday banned 11 pesticide manufacturing companies from selling their products in the State. “We have issued ‘no sale’ notice to as many as 11 pesticide companies after receiving laboratory reports. Showcause notices have been issued to them as to why action will not be taken as the pesticides sold in the State do not confirm to the standards the companies claim,” Principal Agriculture Secretary Sourabh Garg told reporters after a high-level meeting here. Garg said 58 pesticide samples were sent for laboratory test in October while about 100 samples have been sent this month (November). The ‘no sale’ notice was issued on the basis of laboratory reports of 11 companies. Action will be taken against the companies selling spurious pesticides as per the Insecticides Act. The Government swung into action following massive crop loss in several districts due to pest attack and complaints from farmers that use of pesticides on affected paddy crops did not kill the pest.


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