It all started with the then CM NTR who endeared himself with the 2 rupee rice scheme.
CBN as part of his sold out soul to WB and IMF agreed that subsidies are out of fashion and increased the price.
YSR who had a much better pulse of the people reinstated the scheme though originally initiated by an opposition party.
Today, Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy initiated the Release 2.0 of Version 3.0 of the rice scheme. He is touting around with large hoardings, and one of our Telangana ministers who is heading the civil supplies also appears along the ‘Mundundi Manchikalam; proponent Nallari varu.
Apparently it all looks like offering food security to the poor – an idea which is laudable. But who are the beneficiaries and who are the losers?
Here is a tentative set of hypotheses.
1. V.1 NTR, V.2 YSR and V3.0 and V3.1 NKK Reddy all of them propose rice as a staple diet
2. They believe that rice is a natural staple diet of every region in AP, which is patently untrue. Telengana and Rayalaseema people, in addition to rice mostly used to eat other minor millets
a. Are Rayalaseema and Telengana people dumb, and the farmers from both regions?
b. Culture and cuisine develop around the agro-climatic conditions that nature provides
c. Both the regions have lesser water resources therefore most of the farmers grow in metta or chelka and whatever name those lands that are primarily depend on rain fed agriculture primarily are called and produce rain dependent millets.
3. By providing cheap rice the eating habits of both the regions have been changed
4. By changing eating habits the market changed – there is shrinking market for minor rain fall dependent crops like Ragi, Bajra (sajjalu), Korra, Sama et al.
5. Where is it convenient to produce rice? What are the resources needed for rice cultivation?
Andhra region – Water, Fertilizer and Pesticides (resource intensive, ecologically unsustainable)
Telengana region – Water from underground aquifers also means POWER to pull the water up.
6. With the market shrinking with the changing food habits, Telengana farmers started cultivating based on bores which is unviable financially and is not sustainable ecologically the consequences of bore-based agriculture is evident which they are facing today and resorting to committing suicides.
7. The Seemandhra dominated and Seemandhra oriented and Seemandhra schooled government which is ignorant of the Telengana region and its agricultural practices, completely turned a nelson’s eye to the irrigation culture (of cascading water tanks, mota baavis etc.). Funnily today one minister from the Rayalaseema from Kurnool is the minor irrigation minister – haven’t seen what new acreage they have added with minor irrigation works so far.
8. By ignoring the local cultural practices, local food habits, local agri-ecology the Seemandhra arrogant, ignorant, hubris filled ‘intelligent’ people paved the way for agricultural crisis in Telengana which is and will be their nemesis.
9. And with their pushing rice as a primary staple who benefits? Do the Andhra farmers benefit?
a. Unfortunately it is the millers who benefit.
i. It is said the millers (a minority of about 2-3 thousand) offer anywhere around 100 million dollars worth of cash for elections to the ruling party or any party which might take care of their requirements!
b. Check the dynamics of rice production and the drama every Seemandhra government enacts almost every year.
i. Every year as a state we produce about 1 crore tons of rice (if my statistics are correct)
ii. Every year the government is ‘ill prepared’ to procure the rice
iii. Every year till the farmers cry hoarse they do not announce an MSP (minimum support price at which rice is procured)
iv. Every year they do not gear up to acquire not more than 10 to 15 percent of the total production
v. And leave the farmers to the mercy of the millers!
vi. For example if the government MSP is Rs. 1100 the millers offer INR 750!
vii. The desperate farmer after patiently waiting for the government to procure sells in a distress sale @ 750 to 800
viii. Often not only does he not make profit, he loses money! But being desperate for cash he resorts to distress selling.
ix. The ‘reform’ oriented government would reform every other sector – will allow FDI in retail, will bail out private airline companies by changing the FDI allowed percentage, will change the rules for FDI in insurance BUT
x. NEVER demands that the archaic rules around agricultural produce marketing which might benefit the farmer
xi. State Govt prohibits transport rice more than 50 Kgs from your own farm – beyond that you have to take permission of the government
xii. The navtanki of NJP (of Lok Satta party) of selling rice to a person in Karnataka on the border of Andhra – he never persisted with his protest – so much for IDEALISM driven NEW POLITICS!
xiii. Have you ever seen a Jagadapati or a Roy Patti, Kowhorei ever raise these issues and fight for them? I am sure I’ll hear a resounding NOO!
c. Do you see a dirty, murky and dark side of Seemandhra political class which is nothing but self-centered, myopic and inimical to its own people (Andhra, Rayalaseema and of course Telengana) on whose mandate it rules?
10. All those educated ‘idiots’ from SA who keep trolling this site – kindly use your BHEJA to figure the real and sinister nature of this ruling class
11. So what needs to be done?
a. The only people who are challenging this sinister, satanic and dangerous to democracy class’s hegemony, are Telengana people and the T movement.
b. We should demand that all grains (Ragi, Bajra, Sama, Korra and other minor grains like Origa et al.) be procured at the same price as the MSP for rice – a grain is a grain, if you ask me the millets are more healthy than the white polished, devoid of nutrition, doravari biyyam!
c. We also should demand that all grains must be made available to the poor and needy at INR 1 as being touted by this insensitive and incompetent government. So that people can choose to eat what their local cuisine teaches them.
d. Are you listening pseudo-intellectuals from Andhra?
i. Listen to what Yerneni Nagendranath has been crying hoarse – he is your own Andhra brother
ii. And do not fall for the vile and stupid Jagadapati types who have no clue to the issues
e. Join the voice of the T people and demand sensitive governance – a governance which reflects the aspirations of all the majority and minority!
f. If you are honest, demand justice both for Telengana and Andhra people, especially the hapless farmers who feed us. The bloody development and civilization will end if there is no FOOD! And there will be no one to produce it!