Even as the issue of compensating the state’s farmers for last year’s drought-induced crop loss remains unsettled, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) has demanded that the state government paid them Rs 9,000 per acre for damage of their current kharif crops due to excessive rains.
BKS, considered to be the BJP’s farmers’ wing, has submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Narendra Modi. But the government gave no indication of accepting the demand.
Speaking to The Indian Express, state BKS general secretary Manibhai Patel said that due to heavy and prolonged downpour, the farmers have suffered extensive crop damage in almost all parts of the state this year.
Although he could not put an exact figure to the extent of damage, he said it was quite substantial. According to reports, cotton and groundnut, which account for 95 per cent of crops grown in Saurashtra region, have suffered extensive damage. “We want immediate compensation for the farmers. The small and marginal farmers are not in a position to wait long due to their weak economic condition,” Patel said.
J H Suthar, a senior official of the state agriculture department, said a survey for damage of crops had been initiated. “It would take some time to gather the complete data on the extent of damage.”
According to sources in the state agriculture department, a large number of farmers in Saurashtra, who lost their kharif crops in 2012 due to failure of monsoon, are yet to receive the compensation. The amount due to them is stated to be Rs 1607.41 crore. However, it could not be settled due to certain problems between the state and central governments.
Officials have so far settled claims amounting to Rs 278.34 crore for kharif 2012.