India's richest state of Maharashtra will give waivers for loans of up to 2,00,000 Indian rupees ($2,815) incurred by distressed farmers, its government said on Saturday.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray told the state legislature of the move on Saturday, but did not elaborate on how the state would fund the initiative or how many farmers would benefit.

Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital, announced a similar scheme in 2017, when waivers were granted for loans totalling $5.27 billion to 8.9 million farmers.

Shantabai Chikhale, a farmer, harvests damaged soybean crops at Kalamb village in Pune district in Maharashtra.Reuters

Farmers have been under stress after a drought in 2018 and flooding in 2019, which squeezed their earnings.

Maharashtra is the country's second-biggest producer of sugar, soybean and cotton and the top producer of pulses.

Madhya Pradesh announced a farm loan waiver last year after the Congress party came to power.