They will be able to secure a premium price for their produce, says Chief Minister

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy on Wednesday said foreign direct investment (FDI) in the retail sector would help farmers secure a premium price notwithstanding the controversy surrounding the Central policy matter.

Addressing a meeting after inaugurating a godown at the Agriculture Market Yard here, Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy said an investment of Rs. 500 crore was expected into the infrastructure and storage facility by the private sector. He said in the government sector a storage space of 10 lakh tonnes was being created this year and 15 lakh tonnes next year.

Storage mismatch

He said while the total paddy production in the State was 210 lakh tonnes, only 44 lakh metric tonnes of storage facility were available.

The mismatch was causing a choking effect and created conditions for distress sale by farmers. Out of the 40 lakh tonnes rice exported at the national level, the AP’s contribution last season was 25 lakh tonnes.

As a result, the price of rice was looking up in the open market in the State.

Mr. Reddy launched the revised ‘Raithu Bandhu’ scheme wherein farmers would get credit for the stock at three per cent rate of interest.

If the farmers repaid the loan within 180 days, all the incentives would apply.

He called upon market yards and Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies to emulate the spirit of Mulapanur Cooperative Society in Karimnagar district which clocked a turnover of Rs. 150 crore by helping farmers hold stocks till the markets looked up. He said the government was giving a subsidy of 50 per cent for farm mechanisation activities. He expressed displeasure over the RBI norms for loan schedules in case of natural calamities saying it caused burden to farmers rather than mitigating the pain.

Ministers T.G. Venkatesh, Kondru Murali, and E. Pratap Reddy, Marketing Commissioner Venkatrami Reddy, Market Yard chairman D. Venkateswara Reddy and others were present.

Keywords: FDIretail sectorfarmers