Mixed reaction to ryots’ scheme

S. Ranganathan, general secretary of the Cauvery Delta Farmers’ Welfare Association.

S. Ranganathan, general secretary of the Cauvery Delta Farmers’ Welfare Association.  

Representatives of organisations in delta region highlight demands

Proposals with respect to agriculture sector in the interim Union Budget have evoked mixed reactions from farmers representatives.

“It is a welcome measure”, said S. Ranganathan, general secretary, Tamil Nadu Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association, referring to the income support scheme announced by the Centre for farmers with landholdings of up to two hectares.

“The ₹6,000 a year that is to be credited in the bank accounts of farmers will be ‘pocket money’ but it can help them to some extent when they need it. It is a beginning, let the farmers be more cooperative and understand the scheme,” he added.

Further, there seemed to be a proposal to extend insurance support for summer crop. Such a move was not at all welcome as it could encourage summer cropping on a larger extent resulting in deterioration of groundwater potential, which would also lead to drinking water problems, he felt.

Mr. Ranganathan urged the governments to adopt a more cautious approach in encouraging summer crop cultivation as paddy, a water-intensive crop, would have direct impact on the groundwater situation. Instead of promoting summer crop, they should try to find ways and means to improve productivity. Due to global warming, the seasons had turned erratic.

Terming the announcement as nothing but a conciliatory measure, Arupathi S. Kalyanam of the Federation of Cauvery Delta Farmers Associations said the need of the hour was concrete financial support to farmers who were not able to make ends meet.

Taking into consideration the problems faced by the farming community, the government must have avoided the cap on landholding to make a farmer eligible for assistance through Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi although the farming community was expecting implementation of M.S. Swaminathan Committee’s recommendation with regard to the pricing of farm produce, he said.

Thamizhaga Cauvery Vivasayigal Sangam general secretary P.R. Pandian and Thanjavur district vice-president of Agricultural Labour Union V. Jeevakumar viewed the budgetary announcement as nothing but a votebank gimmick. While the main demand of the farmers was waiver of loan taken during drought periods in previous seasons, the move could not bring any succour to the ryots.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 7:42:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/mixed-reaction-to-ryots-scheme/article26159369.ece

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