Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to urgently declare adequate special package as assistance to farmers to compensate loss to the standing crops and other farm produces due to recent widespread un-seasonal rains in the state.

In a letter sent to Dr Singh, he said the unexpected rains have heavily hit the fishery catch and salt production, washing away salt pans in the coastal regions.

Describing the extent of damage, Mr. Modi said that rains from the first week of November have damaged crops in the Saurashtra and Kutch, north and central Gujarat regions.

The damage is estimated to be 1.85-lakh ha of cotton crop in Saurashtra and north Gujarat, 40,000 ha of paddy in the central Gujarat region around Ahmedabad, 55,000 ha of groundnut, castor, jowar, udad dal and soya bean crops.

The value of loss to paddy alone is calculated to be of the order of Rs.24-crore, and that of fishery Rs.25-crore.

The untimely rains have hit hard the vegetables and fruits too, including 17,000 ha potato crop in Banaskantha district alone, papaya in Rajkot and Sabarkantha.

As an alterative to loss to farmers in the kharif crops, Mr. Modi requested distribution of 6,000 seeds to sow wheat on 2-lakh ha by December first week, along with 70,000 tonne urea and 25,000 tonne DAP fertilizers. The farmers urgently need adequate compensation for loss to vegetables, fodder too, he said.

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