Andhra Pradesh

Farm crisis in TS due to incomplete projects: KCR

Urging farmers not to take their lives out of frustration, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday announced a string of long-term measures to ameliorate the plight of farmers in the State.

In a lengthy two-hour response, Mr. Rao touched upon what he thought had ailed the farm sector over decades, even while spelling out what had already been done and what the government would do in the next three years to find a permanent solution.

He listed non-completion of irrigation projects, deforestation, expansion of rain shadow areas in the State, drying of wells and borewells, power-cut and others as the core issues of the sector. Complete neglect of Agricultural University had led to a void in research on new varieties of hybrids, and agricultural extension had become non-existent due to 5,000 vacancies in the department.

Noting that no attention had been paid to productivity enhancement over the years, he said the State had produced only 30 to 40 tonnes of sugarcane per acre while the neighbouring Maharashtra had produced 100-140 tonnes.

Irrigation systems developed during Kakatiya dynasty and Asaf Jahis had collapsed totally, as could be seen from defunct status of many projects. Though the State boasted the highest number of seed companies with high-capacity processing units, farmers’ suicides had continued unabated, Mr. Rao said.

The present government had taken some steps including additional power procurement, ensuring quality power, Mission Kakatiya, waiver of loans and taxes on tractors, construction of warehouses, increased cotton procurement, MSP for maize and red sorghum, and efficient distribution of seeds. Cotton procurement had been the best in the whole country this year, he said.

On opposition’s allegation of interest not being waived, he clarified that whether loan or interest, the repayment would be ensured up to Rs. 1 lakh. Over Rs.8,300 crore had been released towards loan waiver scheme, and already the government had received documents of waiver related to 24 lakh farmers.

On opposition’s demand that the families of earlier suicide victims too be paid compensation, Mr. Rao said 239 farmers’ families identified by previous committees had already been paid the amount.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 10:41:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/farm-crisis-in-ts-due-to-incomplete-projects-kcr/article7710198.ece

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