A delegation of farmers' representatives visited the agriculture market yard here on Monday to study price situation and interacted with the farmers who brought their produce to the market. The leaders included Kolli Nageswara Rao, P. Padma, Ramakrishna, Jagannatham, Ramesh Kumar and others.
Talking to reporters, Mr. Kolli Nageswara Rao said farmers were in deep distress on account of unremunerative prices for almost all commodities.
He said chilli which fetched Rs. 10,000 per quintal last year fell to Rs. 1,500. Farmers told the leaders that there were no buyers for chilli.
He criticised the faulty policies of the successive governments that brought the situation to the brink of suicides.
He said remunerative prices declared by the government itself were low, not to forget the prices quoted by traders.
He pointed out that the Swaminathan Commission advised the government to fix the prices after adding 50 per cent of the cultivation costs as profit. At least the government should add 16 per cent as profit over the cost as was being done in the case of industrialists.
Mr. Nageswara Rao said farmers lost crops in 82 lakh acres on account of drought last season. The government estimated a requirement of Rs. 1,800 crore as compensation but nothing was done so far. Apart from this, the government announced an interest free loan of Rs. 1 lakh and waiver of interest on kharif loans. He said the delegation was touring the districts between May 2 and 10 and the visits would culminate into a dharna at Hyderabad on May 10.
Mr. Jagannatham said onion was quoted at Rs. 300 per quintal, castor Rs. 2,800 and ajwain (carom seed) Rs. 3,000. He said the yield of ajwain was only 80 kg per acre this year.