Farmers lack support from the government: survey
Sufficient allocations are not made for dryland farmers despite the cost of cultivation going up in areas like Anantapur, says a survey taken up by the Rythu Sangham along with other people’s organisations in 22 mandals.
Close to 43% lower sowing was reported in dryland farming in the district as all the budgetary allocations and strategies are meant for farmers in irrigated areas, the survey said.
S.M. Basha, convenor of the survey and president of Sodhana(one of the organisations involved in the survey), held a board meeting with farmers on Tuesday where he said most of the small and marginal farmers had kept themselves away from agriculture activity during the kharif season as they did not have the confidence to recover the input of cultivating groundnut or an alternative crop.
Many of the farmers were either selling small pieces of lands or going for ordinary labour work either in fields or construction activity to pay off debts, the team members said.
Another social activist, Bose, was of the opinion that the NGOs and the political parties should ensure that enough budgetary allocations are made for agriculture and that the scientists reach out to the farming community realistically.
Giving a few examples, the members said Obaiyya(60), a farmer, had sown groundnut last year in 6.5 acres and spent ₹52,000 on cultivation but got ₹4,800 only, which dissuaded him from sowing the crop this year.
Same was the fate of Siva Rudrappa, a farmer in Palasa village in Amarapuram mandal, who grows areca nut in 10 acres and groundnut in another 10. He lost ₹50,000 last year, which made him keep his land fallow during the current season despite good rain. “Losses during the past 10 years has not given me enough strength to sow groundnut this year,” he told the survey team members.
Former MLC and practising doctor M. Geyanand said the expertise of the scientists in the Rekulakunta Agriculture Research Station was not reaching the farmers despite the Agriculture and Horticulture Departments having a large team at the grassroots level.