Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao said all the farmers in the state would receive financial assistance under the Rythu Bandhu Scheme from Monday.
The CM held a review on the Rythu Bandhu financial assistance on Sunday at Pragathi Bhavan. The CM announced that Rs 7515 Crore financial assistance is to be given 61.49 Lakh farmers at the rate of Rs 5000 per acre for the 2020 summer season. The CM has instructed the officials concerned to ensure that assistance is transferred to the bank account of the farmer directly.
An extensive discussion took place at the review meeting on purchase of various crops, regulated farming policy, sale and purchase of agriculture produce in the markets, responsibilities of the Rythu Bandhu Samithies, utilization of Rythu Vedikas, keeping required seed and fertilizers available, transfer of technology to the farmers, and other related issues.
Ministers KT Rama Rao, S Niranjan Reddy, Rythu Bandhu State President Palla Rajeshwar Reddy, State Planning Commission Vice Chairman Vinod Kumar, Government's Chief Advisor Rajiv Sharma, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Principal Secretary (Agriculture) Janardhan Reddy, Agriculture University Vice Chancellor Praveen Rao, Director (Marketing) Laxmi Bai, ADA Vijay Kumar, MLA Peddi Sudarshan Reddy and others participated.
The officials said that ever since Telangana State was formed, the government had incurred heavy losses due to the purchase of various crops. They said till date the government had incurred losses to the tune of Rs 7,500 Crore due to the purchase of Paddy, Sorghum, Maize, Redgram, Bengal Gram and sunflower.
Though the government had purchased agricultural produce by paying the Minimum Support Price (MSP), it had to sell them at the lower prices in the market due to lack of demand. They said the same situation is cropping up every year. They said by purchasing Paddy alone, the government suffered a loss of Rs 3935 Crore.
The government also suffered a loss of Rs 1547.59 Crore on corn, Rs 52.78 Crore on Sorghum, Rs 413.48 Crore on Redgram, Rs 52.47 Crore on Red Sorghum, Rs 9.23 Crore on Black Gram, Rs 108.07 Crore on Bengal Gram, Rs 14.25 Crore on Sun Flower. Besides, the government spent Rs 7,500 Crore on Hamalis and other administrative expenses.
"Due to the Corona pandemic, the government had set up purchasing centers in the village itself and purchased the agriculture produce on a humanitarian consideration that farmers should not suffer losses. It is not possible to do the same thing every time. The government is not a business organization or trader. It is not a rice miller or a Dal miller. Sale and purchase are not the responsibility of the government. It is not possible to set up a purchasing center in the village from next year onwards. The new Farm Laws being implemented in the country allowed farmers to sell their crop anywhere," the participants at the review meeting unanimously stated.
The participants said the state government need not set a purchasing center in the villages and as there is no need. But sale and purchase at the Agriculture markets should be done properly. "Farmers should not bring their produce to the markets in one go. Instead, they should get them in a phased manner and in turns. Rythu Bandhu Samithies, Marketing Committees, Agriculture extension officers should work in coordination and fix days for receiving particular crops in the markets," they said
The meeting was told that the agriculture officers are monitoring financial assistance through Rythu Bandhu twice a year.
"They have to implement Rythu Bhima strictly. When the Rythu Bhima scheme started Rs 630 Crore was paid as the installment. But many farmers have registered their land among their family members so that they are all covered by the Rythu Bhima policy. Hence the number swelled. The premium doubled and the year's installment is Rs 1,144 Crore. But yet the state government has decided to continue the scheme. Agriculture officers are monitoring the Rythu Bhima policy implementation. 24x7 free power supply should also be continued", they said.
Participants said the officers have to ensure that the farmers are getting quality seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides. They have to identify the spurious seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides and control them. "They have to develop a new variety of seeds. They have to give modern and Technology to the farmers. Since there is a steep increase in the availability of irrigation eater, cultivation also increased. The agriculture department had to do many works and they have to monitor them with dedication and commitment," they said.
Officials said farmers should cultivate crops based on the market conditions. "They have to formulate strategies from time to time on how to get the MSP. Henceforth, it is better if the State government stops advising the farmers what crops they should cultivate and where. The government should forthwith stop issuing guidelines on the crops to be cultivated. There is no need for the Regulatory Farming policy. Farmers should decide by themselves what crops they should cultivate. They should sell their produce wherever it gets a more price," they said.