KCR Announces Freebies To Farmers

 KCR not only announced free fertilisers to farmers from next year, he also promised to deposit of Rs. 4000 per acre in every farmer’s account before May 30

Hyderabad: The Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao who participated in a meeting with farmers on Wednesday at Pragathi Bhavan announced various decisions intended for the farmers. A  large number of farmers who came from across the State to thank the CM for implementing loan waiver were showered with additional boons. The CM made sensational promises.

Speaking on the occasion, CM assured the farmers that they would be provided fertilisers free of cost. “There are 55 lakh farmers in the State and everybody will be provided with free fertilisers,”  he added, The farmers responded jubilantly to his announcement. “However, you should buy pesticides and seeds”, he suggested. He said that five bags of fertilisers would be provided per acre. “We would continue this until the farmers ask us to stop the scheme,” he added.

He told them that funds would be allocated in the next budget for the supply of fertilisers.  Until and unless the farmers are supported in various ways, it’s not possible to turn Telangana into a progressive State, he told.

He also promised them that an amount Rs. 4,000 per acre would be deposited in the accounts of farmers before May 30 every year. He suggested the farmers should form societies in every village.

He also vowed that he would bring Godavari waters to one crore acres of cultivable land. He told them that the government is striving to supply water to every acre in three to four years.

The Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy speaking on the occasion said that this is a historical day in Telangana. He also praised the KCR saying that he was the only  CM who waived loans of lakhs of farmers. Though the Centre, RBI did not co-operate, he waived loans worth Rs. 17 thousand crores for 36 lakh farmers he said. He thanked the CM on behalf of farmers in four phases. MP Kavitha, Mission Bhageerath vice chairman Prasanth Reddy and others participated.

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Love For Farmers, A Political Game!

Without solving the crux of the problem, no amount of tears by any political party can solve the farm crisis. Rational solutions are the need of the hour to solve agrarian crisis.

Hyderabad:  After five farmers were shot dead in Madhya Pradesh, the country’s attention turned to farmers’ plight. In a country where agriculture is considered its backbone, protests, agitations and suicides by farmers only highlight the gulf between the assurances of the governments on agriculture and their implementation.

The increasing costs of production and falling price of produce are only pushing the farmers more into debt traps. Lack of reasonable price to their produce is frustrating the farmers and forcing them to resort to agitations and even suicides.

The dramatic events that unfolded when Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi was on his way to Mandsaur, and his statements that he came to console the victims’ families might score for him a few brownie points, but it certainly will not change the situation in Madhya Pradesh or anywhere in the country, as a vision is necessary to alleviate their problems. Not only in Madhya Pradesh, farmers are also protesting in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. But Rahul chose MP because the media glare is on the State.

The problems of the farmers are generally recognised by the political parties when elections are around. The Madhya Pradesh is going for election next year; hence all the opposition parties suddenly started focusing on the farmers’ plight.

The fact is, the UPA had constituted the National Commission of Farmers (NCF) under the chairmanship of Professor M S Swaminathan in November, 2004 submitted five reports – in December 2004. August 2005, December 2005 and April 2006. The final report was submitted in October, 2006. The Agriculture scientist made many suggestions to safeguard the interests of farmers, especially small farmers.  But sincere efforts are not made by the then government to implement them.

The major recommendations he made included, distributing ceiling-surplus and waste lands; preventing diversion of prime agricultural land and forest to corporate sector for non-agricultural purposes; setting up a mechanism to regulate the sale of agricultural land, based on quantum of land, nature of proposed use and category of buyer.

Most of the recommendations are grossly violated by the UPA. The hearts of UPA leaders are bleeding for farmers when sitting in opposition. The diversion of prime agriculture land and forest to corporate sector for non agricultural purposes is done without any remorse by the political class under the name of development. In Andhra Pradesh, capital city is being built on fertile agricultural lands without any regrets.

It has become a habit of political parties to use loan waiver as a tool to win votes, Professor Swaminathan suggested something which would not hurt the economy or the farmers. He in his report suggested that the outreach of the formal credit system to reach the really poor and needy should be expanded. This is important because 67.10 percent of the farmers are marginal farmers who don’t have access to institutional credit. These farmers raise loans from private lenders, fall into debt traps, either sell the land to the lender or commit suicide. But, the no government is addressing this problem.

Two more important suggestions on farm loans include – the interest for crop loans should be reduced to 4 percent with government support. Presently the interest rate is fixed at 7 percent, and government provides interest subvention by 3 percent for farmers who repay promptly, which is impossible for majority of them for various reasons.

Swaminathan suggested a moratorium on debt recovery, including loans from non-institutional sources, and waiver of interest on loans in distress hotspots and during calamities, till capability is restored. These suggestions would certainly help farmers and also the economy, instead of a blanket loan waiver which would only be a burden to the government. But, who is bothered?

The political parties are treating farmers like vote banks. Allowing MNC’s to sell seeds, chemicals and fertilizers and make farmers depend on them at any cost will not improve their plight.

The high yielding variety seeds naturally attract farmers but the excess production again leads to fall in prices and push the farmers into debt trap.  A vicious circle indeed!

Earlier farmers never used to buy seeds as they would keep aside some produce for sowing, after the genetically modified high yielding varieties entered markets, they completely destroyed the indigenous seeds, soil leading to ecological imbalance in agricultural lands. The government which allowed shamelessly the MNCs which sell such seeds is now shedding crocodile tears.

The political parties when in government took a pro corporate stand, speaking about farmers problems when out of power, is nothing less than deception.

It is time that political parties should stop taking advantage of their situation and start doing something concrete to improve their lives.

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Kodandaram: Farmers Turning Into Labourers

TJAC Chairman Prof Kodandaram expressed concern over farmers becoming labourers in Telangana.

Nalgonda: Kodandaram attended as Chief Guest to a meeting organised by district CPI unit in town hall of Nalgonda. Addressing huge crowd, Kodandaram expressed deep concern about the farmers of Telangana state. He said that farmers are becoming labourers in the state. The Government is seeing development with the increase in capital, but true development means, increase in the standards of living and availability of education and health.

Kodandram questioned TRS Government about farmer’s difficulties and asked why they are not becoming rich in the state. He demanded Government to provide all facilities to farmers to get them good income through their farm produce.

He suggested Government to bear hospital and educational expenses of farmers and their family members.

He urged people to question ruling party on poll promises and on implementation of schemes for the development of the Telangana.

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Will The Government Really Solve Problems Faced By The Farmers?

While the politicians are talking about the future, farmers are keener on knowing about the present. Instead of arresting the farmers, the government should take necessary measures to alleviate their problems.

Hyderabad: The suicide attempt of a farmer belonging to Jogulamba Gadwal on Tuesday and the death of a farmer in Nizamabad market yard today morning highlighted the apathy of the government towards the problems faced by farmers. It is an open secret that farmers, who are suffering due to lack of minimum support price, are resorting to suicides in desperation.

Apart from this, the recent hail storm too damaged the harvested crop of the farmers who kept their yield outside due to lack of sufficient storage facilities. They are worried whether they can sell their yield for a decent price.

Mallesh attempted suicide by consuming pesticide before CM’s camp office in Begumpet. Unable to come out of the debt trap, Mallesh came to the city to meet Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao. As he could not meet the CM, Mallesh thought he had no other go except committing suicide. Luckily, somebody saw and took him to a hospital.

According to the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), Telangana has become the second top state in suicides by farmers for the second consecutive year during 2015. It also stated that the reasons for the suicides are attributed to bankruptcy or indebtedness and farming related issues. Nothing seems to have improved since then.

However, these issues are not solved by any of the governments, though they express unlimited love for the ‘anna daata’ (the person who provides us food). The Telangana Chief Minister who grows organic crops in his farmhouse must be aware of the problems a farmer faces.

Reports said that KCR has ordered for a survey of farmers in the State. The survey will collect key information about land holding, tenant farmers, productivity, crop varieties, soil status, financial status of farmers, use of fertilisers, rural credit availability, indebtedness of the farmers and reasons for it, and market accessibility. The survey will be taken up under Under the banner of `Mana Telangana Mana Vyavasayam’ programme.

As the survey was ordered recently, it would only help the ruling party to talk about the problems of farmers during their election campaign and promise them to solve them.

While the politicians are talking about the future, farmers are asking about the present. Instead of arresting the farmers who protest in the agricultural yards and attack them as they could not be patient anymore, the government should take necessary measures to alleviate their problems.

Agriculture needs a proper strategy, not publicity about the schemes that governments want to introduce. Guaranteeing a minimum support price to the farmers could help them lead a decent life.

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Farmers are best engineers, take their advice: Minister Devineni Uma tells officials

Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Minister for Water Resources, Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, on Friday asked the officials to take advises from the farmers terming them as the best engineers.

Speaking at the Engineers Day celebrations marking the birth anniversary of engineer K Sivarama krishnaiah, the Minister said that the farmers with their practical experience on the field are the better engineers than those who work on the papers. He said that the farmers would know where the water could be stored, how the water could flow and how it could be distributed. He wanted the officials of the irrigation department to take the advice from the farmers while planning any project, even if it is a minor project on the stream or a flood bank.

The Minister also sought to advise the engineering students to move out of the classrooms and visit the project sites for practical knowledge. He explained how the State government had taken up the irrigation projects in the State and completed them on record time. He wanted them to visit the Polavaram Project site for greater practical knowledge on new engineering trends. He said that the government was working to complete the Polavaram project by 2018. The Chief Minister was working to link Godavari-Penna rivers that would end drought in the State, he asserted.

The Minister also asked the engineers of irrigation, panchayat raj, municipal and electrical departments to work in coordination and ensure that there would be no drinking water problem in the State this summer. He further added that the Chief Minister had already instructed the departments to work in tandem to provide drinking water to every village during the summer.

Recalling the contribution of late Sivaramakrishnaiah to the State, the Minister wanted the engineers to draw inspiration from the initiatives of the late engineer. He wanted the engineers to provide linkage to all the irrigation tanks in the villages and plan to prevent waste of water.

Irrigation advisor, Cherukuri Veeraiah, senior journalist Turlapati Kutumba Rao, Irrigation Secretary Sashibushan, Sivaramakrishnaiah’s widow Girija and others were present.

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Remain united, Kodandaram asks farmers

HYDERABAD: Former MLC Prof Nageshwar today sought that the Government should come up with a separate Act of providing suitable compensation to the farmers who suffer crop loss. He was participating in a workshop conducted on Farmers Suicides and steps to prevent by AP Ryothu Sangham at Sundharaiah Vignan Kendra here.

Nageshwar further asked the government why it cannot promulgate a suitable Act that will immediately address the farmers’ issues. He expressed concern at the denial of minimum support price to the agricultural produce when put up for sale. However, the farmers are forced to spend more money to get fertilizers and seeds. He also said that this situation should be reversed efficiently through setting up cold storages in all districts. Cold storage facility will help farmers store their produce and sell at a time when it fetches more price he said. He also attributed the pathetic condition of the farmers to the inefficiency of the government and non availability of adequate warehouses to store farm produce.

Telangana JAC convener Prof. M. Kodandaram has called upon various farmers’ associations to set aside differences and remain united for achievement of their long-pending demands. Prof. Kodandaram was addressing farmers, who met in the Sundaraiah Vignana Kendram at Bagh Lingampalli here on Sunday morning.

Stating that distressed farmers were committing suicides as there was no other go, he exhorted the farmers’ families to organize a meeting in the capital city. He also called upon the agriculture associations and intellectuals to work together to solve the crisis in the agriculture sector.

Justice Chandra Kumar present in the meeting where problems of farmers and their suicides were discussed. (NSS)

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