Tenant farmers agree to honour lease conditions

Farmers who have taken on lease agriculture lands of Hindu temples, mutts and other Hindu Charitable institutions in Thanjavur district have said that in future they will honour the lease agreements that entered into with the institutions.

The assurance came at a tripartite meeting of officials from the Revenue Department, the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department and tenant farmers held at the Office of the Revenue Divisional Officer, Kumbakonam, on Tuesday where the issue of non-issuance of cultivation certificates (CCs) to tenant farmers was discussed.

On November 20, village administrative officers of hamlets in which the landholdings of Swaminathaswami Temple, Swamimalai, are located stopped issuing CCs to the tenant farmers citing a letter from the Temple Executive Officer.

In that letter, the EO requested the VAOs not to issue CCs to the tenant farmers since they had not fulfilled the lease agreement for a long time. Subsequently, farmers claimed, the VAOs started declining the applications for CCs from tenant farmers of other temples and mutts coming under the HR and CE Department.

While bringing the issue to the notice of Collector M. Govinda Rao, they pointed out that CCs had been issued to several lessee farmers of the same temple till November 19 and such farmers insured their crop under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (crop insurance) well before the Cyclone Niravi made the landfall on the Tamil Nadu coast. As a fallout, the Collector directed the Kumbakonam RDO to convene a meeting and sort out the issue.

At the tripartite meeting, it came to light that middle-level officers in the HR and CE Department arbitrarily issued the letter, official sources said.

However, the farmers claimed that they were not able to honour their commitment in view of non-disbursement of the contract amount to them from sugar mills and “improper allocation” of crop insurance compensation through financial institutions in the past. A detailed memorandum to substantiate this point was presented to the Kumbakonam RDO by Sundara Vimalanathan, secretary, Thanjavur District Cauvery Farmers Protection Association, at the meeting.

In the memorandum, the Association said the lessor could get the paddy measured at the fields itself during the harvest so as get the lease agreement clause fulfilled without fail. As the other farmers had also agreed to fulfil the lease agreement clause in this fashion, the RDO directed the VAOs to issue the CCs to the tenant farmers to help them insure the crop under the PMFBY scheme.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 2:16:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/tenant-farmers-agree-to-honour-lease-conditions/article33231155.ece

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