The Odisha government on Monday announced a relief package for farmers whose crops have been affected by pest attack.The cabinet meeting on agriculture chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik approved that agriculture input subsidy will be provided to the small and marginal farmers who have sustained crop loss of 33 per cent and above due to pest attack.According to a report of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), crops over nearly 1,78,932 hectares of agricultural land have been affected by the pest attack in nine districts of the state.The farmers will be provided agriculture input subsidy in line with drought assistance.An amount of Rs 6,800 per hectare of land in rainfed/non-irrigated areas and Rs 13,500 per hectare of land in areas under assured irrigation would be provided.Agriculture input subsidy would also be provided to farmers other than small and marginal farmers at the same rates, subject to a ceiling of two hectares per farmer. The assistance would also be provided to actual cultivators.While the government was earlier refusing to provide compensation to the farmers who have burnt their standing crops due to pest attack, Revenue Minister Maheswar Mohanty said these farmers would also get due compensation under the package."In pest-affected areas, 75 per cent subsidy will be provided to the farmers for purchase of pesticides. Steps will be taken to make these pesticides available in all affected blocks immediately," said Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout.The government would provide 10,000 sprayers at 50 per cent subsidy, subject to a maximum of Rs 3,000 per sprayer, in the affected areas. Besides, 50,000 farmers would be facilitated with poultry for livelihood support.At the same time, a focused approach would be adopted to take up intensive fodder cultivation in the gram panchayats through distribution of suitable fodder kits, said Rout.One lakh seed mini-kits and demonstration kits of paddy, pulses and oil seeds, and 50,000 vegetable kits will be supplied to the farmers for the Rabi programme in the affected areas. Besides, 5,000 pump sets will be provided at 50 per cent subsidy to the farmers.Farmers affected by the pest attack would also get fresh finance for Rabi cultivation, while the central government would be requested to provide interest incentive of 3 per cent for Medium Term (conversion) loans -- at par with crop loans for promptly paying farmers."Tuition fees and examination fees in government and aided schools and colleges in pest-affected areas will be waived," said Rout.