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Maha yet to start aid disbursal to pest-hit cotton farmers

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

The government is yet to start disbursal of the compensation it promised to cultivators last December whose crop was damaged due to pink infestation.

According to officials, the delay is caused because of the state Agriculture department unable to complete the assessment of damage caused to the crop.

The compensation was announced in the winter session of the held in last December.

"The survey of crops is not yet completed. We need to wait for the damage assessment report before we can start disbursing the amount (to farmers)," government officials said.

As almost two months are passed since the compensation promise was made, farmers have now begun questionning the delay.

"I have two acres of cultivation and it was damaged. The assessment is already done but there has been no compensation disbursed so far. I have checked with district officials a couple of times but have received no information," said Raghunath Tupkar, a from Buldana.

According to officials, the procedure to complete the assessment of damage is still underway.

"As per the rule, officials have to visit each and every farm personally and submit the assessment report. It is taking enormous time. Earlier, there used to be a sample survey of some farms and all the beneficiaries used to get the compensation amount," they said.

had announced that out of the total cotton cultivation over 42 lakh hectares, cotton crop on 32 lakh hectares has been affected due to pink infestation.

Officials said farmers would get the compensation at Rs 30,000 per hectare, but funds are not released yet.

Meanwhile, the has launched a special awareness campaign about the infestation.

Due to the pest attack, the state is expected to drastically lose the cotton production for the year 2017-18, officials said.

In 2016-17, the cotton production was over 10 million bales, which is set to come down to six millions bales, they said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 01 2018. 20:30 IST