Agriculture World

Relief for Farmers; Moratorium on Farm-loan Repayment Extended

A number of farmer suicides in the Idukki district of Kerala have prompted the government to come up with debt-relief measures for the farmers in the State.

The state government in a special cabinet meeting held on 05th March 2019 at Thiruvananthapuram has decided to extend the moratorium on recovery of loan proceedings on farm loans to 31st December from the previous deadline of 31st October.

In the wake of floods last year, the Kerala government had announced a one-year moratorium on agricultural loans in the month of August. It had also decided to increase the loan limit from Rs.1 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh.

The decision of government will be valid to loans taken for agri-related & allied activities, the cabinet meeting noted. For the long-term crop loans like coffee, rubber and coconut, the meeting decided to offer up to 9 % interest and the amount for the same will be distributed from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

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The cabinet meeting also decided to assign both agriculture as well as planning departments to search methods to include commercial banks under the ambit of the Agriculture Debt Recovery Commission.

For crop-loss caused due to natural calamities, an amount of Rs. 85 crore has been approved as compensation. It must be noted that the compensation for crop losses has increased 100 % from the levels fixed in 2015.

The latest move aims to help the distressed Kerala agriculture sector that faced huge losses especially in Wayanad and Idukki districts where thousands of hectares of farm land was destroyed. As per the official figures, the floods had spoiled around 11,000 hectares of agricultural land in Idukki leaving about 35,000 farmers in distress.



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