Ryots irked as compensation for loss due to pest attack not covered under any norm
SANGAREDDY: Gouda Yellaiah is a 50-year-old farmer from Devunikuchinapalli in Medak mandal. Having about four acres of land he invested about Rs. 40,000 for sowing paddy.
When the crop was ready for harvesting it was found that the crop was infested by pests and the entire crop was damaged.
Yellaiah went into depression and wanted to commit suicide. “I took money from others on interest to invest in the field and now I am unable to repay even a single penny to them. What to do now except committing suicide,” laments Yellaiah.
Same is the case with Yerukala Galaiah and Venkamma, a farmer couple from the same village who invested Rs. 70,000 on the field. “Within ten days every thing was over. How to face the lenders is the question hunting us,” weeps Galaiah and Venkamma.
These three are representing the case of more than hundred farmers whose crop was infested with pests and diseases. The picture was no different in two other villages- Serikuchanapalli and Muttarikota.
Last week the same farmers met Medak RDO Nageswara Rao representing their case. He sent a mandal development officer to look into the matter.
Now the case came to the attention of District Collector. The farmers here on Monday met Collector Peeyush Kumar and made a representation. He has directed agriculture and revenue officials to assess the facts and submit the report.
However, it is a known fact that these farmers cannot claim compensation for the crop loss as attack by pests is not covered under any norm unless the government decides otherwise.
“Crop in about 25,000 acres was lost during last year with the same reason and no compensation was paid to any farmer as norms did not permit,” said an official of agriculture department.
Farmers are in dilemma as to the next course of action. “We can do nothing but commit suicide as facing those who gave loans to us will be much more humiliating,” the farmers say.
“Officials were asked to present details such as the number of farmers whose crop was damaged, extent of crop loss and number of small and marginal farmers.
Once the report is submitted we will refer the matter to higher officials at our head office in Hyderabad,” said district revenue officer BSVVS Moorthy.
The revenue official said that they would pursue the matter to logical conclusion by extending help to farmers.