The government has decided to provide cash relief of up to 65 percent of the production cost to farmers whose crops were completely damaged by unseasonal rains earlier this year.
The government made the announcement as per the new guidelines to provide relief to farmers. The guidelines, which were approved by the Council of Ministers on November 18, mention that a farmer shall not get more than Rs 55,000 in relief.
The government has allocated relief for farmers by categorizing them into small, medium, and big categories based on their landholding. While providing relief, the amount will be calculated based on the minimum support price of paddy.
According to the guidelines, small farmers who have suffered a complete loss will get relief up to 65 percent of the production cost. The government is ready to provide 30 percent relief to affected medium-scale farmers and up to 20 percent for big farmers. Likewise, the government will provide relief up to 20 percent of the production cost to large, medium, or small farmers whose paddy crop has been partially damaged.
Under the guidelines, farmers with more than three bighas (five acres) of land have been classified as big farmers. Farmers who cultivate other people’s land equal to the same area are also included in the category. Medium farmers are those who have more than 10 katthas (0.83 acres) and up to three bighas of land and cultivate on the same land. A farmer who cultivates up to 10 katthas (0.83 acres) of land has been classified as a small farmer.
In the case of joint cultivation, the guidelines mention, the relief amount will be calculated treating the whole group as one. This facility will not be available for farmers using encroached land, and those who have already received relief from other agencies, including insurance companies.
Before providing relief as per the guidelines, the local government shall collate data of the damage caused to the paddy crop due to unseasonal rains based on information collected by the District Administration Office, District Police Office, and other agencies. The ward office shall then publish a notice for affected farmers to provide documentary evidence to support their claims.
In case of failure to submit the documents, the farmer should submit the recommendation of the ward office endorsed by a ward member and three neighbor farmers. Along with the evidence, a copy of the farmer’s citizenship, and bank account details should also be submitted.
Based on the details provided, the government will deposit the relief amount in the bank account of the concerned farmer.
According to the guidelines, a three-member monitoring committee will be formed under the coordination of the head of the district coordination committee to monitor the distribution of relief.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, 325,258 metric tonnes of paddy worth Rs 8.268 billion have been destroyed due to unseasonal rains earlier this year. The ministry states that the paddy crop planted in an area of 85,580 hectares has been completely damaged. Paddy plantation on 285,076 hectares was partially damaged.