The representatives of paddy growers from the Godavari delta region, who met here on Sunday under the aegis of the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh and the Andhra Pradesh Rytanga Samakhya, expressed their preparedness for crop holiday. The BKS has been spearheading a campaign in favour of crop holiday by holding farmer conventions in the Konaseema region of East Godavari district and the delta areas in West Godavari district, according to its State organising secretary J. Kumara Swamy.
He wanted the paddy growers to go in for crop holiday as a move to exert pressure on the Central government for a better deal. The farmers, who incurred losses up to Rs 3,000 per acre because of the government's alleged inept handling of agricultural sector, were left with no option but the crop holiday, he added. Yerneni Nagendranadh of the Rytanga Samakhya asked the farmers to hold gram sabhas and discuss threadbare the issue of crop holiday before taking a decision. He said the half-hearted measures of the UPA government like the announcement of a hike in the MSP for paddy by Rs 80 were forcing the farmers to opt for the crop holiday. It was quite unfair for the government to offer a slight hike in the MSP when the wage component and the input cost in agriculture increased manifold in the last two years.
He strongly criticised the administration for allegedly forcing the farmers to pay the water cess during the khariff in spite of crop loss caused by cyclones during that period.
Farmers from Akiveedu, Sidhapuram, Nidamarru, Palakoderu, Undi and Bhimavaram mandals attended the meeting. Several farmers, who spoke at the meeting, expressed their helplessness to do cultivation in the present situation. Bhupatiraju Ramachandra Raju, a tenant farmer from Sidhapuram in Akiveedu mandal said the produce he reaped in the 25 acres was still lying in the fields waiting for takers.