VIJAYAWADA: In a first of its kind, the state government has credited input subsidy of Rs. 366 crore into bank accounts of nearly 4.91 lakh farmers for crops damaged during the October rains in Andhra Pradesh.
Unlike the earlier practice, where it used to take a long time for assessing extent of damage to both agriculture and horticulture crops due to natural calamities, the state government has deposited the amount through Real-Time Gross Settlement into the farmers’ accounts as input subsidy. The move is aimed to benefit farmers to use the input subsidy for purchasing seeds, fertilisers and pesticides to raise short-term crops and recoup their loss because of the natural calamity.
Due to the Pethai cyclone in 2018, 4,20,440 farmers suffered damage to their crops to an extent of 2,13,669.59 hectares. Crops were similarly damaged due to floods and heavy rains in 2019-20 and also in 2020-21 during October. Based on the extent of crop loss, the state government estimated that input subsidy be given to farmers to the tune of Rs 30,692.05 lakh. The same amount was credited into the bank accounts of farmers.
Similarly, with regard to horticulture crops, authorities estimated the crop loss at 31,250 hectares due to heavy rains and floods from April to October 2020 affecting about 70,932 farmers. Out of an estimated input subsidy amount of Rs. 59.5 crore, the state government had already credited Rs 30 crore into the bank accounts of farmers through RTGS. The remaining amount will be credited in a day or two.
Horticulture additional director K. Balaji Naik said, “It is for the first time that the state government has released input subsidy directly to farmers who suffered damages to their crops due to natural calamities in an expeditious manner, so that they can raise crops again to recoup their loss.”
The state government fixed an input subsidy of Rs. 15,000 per hectare for paddy, cotton, sugarcane, for maize Rs. 12,500; for pulses, wheat and tobacco Rs. 10,000; for jowar and castor Rs. 6,800; for korra and mustard Rs. 5,000, for sand casting Rs. 12,200 and for soil erosion Rs 37,500.