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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Amid spate of farmer suicides in Odisha allegedly over crop failure, the State government today decided to provide input subsidy to the farmers affected by the pest menace.

The State Agriculture Cabinet chaired by CM Naveen Patnaik today decided to provide financial assistance of Rs 13,500 per hectare of irrigated land and Rs 6,800 per hectare of non-irrigated lands.

"The important decision of the Cabinet is that all farmers including those who have torched their crops will also get assistance. But, we appeal the farmers to refrain from burning crops," Revenue Minister Maheswar Mohanty said after the meeting.

The Government will spend Rs 124 crore on account of the financial assistance package announced today.

Similarly, the government will provide pesticides to farmers at a subsidy of 75 per cent unlike previously when they were supplied at government stores at 50 per cent discount. As many as 10,000 sprayers will be provided at cheaper rates.

Similarly, the short term loans of the farmers who suffered more than 33% crop loss will be converted into medium term loans. Similarly, these farmers will get a 50 per cent tax waiver.

"As much as Rs 5,000 crore have been allocated for loans to farmers for Rabi cultivation. Loans of Rs 60 crore have already been disbursed by October 31. Rest of the amount will also be disbursed soon," Agriculture Minister, Damodar Rout said.

The loans will also be sanctioned for the farmers who had already availed loans and were affected during Kharif.

As many as 50,000 landless, marginal and small farmers in the pest affected areas will be provided livelihood support in terms of backyard poultry. At the same time, a focussed approached will be adopted to take up intensive fodder cultivation in these GPs through distribution of fodder kits.

The farmers will also be able to avail 1 lakh seed mini kits and 50,000 vegetable kits.

The government had earlier waived off tuition fee of the college and school students in pest-affected areas.

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