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Tamil Nadu govt sanctions Rs2,247 crore relief package for drought-hit farmers

LiveMint logoLiveMint 21-02-2017 Dharani Thangavelu

Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government has sanctioned a sum of Rs2,247 crore as drought relief to more than 3.2 million farmers, chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said on Tuesday.

“Based on the assessment done jointly by the revenue and the agriculture department, it was found that 5,034,237 acres of land belonging to 3,230,191 farmers have been damaged and Rs2,247 crore would be sanctioned as a relief assistance,” said Palaniswami in a statement.

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Farmers who have irrigated land would be given Rs5,465 per acre and those with rain-fed land hit by drought will be given Rs3,000 per acre. While the state government would release Rs7,287 per acre for farmers who cultivated long-term crops, sericulture farmers would be given Rs2,428 to Rs3,000 per acre.

The chief minister also said that as per the centre’s scheme, 1.5 million farmers who have opted for crop insurance would get between Rs4,800 to Rs69,000 as compensation per acre.

Palaniswami recalled that after a survey of 16,682 revenue districts, it was found that 13,305 villages were drought-hit. Of these, crop assessment was carried out in 1,564 villages and it was found that 87% of agricultural land was affected.

He mentioned that between 1 October and 31 December last year, the state witnessed only 168.03 mm of rainfall leading to a severe drought. The North East monsoon— considered as the lifeline of Tamil Nadu— records an average of 440 mm rainfall.

On 10 January, former chief minister O. Panneerselvam had declared Tamil Nadu a drought-hit state and it was announced that land tax would be waived for agricultural land.

The government had said at the time that crop loans taken out by farmers from cooperative banks and commercial banks will be treated as medium-term loans.

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