Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday refuted the claims of farmers’ suicides due to failure of maize crops and announced that the state government would provide Rs. 10,000 per hectare of crop damage as subsidy.

Speaking in the Bihar Assembly and Council on the issue, Kumar said district agriculture officer and superintendent of police in Katihar probing the alleged suicide by a farmer, Jagdish Sharma, found that he had died after inhaling strong pesticides while spraying it on his field.

“Mr. Sharma’s viscera are being sent for further investigation”, he said.

Speaking on the maize crop failure, he said the private firms which supplied the seeds for the maize crop had been asked to explain the reason for the crop failure.

Stern action would be taken if any of these firms were found to be responsible for supplying poor quality of seed, he said.

Several questions were raised by legislators in the two Houses of the State Legislature during the past one week seeking compensation for the farmers.