Staff Reporter

VIJAYAWADA: The cyclonic rain damaged crops in 9,000 hectares in Kurnool, Prakasam, Guntur and Krishna district, Minister for Agriculture N.Raghuveera Reddy has said.

Transit halt

Speaking to reporters at a transit halt at Gannavaram Airport here on Saturday the Minister said that the State Government would pay input subsidy of Rs. 6,000 per hectare of horticulture crops and Rs. 2,500 per hectare of vegetables damaged to farmers.

It would also pay 50 per cent subsidy for seeds. He said this was only a preliminary estimate and the final figures would be available only after the water receded.

Mr. Reddy said there was no need for farmers to panic about the availability of seed. While the total requirement of the State during this season was 40 lakh quintals, more than half of that (24 lakh quintals) was readily available for distribution.

Extensive damage

He advised farmers to purchase inputs like fertilisers at maximum retail price (MRP) and retain the bills. He said Government had taken steps to check the rise of cottonseed prices.

Cottonseed that was selling for Rs. 1,800 per quintal was now available to farmers for Rs. 650 to Rs. 700 a quintal.

Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Mandali Buddha Prasad said the cyclone caused extensive damage to fishing nets and boats. The damage in the fishery sector according to a preliminary estimate was Rs. 2.34 crores. Sixty-six boats worth Rs. 35.75 lakhs were lost and 555 boats were damaged to an extent of Rs. 41.16 lakhs.