Andhra Pradesh

Worried chickpea growers seek govt. intervention

Tough times: A farmer drying harvested bengal gram seeds at Inkollu village of Prakasam district.

Tough times: A farmer drying harvested bengal gram seeds at Inkollu village of Prakasam district.  

Many names are missing from the list of farmers eligible for compensation

G. Lakshmiprasada Rao, who has grown bengal gram in 10 acres of land at S.N. Padu village, was overjoyed when the YSRCP Government announced a bonus price of ₹1,500 per quintal to help farmers like him liquidate their stocks stored at cold storage units.

However, Mr. Lakshmiprasada Rao is now a worried man as he is unsure of receiving the compensation as his name does not figure on the list of eligible farmers as he had not registered himself under the Aadhaar-enabled web land-based biometric system.

Another farmer, D. Lakshminarayana, who had grown bengal gram on eight acres of land at Maddipadu village, is also worried as there was no ledger entry in the the cold storage unit where he had stored his harvested crop. Only those farmers whose names figured in the ledger maintained by cold storage units are eligible for bonus price. Around 74,000 farmers had grown chickpea in 1.07 lakh hectares, but only around 24,000 farmers stored their harvested crop in cold storage units due to unfavourable market condition. Only 7,300 ryots have been found to be eligible for payment of bonus price, sources in the Agriculture Department said.

Farmers who had insured their crop under the Fasal Bima Yojana came in for a rude shock as they were not paid the compensation of ₹18,500 per acre despite the premium being deducted from their bank account.

“The reason behind this is that the previous Chandrababu Naidu Government has not paid its share of premium,” said Prakasam District Rythu Sangam Secretary D. Gopinath.

Double whammy

It was a double whammy for farmers this year as productivity had declined by over 50% in the district in view of a prolonged dry spell. In one-third of the cropped area, farmers did not harvest the crop as they would not be able to realise even the cost of labour if they went ahead with harvest. “We will lead a delegation to Amaravati on September 4 and urge Agriculture Minister K. Kannababu to release the announced bonus price for all farmers. The present government should pay the pending premium so that the farmers get compensation due to them,” said Rythu Sangam president M. Srinivasa Rao. He also wanted the Government to release the ceiling of 30 quintal for each farmer for payment of bonus price.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 9:26:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/worried-chickpea-growers-seek-govt-intervention/article29317077.ece

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