Chilli Farmers At The Mercy Of Traders

Chilli farmers in AP, Telangana are left to be exploited by the selfish traders, wily middlemen and greedy officials.

Hyderabad/Vijayawada: All the three governments headed by Narendra Modi, Chandrababu Naidu and K Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) have been making the lives of the farmers miserable through sheer neglect. The plight of the farmers has to be addressed by the governments in a bigger and better way.

The chillis are creating problems to the farmers as well as the rulers. The intervention by Central government did not help matters.

The traders, middlemen and officials of the market yards have joined hands and cheated the farmers. In Telangana, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao himself told the farmers not to go for cotton crop. So, the farmers have switched over to mirchi. In Andhra, the farmers had decided on their own to grow mirchi since the prices last year ranged from ₹8000 to ₹12000 per quintal.  But the traders formed cartels and reduced the price. The farmers were forced to sell away their crop since they have no access to godowns. The governments in both the states say there are godowns available. But the farmers have no information nor do they have access.

The price-fall was steep and unprecedented. There was no Stabilisation Fund, as suggested by Swaminathan Committee,  in both the states. In Andhra Pradesh, CM Naidu in the TDP election manifesto promised that he would create a Fund of ₹5,000 crore. YSRCP had, in its manifesto, said it would have a fund of ₹3,000 crore. Naidu did not try to implement his promises. The Fund is meant to take care of the fluctuations in prices in order to protect the farmers.

Jayati Ghosh Committee, which was appointed by United AP government recommended that restrictions have to be placed on the quantities of imports of agricultural products from other countries. But no such restrictions have been imposed by the governments in AP or Telangana.

The ideal way is that the market yards should be run by farmers. But in reality, both the traders and the officials dominate the show to the detriment of the farmers. Same is the case with Rythu Bazars.

The existing market yards should be strengthened and new market yards have to be developed. Market committees must be run by farmers.

The governments should have real sympathy for farmer. Mere lip service is not going to help.

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