Kavitha Hints at New Agri Policy to Support Embattled Farmers

In order to resuscitate agriculture from its moribund state, the state government will soon roll out an all-encompassing agriculture policy to promote agriculture and allied sectors, Lok Sabha member from Nizamabad K.Kavitha has said.

In the wake of increasing number of suicides by farmers, Telangana Jagruthi, which Kavitha heads, organised a symposium on ‘Farmers’ welfare _ Telangana State’ here on Sunday. The symposium saw experts from academia, civil society and politics express their anguish over the spate of suicides by farmers.

Kavitha hinted that the new agriculture policy would provide adequate encouragement for rural women folk to take up livestock and dairy production in a big way.

Claiming that the TRS government was committed to its loan-waiver promise, she said it had cleared farmers’ loans to the tune of Rs 8,000 crore and would strive to clear the remaining Rs 10,000 crore also.

“The government is committed to crop loan waiver. We have already cleared Rs 8,000- crore loans of small and marginal farmers. Another Rs 10,000 crore will be cleared once the Centre gives its share.”

On fixing the minimum support price (MSP), she alleged that the Centre was discriminating against south Indian farm produce vis-a-vis the food grains produced in the north. “For instance, the MSP for rice available in north India is Rs 200 more than that of the south Indian variety. Similar is the case with other agricultural commodities,” she alleged.

Appealing to farmers not to resort to suicide, Kavitha said she would strive for an increase in the ex gratia paid to the kin of farmers who committed suicide from Rs 1.50 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.

Telangana Joint Action Committee chairman MKodandaram suggested that the state government consult the Reserve Bank of India for transferring all debts of farmers into government’s account. Kavitha responded positively to the suggestion.

“As an immediate measure, the government should do this. Even though it is giving an assurance that it would repay loans on farmers’ behalf, bankers are not convinced. As a result, farmers are not getting loans,” Kodandaram explained.

Kavitha to Tour Cambodia, Laos

Nizamabad MP K Kavitha will tour Cambodia and Laos, as part of a delegation led by Vice-President Hamid Ansari, from September 15 to 18. Ansari’s wife Salma Ansari, minister of State for Water Resources Sanwar Lal Jat and MPs Husain Dalwai, Sukhendu Shekhar Roy, Ajay Sancheti would be part of the delegation. The delegation would interact with Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia and would visit the National Assembly for the Senate, the Mahatma Gandhi Statue, the Angkor Wat and the Ta-Prohm Temple. From Cambodia, the delegation would visit Laos to interact with President Choummaly Sayasone among others. The delegation would return to India on Sept 18.

➤ TS tops in farmers’ indebtedness with 89.1 pc.
➤ National-level farmers’ indebtedness stands at 51.9 pc.
➤ However, agriculture growth rate in TS is better than national average.
➤ About 83 pc of farmers in TS are debt-ridden.
➤ Average income of farmer in TS is below Rs 5,000 a month.
➤ Suicides more prevalent among OBCs and farmers aged below 35 years.

Suggested Correctives

➤ Recognise women farmers as farmers.
➤ Set up Farmers’ Welfare Commission as done in Punjab.
➤ Promote cultivation of millets and pulses.
➤ Ensure that extension officers visit villages.
➤ Timely disbursal of loans.
➤ Transfer implementation of GO 421, relating to ex gratia, from revenue to agri dept.

Source: The New Indian Express

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