Farmers’ associations have demanded the State government to prepare an action plan for the ensuing Kharif season and implement the same in letter and spirit.
The AP Rythu Sangham (APRS) organised a roundtable conference on Wednesday where Akhila Bharata Kisan Sangh national president Ravula Venkaiah demanded compensation for farmers who suffered losses due to untimely rains.
“Horticulture and commercial crop farmers are reeling under huge debts. The political parties which make tall claims and promises ahead of elections are nowhere to be seen when farmers are in distress. The government is requested to pay compensation of ₹50,000 per acre to farmers cultivating food grains, ₹75,000 per acre to those cultivating commercial crops and ₹1 lakh per acre to horticulture farmers. The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) will extend its support to the agitation launched by the farmers if the government fails to address the issue and take necessary steps to bail out the farmers from distress,” Mr. Venkaiah said.
CPI State assistant secretary Muppala Nageswara Rao stressed the need for a comprehensive alternative plan. Farmers’ leaders have to go to villages and discuss with the farmers apolitically. A report on profitable agriculture can be prepared, he said.
Social analyst T Lakshmi Narayana said that Andhra Pradesh has the dubious distinction of being third in the country when it comes to farmers’ suicides. “Similarly, it stands in the second position if tenant farmers’ suicides were to be considered. It is sad to note that farmers are announcing crop holidays even though water is available. The farmers of Badwel in Kadapa district did not take up farming activities though water was available. The government should study the reasons for their reluctance to take up agricultural activities and their tilt towards crop holidays,” he said.
Mr. Lakshminarayana added that the government had enough funds to allot one cent land to 50,000 people but not for purchasing tarpaulins, gunny bags, etc. for the farmers. The farmers hardly benefited from the special budget for agriculture, he said.
A.P. Rythu Sangham leader Y. Kesava Rao, and APRS State general secretary K.V.V. Prasad spoke.