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Distressed farmers in Maharashtra to get free seeds


Mumbai : Maharashtra government today came forward to help the state’s distressed farmers by signing an MoU with the Indian Merchants’ Chamber to provide seeds free of cost to those farmers who had taken crop loans during 2012-13 and 2013-14 and are defaulters as of today.

IMC president (designate) Deepak Premnarayen signed the MoU with state agriculture department’s additional chief secretary Bhagwan Sahai, in the presence of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis here.

As per the scheme, the farmers who neither received any assistance from government for drought in kharif 2016 season nor any compensation for crop loss from insurance companies or crop loans for kharif season or covered under National Food Security Mission, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, and National Mission on Oil Palms and Oil Seeds, will be eligible to get seeds free of cost, IMC said in a statement.

Cotton and soyabean seeds of truthful or certified quality will be supplied by the seed companies directly to taluka agriculture officers in the chosen district, to be distributed to eligible farmers, it said.

There are an estimated over five lakh farmers who will get relief through this initiative.

The IMC has signed the MoU with Maharashtra government under which approximately 5,82,000 packets will be distributed immediately by seed companies, and more seed companies are in the pipeline to supply seeds to the farmers. The value of 5,82,000 packets is approximately Rs 50 crore.

Nearly 50 per cent of the cost of seeds will be borne by the seed companies and the balance half will be borne by the state government, it said.

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