Nearly 1,68,550 hectares of crop area in Rajasthan and Gujarat have come under locust attack in 2019-20, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.
Replying to a question in the Upper House, the Minister said a total of 1,48,840 ha (1,34,959 ha in Rajasthan and 13,881 ha in Gujarat) crop area has been damaged by 33 per cent of more. Though locust attack was reported from Punjab and Haryana too, the damage is said to be negligible.
The Rajasthan government has reported that the revenue department assessed the damage from locust attack and an allocation of ₹90.20 crore has been made under State Disaster Response Fund for payment of compensation to farmers. Out of this, ₹86.21 crore has been paid to 54,150 farmers.
The Gujarat government, on the other hand, said it had carried out a primary assessment of crop losses and decided to give an assistance of ₹13,500 per ha to farmers whose crop loss is 33 per cent and more from the State Disaster Relief Fund. In addition, it would provide an additional ₹ 5,000 to affected farmers for a maximum up to 2 ha. Total provision for this relief package is ₹32.76 crore for approximately 11,230 farmers. The payment to the affected farmers is in progress.
According to the Punjab government, a small swarm of locusts was spotted in few patches and this has been adequately dealt with. Till date, no loss to any crop has been reported in this current rabi season. Haryana also reported some locust attacks in villages bordering Rajasthan and no crop damage so far.