Ahead of the monsoon, Maharashtra
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray held a meeting on Thursday to take stock of the preparedness for kharif cultivation in the state.
During the meeting, officials said that the monsoon is set to arrive in Maharashtra on June 18 and the total kharif area in the state is 140.11 lakh hectares.
Of the 140.11 lakh hectares, soybean and cotton will cultivated on 82 lakh hectares, which is 60 per cent of the total kharif area, the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said in a statement.
During the meeting, the officials said that during the lockdown, 9,68,550 quintal fruits and vegetables were directly sold online, for which 3,212 centers had been set up.
For the kharif season, the total quantum of seeds needed is 17.01 lakh quintal, of which 54,000 metric tonnes of seeds are being provided to farmers by adhering to social distancing norms.
The cotton produced in the state is 410 lakh quintal, of which 344 lakh quintal cotton has been procured so far. The remaining part will be purchased by June 20, the statement said.
As many as 163 cotton procurement centres are functioning and directives have been given for procurement of 2 lakh quintals everyday, it said.
Under the state government's Mahatma Jyotirao Phule farm loan waiver scheme, out of the 32 lakh account holders, the loan waiver amount of Rs 12,000 crore has been deposited into 19 lakh accounts, the statement said.
Due to the shortage of funds, Rs 8,100 crore are yet to be given to 11.12 lakh accounts, the officials said during the meeting.
Speaking at the meeting through video-conferencing, Thackeray said the government was following up with the RBI about crop loan to farmers.
He assured that farmers will be looked after well in the trying times of COVID-19 pandemic.
Focus should be on the quality crop produced, which can be exported in large numbers. Post COVID-19, there would be lot of changes and the agriculture sector will have an important role to play, he said.
"Our government will soon complete six months in office. We presented a good budget. However, soon after that we were engulfed in the coronavirus pandemic. The country's economy is under grave threat," he said.
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