Maharashtra: Crop production expected to decline by 8 percent

Mumbai: Crop production in Maharashtra is expected to decline by 8 per cent in the 2018-19 fiscal due to severe drought in several parts of the state. The production of cereals and pulses in Kharif season is expected to decrease by six per cent and 35 per cent respectively.

The Economic Survey tabled in the state Legislature on Monday revealed. Agriculture and the allied sector on a whole is expected to grow at 0.4 per cent, a decline when compared to last year's 3.1 per cent rise, the survey further stated.

The state government has not given any figures of number of farmers who loan has been waived after 2018. Up to November 2018 an amount of Rs 16,669 crore was credited to loan account of 40.21 lakh eligible farmers, says the Economic Survey.

Even though the state government has updated figures up to February 2019 in governor’s speech, but the same figures is not mentioned in the Economic Survey tabled in June 2019. This has raised the question of claims by the state government.

“Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shetkari Sanman Yojana is unprecedented in terms of coverage of beneficiaries, amount of assistance and regional distribution particularly to farmers in Vidarbha and Marathwada.

I am happy to note that till date out of the Rs 24,000 crore sanctioned for more than 51 lakh accounts of farmers, an amount of Rs 18,036 crore has been transferred to more than 43 lakh accounts of farmers,” said Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao on February 25, in his address to joint meeting of both the houses.

The survey stated that annual budget for agriculture and allied activities sectors in 2018-19 in the annual credit plan was Rs 85,464 crore. On the agriculture credit front, it said, during 2017-18, primary credit societies disbursed loans of Rs 14,573 crore to farmers.

As on March 31, 2018, there were about 1.98 lakh co-operative societies with 5.17 crore members. Of these, 11 per cent were in agriculture credit, 10 per cent in non-agriculture credit and 79 per cent engaged in other activities, it said.

In all, 18.1 per cent cooperative societies were in the red, 33.1 per cent of these engaged in agriculture credit. During 2018-19, crop loan of Rs 31,282 crore was disbursed through financial institutions as against Rs 25,322 crore during 2017-18. During 2018-19, agriculture term loans amounting to Rs 36,632 crore was disbursed as against Rs 25,695 crore in 2017-18.

Irrigation figures hidden

The gross irrigated area to gross cropped area ratio was not provided in the survey for the seventh year in a row. In 2009-10, when the Congress-NCP regime was in power, the then chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, of the Congress, had ignited a controversy by claiming that only 17.9 per cent of area was irrigated despite spending Rs 77,000 crore.

Crop production expected to decline by 8 per cent The irrigation department at the time, and since 1999, was held by ally NCP. Maha spent Rs 4.9K cr on drought relief The Maharashtra government made available Rs 4,909.50 crore for drought relief in 2018-19, the state Economic Survey revealed on Monday, adding that the total affected area was 85.76 lakh hectare spread over 151 talukas.

It said the scarcity situation during the Kharif season of the just-ended fiscal affected 151 talukas in 26 district, comprising 112 talukas which reeled under severe drought and 39 talukas that experienced moderate drought.

Further it informed that, during April 2018, some 5,094 hectare were affected by untimely rain and hailstorm, for which compensation to the tune of Rs 8.15 crore was sanctioned in December. In May last year, 1,741 hectare were affected by rain and hailstorm for which Rs 2.93 crore was sanctioned in December.

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