Bhubaneswar: Adding insult to injury, Odisha Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout today said that the farmers who have burnt their crops will not get compensation.
Speaking to media here on Saturday, Rout said the farmers who have suffered more than 33 per cent crop loss due to pest or any natural calamity will get compensation but those who have burnt their crops cannot be given the same.
“How can they be given the compensation? If there will be no crop in the fields, how can the officials estimate the loss,” questioned Rout.
On the alleged suicide of Bargarh district farmer Brunda Sahu, the minister said an investigation is required to know the reason behind his suicide like why did he consume poison in presence of several people a day after burning his crops, does the land belong to him or was he a share cropper. Besides, we have to check whether he has taken loan from bank, he said.
No farmer faces financial issues, especially during this period. They may be in distress but that doesn’t mean they have nothing to eat, added Rout.
The minister said that the government is not responsible if farmers take loan from private lenders, as it is giving loans to them- without any mortgage and even not recovering the amount from them.
"Farmers of Odisha never commit suicide as they are well aware that their family will suffer after their death. An investigation is needed to know the truth behind the burning of crops and suicides," stated the BJD veteran adding that a high level meeting comprising the chief secretary, agriculture commissioner and others will be held to discuss on the report submitted by the Bargarh district collector today.
Besides, Rout informed that the government will soon start disbursing Rabi loans to farmers.
On the other hand, the Sambalpur district collector Samarth Verma has said that 28,200 hectares of agricultural land have been affected by pests in the region.
The incidents of burning of crop fields continue in the State. A farmer of Sankujendri village under Ramanaguda block in Gunupur, Rayagada, set afire his pest-affected crops in one acre of agricultural land. Similarly, a farmer of Bandigaon in Dharmagad block in Kalahandi district torched his pest-affected crops in four acres of agricultural field.
Meanwhile, a farmer of Sankhemundi village Alaya Jena, who consumed pesticide due to alleged crop loss on Friday, died today while undergoing treatment at Berhampur hospital in Ganjam district.