Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today said though the climate change was leading to rise in the natural calamities, the agricultural production of the state would be increased to achieve the target of 10 per cent growth.
“We can achieve this with the hard work of the farmers and the use of modern technology,” Chavan said, addressing a kharif season preview meeting here.
Around 1.5 lakh hectares of land in Maharashtra is under kharif cultivation, the Chief Minister said.
Meetings held by guardian ministers in their respective districts prior to the start of the season had been fruitful, Chavan noted.
He blamed the climate change for drought and other natural calamities that have hit the state in the recent years. “In last one year, Maharashtra faced a drought, hailstorms and excessive rains,” he said.
Financial assistance of Rs 6,635 crore had been given to farmers so far in the last one year, the Chief Minister said.
“This year there is a prediction of deficient monsoon. Therefore the government's focus would be on ensuring availability of fertilisers, seeds, farm credit and electricity,” he said.
Thanks to effective monitoring, some 10,000 persons forfeited licenses after they were found to be involved in black-marketing of fertilisers and seeds, he said.
The state agriculture minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said the recent hailstorms affected 40 lakh hectares of cultivated land in Maharashtra, and yet the agricultural production was on the rise.