Pawar to apprise Union ministries of Maha farm crisis

Nationalist Congress Party Chief Sharad Pawar. (PTI Photo)

NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Friday said he would apprise the Union Agriculture and Finance ministries of the farm crisis in Maharashtra as unseasonal rains have caused crop loss in parts of the state.

He demanded that a survey be conducted of all the farms instead of only those that have suffered over 33 per cent crop damage.

The former Union Agriculture Minister was addressing a press conference after visiting the farmers affected by unseasonal rains in Vidarbha.

"I can clearly see that most of the important crops are severely damaged. These include orange, sweet lime, soybean, cotton, and paddy. Farmers are facing huge losses. Orange is cultivated in two seasons, but the fruits in the first season are nearly damaged," he said.

"Similarly, sweet lime in the orchards has been damaged and the cultivators are facing serious problems. Same is the situation with cotton, soybean and paddy growers," he added.

Stressing the need to undertake a survey of the entire farms to assess the crop loss due to unseasonal rains, he said, "I can see that crops are damaged above 33 per cent and hence survey of the entire farmland will give us a fair idea of the loss, based on which appropriate financial assistance could be sought."

Pawar said he would approach the union agriculture and finance ministries to apprise them of the hardships being faced by the farmers in the state and to seek financial assistance for them.

Replying to a query on whether he would speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue, Pawar said that he would first hold talks with the ministries.

"If I don't get a satisfactory response from them, then there is no harm in meeting people at a higher level. But I have worked in this (agriculture) ministry and I know where the issue can be addressed," he said.

Pawar has been on a two-day visit to the Vidarbha region to take stock of the damage caused by the rains. On Thursday he visited Katol, Umred and Kamptee tehsils

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