About 6.44 lakh farmers in Gujarat have been affected by the flood in the state last month. The flood is also expected to result in a crop loss of 10.98 lakh hectares across 17 districts. According to the state government assessments , total payable relief, including agriculture, horticulture, cattle and land damage, stands at Rs 1,653 crore. The state government has initiated distribution of relief fund to the farmers. “As per our assessment, 17 districts had witnessed flood which affected 6.44 lakh farmers. Financially, it is loss of Rs 1,653 crore including agriculture, horticulture, cattle and land erosion. The state government has started compensate the farmers in flood affected areas,” said Chiman Sapariya, agriculture minister of Gujarat. Sapariya informed that about 10.98 lakh hectares of agricultural land of 4,333 villages were affected due to floods besides 16,808 hectares of horticulture crop in 2,431 villages. Besides the 6.44 lakh farmers who are affected due to crop loss in agriculture, about 4,989 farmers in the state are facing loss in horticulture crops. Gujarat has faced heavy rains after mid July resulting in floods in Saurashtra and North Gujarat. Banaskantha, Patan, Surendranagar, Morbi, Jamnagar and Rajkot are the most affected districts. As per the government’s estimate, about 10,000 villages of these districts face huge damage in farm land.
Sapariya added, “Saurashtra and North Gujarat are the most affected regions in flood and about 10,000 villages have been impacted in it. We have conducted assessment drive in these villages and found that farmers have faced losses in cotton, groundnut, paddy, tur and guar seed crops.” Gujarat government has announced Rs 1,500 crore financial support while the union government has allotted Rs 500 crore to the state as flood relief fund. For crops and land damage, Gujarat government will give Rs 1,652 crore to the farmers from this fund. Out of it, about Rs 867 crore has been given to farmers for their crop loss. The state government had conducted survey for damage assessment and formed 763 teams for agriculture assessment, 405 teams for horticulture and 395 teams for land erosion assessment across the state. According to the state government estimate, land erosion has affected 2 lakh hectares of land where resowing is not possible this year. In addition to this, water logging in some parts of Sabarkantha district is a hurdle for re-plantation. “Due to land erosion, about 2 lakh hectares of farm land is completely non usable this year and resowing is not possible on it. However, in Saurashtra, re-planting of kharif crops has started,” said Sapariya. The state has also increased the limit of relief package for cattle loss from Rs 30,000 per cattle with limit of up to 3 cattle per farmer, to Rs 40,000 per cattle raising the limit up to 5 cattle per farmer.
By Vimukt Dave