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Rain damages 20 p.c. of kharif crops

Special Correspondent



in distress:Following the damage to the crops, the foodgrain output is likely to fall by 20 per cent.

Bangalore: Torrential rain over the past two weeks has damaged 20 per cent of the standing crops, and the loss has been estimated at Rs. 500 crore.

Minister for Agriculture Umesh Katti told presspersons here on Thursday that crops about to be harvested were damaged in Chitradurga, Kodagu, Haveri, Shimoga, Chikmagalur, Mandya, Hassan, Gadag, Belgaum and Chickballapur districts. Crops such as jowar, paddy, maize, ragi and potato were damaged extensively in some districts. Though detailed reports were yet to be received, the Minister said that according to preliminary reports, 20 per cent of the standing crops had been damaged.

Mr. Katti said he would be calling on Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar next week in Delhi to seek Central aid to compensate farmers for crop loss. The State had expected a good kharif harvest since 98.9 per cent of the targeted 74 lakh hectares had been sown. It was now expected that foodgrain production, for which the target was 123 lakh tonnes in 2010-11, would fall by at least 20 per cent, Mr. Katti said.

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Wednesday sanctioned Rs. 3 crore for relief measures in Chitradurga district where incessant rain claimed six lives in the past four days.

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