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News18 » India
1-min read

Gujarat Govt Announces Rs 31.5 Crore for Farmers Hit by Locust Menace

The relief package would help nearly 11,000 farmers affected by the locust menace in two districts of north Gujarat, Agriculture Minister R C Faldu said.

PTI

Updated:January 7, 2020, 5:12 PM IST
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Gujarat Govt Announces Rs 31.5 Crore for Farmers Hit by Locust Menace
Locusts-affected field in Gujarat's Banaskatha district. (mage : PTI)

Gandhinagar: The Gujarat government on Tuesday said locust menace last month affected standing crops in over 25,000 hectare area in two districts, and announced a package of Rs 31.5 crore for farmers who suffered crop losses.

The relief package would help nearly 11,000 farmers affected by the locust menace in two districts of north Gujarat, Agriculture Minister R C Faldu told reporters here.

Locust invasion was first reported in Banaskantha district bordering Rajasthan on December 18, which escalated to cover 15 talukas of two districts before being brought under control by December 28 with the Centre's help.

Swarm of locusts affected 285 villages across 13 talukas of Banaskantha district and two talukas in Patan district, Faldu said.

"The government carried out a survey and found 285 villages were affected by locusts, 280 of them in Banaskantha, and five in Patan district. We have decided to compensate farmers affected by it and earmarked Rs 31.5 crore for the same," he said.

A total 25,222 hectare area under cultivation across these villages was affected by locusts, which damaged standing crops like cumin, wheat and castor, the minister said.

"The locust menace this time was unlike that seen in the region before," he said.

"This time, it appeared the swarm of locusts would engulf the entire north Gujarat, if not controlled. We sought the assistance of central government and managed to control it after a massive operation of two days," Faldu said.

Farmers would be provided an assistance of Rs 18,500 per hectare with a limit to two hectares, as per provisions of the State Disaster Relief Fund, the minister said.

He thanked local farmers for providing their tractors and assistance in spraying pesticides to control the menace. The state government last month said the locust swarm which invaded north Gujarat's Banaskantha district was destroyed by spraying 4,900 litres of pesticides over 5,000 hectares of the affected area.

Locusts fed on crops like mustard, castor and wheat in Banaskantha, where the menace was more in Suigam, Danta, Tharad and Vav tehsils, the government earlier said.

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