Govt takes measures to rein in farmer deaths

Maharashtra agriculture minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil on Wednesday said that the state government is taking measures to protect Vidarbha farmers from fluctuations in the market and irregular weather conditions. The minister also expressed confidence that the steps taken by the government will show results in this financial year and deter farmers from taking extreme steps like committing suicide.
Mr Patil said that `3,750 crore under the Prime Minister’s package and `1,075 crore under the state package has been set aside for various subsidies and training programmes for farmers in the Vidarbha region. “The state government is also providing quality seeds of these crops at 50 per cent subsidy,” he said.
The minister further said that the government is encouraging dairy and fodder, which, according to him, will help providing regular income to farmers through out the year.
Besides that, an assistance of `25,000 per family is given towards purchase of farm equipment, seeds and building storage among others, he said.
“The major problem in the affected districts (of Vidarbha) are that farmers mainly were into monocropping in the Kharif season. They had to sustain themselves during the entire year from the income of only one season. We are now encouraging them to grow pulses, horticultural crops, floriculture,
soyabean after harvesting the Kharif crop,” Mr Patil
said.

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