Several farmers staged protests and said that the state government’s proposed ‘crop regulating system’ is unfair.

CM KCR in a review meeting with officials recentlyFile image: TelanganaCMO/Facebook
news Agriculture Friday, October 23, 2020 - 18:27

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday announced that corn would be purchased at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) through purchasing centres created to procure paddy in the villages. KCR said that corn would be purchased at the rate of Rs 1850 per quintal. The move came after several farmers who had cultivated maize staged protests, stating that the state government’s proposed ‘crop regulating system’ is unfair. 

Demanding MSP for maize and paddy, over 4,000 farmers laid siege to National Highway 44 in Kamareddy for hours on Friday. The farmers also demanded that the government should provide at least Rs 10,000 per acre to farmers who lost their crops in heavy rains that the state witnessed recently. 

Farmers, owing to different reasons, have cultivated maize in over 2 lakh acres, despite the government's proposed 'crop regulating system' which was pitched by KCR before monsoon. The Chief Minister urged farmers to cultivate cotton across 70 lakh acres in the state, paddy across 40 lakh acres and red grams across 15 lakh acres, instead of maize.

However, farmers who had cultivated maize were concerned about getting the MSP. In districts such as Kamareddy, Nizamabad,Nirmal and Jagtial, maize and paddy were already either harvested or almost ready to harvest. According to farmers, traders in the market were purchasing the maize at Rs 900 to Rs 1200 per quintal, while the government was procuring paddy at Rs 1,868 per quintal. Farmers demanded that maize should be procured at the MSP of Rs 1,850 by the government, which the latter has now accepted.

Speaking to TNM, Rythu Ikya Vedika activist Anvesh Reddy said, "Maize farmers are left in ambiguity. Cultivation of a crop will not happen based on what decision the government takes but on the quality and the nature of the soil, besides other factors."

Anvesh Redy further demanded that paddy of ‘A’ quality should be given an MSP of Rs 2,500 by adding Rs 600 to the existing MSP, to make things more fair. 

He said, "The sannam (thin) paddy requires more water, more investment, and so, the government should give a justifiable price to it."

Rathnankar Rao, a young farmer from Kamareddy said, "Asking the farmers not to cultivate maize in a piece of land where only maize can be cultivated, is unfair. We can not sow something and lose it completely.The government should provide MSP to all maize farmers who are already hit by the havoc due to the recent rain."

Another farmer, Erravati Gangareddy, who cultivated three acres of maize and three acres of paddy said, "In certain pieces of land, especially in this region, maize is the only choice we have. We can not cultivate any crop other than this. Given that many people have not cultivated maize in the state, production is less, so the government should provide MSP to these farmers who have no choice."

Meanwhile, a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said, “The CM was upset that though the government had asked the farmers not to cultivate maize in the rainy season, as the corn would not be able to get the MSP, yet some farmers cultivated maize. He said that some farmers cultivated the maize against the government’s advice and as such the government had no responsibility to buy the corn. But yet, with the sole intention that farmers should not be put to loss, the government has decided to bear the loss and purchase the corn from farmers at the MSP.”

KCR said that the decision was taken in favour of the farmers despite the loss to the government. He said that his government, which has taken so many measures in the interest of the farmers, wouldn't keep quiet when maize farmers are about to incur losses. The state government also urged farmers not to go in for maize cultivation in the rainy season and suggested that maize could be cultivated as a multiple crop along with turmeric in Nizamabad, Nirmal, Jagtial and Mahabubabad and other districts. 

Read : Monoculture not viable for farmers, environment: Experts on KCR’s new farming policy

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