By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, November 10, 2017: Odisha government on Friday released Rs 137.51 crore as agriculture input subsidy to farmers in pest affected areas.

The government had notified 1,28,318.945 hectares of cropped areas as pest affected.

A release issued by the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) here said, “As many as 24 out of 30 districts have reported crop damage due to pest attack and the remaining six districts namely, Balasore, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Kandhamal, Kendrapara and Malkangiri have submitted ‘nil’ report.”

The government had finalised the modalities for disbursement/payment on Thursday.

The release said that according to the reported data available from District Collectors there is crop loss of 33% and more in 128319 hectares of cropped area in 8092 villages under 150 blocks and 148 wards under 35 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of 24 districts.

“The amount required for agriculture input subsidy @ Rs 6800 per hectare for rain fed areas and Rs 13500 per hectare for areas under assured irrigation comes to Rs 137.52 crore,” the release added.

Since pest attack has been classified as one of the 12 approved natural disasters under the Disaster Relief Funds [DRF] of the centre and state guidelines, farmers who have sustained crop loss of 33% and above are eligible for agriculture input subsidy.

“An amount of Rs 13751.923 lakh has been sanctioned out of state DRF in favour of concerned Collectors for disbursement of agriculture input subsidy to the affected farmers,” the release clarified.