Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar said the government would not hesitate in filing FIRs against seed companies in this regard.

Express News Service |

Mumbai |  March 8, 2018

About 83 per cent of the farm land under cotton cultivation in Maharashtra have been ravaged by the pink bollworm attack, Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar said on Wednesday. The pink bollworm (PBW) are known to eat away the cotton fibre and the bolls, causing economic losses to farmers. The PBW infestation was detected in cotton farms in Vidarbha’s Yavatmal district in December last year. A survey exercise later revealed that impact was widespread.

Fundkar informed the legislative assembly that the total crop loss had been measured at Rs 3,414 crore. He further told members that the state government had moved a proposal for financial assistance worth Rs 2,425 crore from the Centre towards compensating the affected farmers.

While Fundkar had earlier announced that the seed companies would have to absorb most of the compensation burden, he admitted on Wednesday that certain seed companies had been unwilling to do so. He said the government would not hesitate in filing FIRs against seed companies in this regard. He further discussed a plan to form smaller farmer clusters for crop insurance schemes to ensure more coverage.

Meanwhile, Minister of State (Relief and Rehabilitation) Dilip Kamble informed the House that rabi crop damage owing to unseasonal rains and hailstorms in parts of the state had reached 2.93 lakh hectare. While the government has distributed Rs 313 crore towards compensation in this case, the Opposition has been pressing for enhanced compensation. In another farm-related development, Cooperatives Minister Subhash Deshmukh told assembly members that the government had now cleared 55 lakh farmers for receiving its farm loan waiver benefit. “So far, Rs 13,782 crore has been distributed for 47 lakh farm accounts,” he said. (Source: