The authorities were spending Rs 2 crore for the development of horticulture in Prakasam district, said Mr M. Venkateswarlu, additional director of horticulture, here on Sunday.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S.

Stating that the recent unseasonal heavy rains were so rare that they occurred only the third time in the last 100 years, Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy announced a "special package' to liberally assist farmers whose crops were damaged in 11 districts of the State. The cash compensation allowed on each crop damaged has been doubled under the package. The 11 districts are Prakasam, Nellore, Guntur, Krishna, Srikakulam, East Godavari, West Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Kadapa, Kurnool and Nizamabad. Making a suo motu statement in the Assembly on Tuesday, Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy said the commercial crops faced the brunt as they were normally sown around this time of the year. The package provided for payment of compensation of Rs. 4, 500 per hectare in case of paddy, groundnut, chillies and vegetables and Rs. 3,750 per hectare for sunflower, maize and pulses. The government would recommend to cooperative and other banks to reschedule present crop loans and issue fresh ones.

"Why shouldn't salt-making be classed as agriculture?' asks R Potharaju. "Both require land, water and sunshine, and are subject to vagaries of nature,' he reasons. Potharaju is convenor of the

Pages