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The Economic Survey of Maharashtra today projected a negative agriculture growth at 8.3 per cent for financial year 2017-18 on account of decreased production of food-grains, pulses and cotton crops. During Kharif season of 2017, the sowing was completed on 150.45 lakh hectares with a minor increase over the previous year. The survey was tabled in the state legislature today, a day ahead of the Budget 2018-19. While the area under cereals and pulses decreased by 3 per cent each, the area under oilseeds and cotton decreased by 1 per cent and 0.1 per cent, respectively, whereas the area under sugarcane increased by 43 per cent over the previous year, as per the Survey. The production of cereals, pulses, oilseeds and cotton is expected to decrease by 4 per cent, 46 per cent, 15 per cent and 44 per cent, respectively, while the production of sugarcane crop is expected to increase by 25 per cent over the previous year, it stated. As per the survey, the area under Rabi crops (as on January 5, 2018) is 31 per cent less over the previous year. The area under cereals, pulses and oilseeds has decreased by 42 per cent, 6 per cent and 60 per cent, respectively over the previous year. The production of cereals, pulses and oilseeds is expected to decrease by 39 per cent, 4 per cent and 73 per cent, respectively, in 2017-18 as compared to previous year, it stated. As per the survey, the share of agriculture and the allied activities sector in the total gross state value added is about 12.2 per cent during 2016-17 as against 15.3% during 2001-02. Maharashtra is expected to produce 99.77 lakh tonnes of cereals in the current financial year, including Kharif and Rabi seasons, which is less by -21.1 per cent compared to the previous year. Similarly, the production of pulses is also set to dip by 27.9 per cent to 33.06 lakh tonnes. The cotton production, considered as the backbone of farmers from Marathwada and vidarbha region, is set to report a fall of 43.8% to 60.49 lakh bales (one bale is of 170 kg), it stated. Meanwhile, a senior Agriculture department hospital said the widespread attack of pink bollworm has brought down the cotton production in the state. There are about 40.82 lakh agricultural pumps in the state.
Subsidy is provided for the purchase of electricity supplied to these agricultural pumps. A provision of Rs 6,242. 45 crore is proposed for 2017-18 towards electricity subsidy to agricultural pumps as against Rs 4,510.39 crore for 2016-17, the survey stated. The state government initiated the loan waiver scheme in June, 2017, to waive crop loan/ agriculture loan of farmers who were unable to repay due to natural calamities. Under the scheme, online applications from eligible farmers were invited up to September 22, 2017. Accordingly, a total of 47,46,222 farmers were found eligible for receiving the loan waiver, one-time repayment and incentive amount under the scheme. Up to December 2017, an amount of 10,913.08 crore was credited to loan account of 27,13,055 eligible farmers, the survey stated. The total outlay for the scheme, announced on June 24 last year was Rs 34,020 crore.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)