Rajkot, Nov 28 (PTI) The Gujarat government has ordered a state-wide survey to assess the damage to crops to provide compensation to farmers affected by the recent spell of unseasonal rains, state Agriculture Minister Raghavji Patel said on Tuesday.
Addressing a press conference here, Patel said affected farmers will be granted compensation as per the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) norms once the report arrives.
While the loss will not be significant because most of the Kharif crops have already been harvested, a preliminary estimate suggests that the rains may have damaged standing crops in an area of around 3 to 4 lakh hectares, he said.
"As per the official data, unseasonal rains lashed 236 talukas on November 26 and 27. As many as 112 talukas received 1 inch of rain, 34 received nearly 2 inches, while six talukas received 4 inches of rainfall. Since cotton and toor crops are yet to be harvested, we estimate that the rains may have damaged standing crops in 3 to 4 lakh hectares," Patel said.
Since it is the beginning of the Rabi season and the sowing of some of the major crops has just begun, the possibility of damage is less, he said.
"We have already ordered a loss-assessment survey to announce a relief package for farmers affected by rains. Since the rains have stopped, officials have already started the exercise from today. We have asked officials to complete the survey as soon as possible. Compensation will be paid once the survey report arrives," he told reporters.
The minister further said that the state government has distributed Rs 10,700 crore to the affected farmers in the last nine years.
As per the SDRF norms, farmers who lose equal or more than 33 per cent of their total crops are eligible to get a compensation of Rs 6,800 per hectare with a limit of two hectares, Patel said, adding that the state government can increase the relief amount if it finds it appropriate.
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