The Andhra Pradesh Crop Cultivator Rights Act 2019, that mandates the written consent of landowners for the tenant farmer to get necessary benefits, particularly crop loans, became a major setback for the tenant farmers to avail various benefits, including Rythu Bharosa.
The Act has introduced the Crop Cultivator Rights Card (CCRC) which will be issued based on the written agreement between the cultivator and the landowner, replacing the Loan Eligibility Card (LEC) that did not mandate the written consent of the landowner as per the AP Land Licensed Cultivators Act, 2011.
In Krishna District, barely 22,722 tenant farmers had obtained the written consent from their landowner and obtained the CCRCs by November, while thousands of others failed to do so.
In 2018, as many as 59,296 tenant farmers were given the LECs without any written consent of the landowner, with an entitlement to get all the benefits, including the crop loan.
The CCRC is valid for 11 months (from June 31, 2019, to 1 May 2020), during which the tenant farmer holding it is entitled to get Rythu Bharosa (financial assistance), crop loan and crop insurance benefits and others.
Krishna District Tenant Farmers Association Secretary Maganti Haribabu laments, “The Act deprives all the benefits to the tenant farmers as the landowners do not agree to give written consent.”
“In tenancy, the majority of the landowners have given the consent to their relatives and obtained the CCRC to claim all the benefits, particularly Rythu Bharosa, leaving the actual tenant in a hapless state. Our field reports suggest that the number of tenant farmers exceeds three lakh in Krishna. The 2019 Act has inconvenienced the tenant farmer a lot,” added Mr. Haribabu.
In the absence of the CCRC, the tenant farmers would also have to sell the crop in the name of the landowner. Many activists said that the CCRC system has dampened the hopes of the tenant farmers in getting access to the institutional credit, apart from leaving them at the mercy of the landowners in cultivating lands.