Pre-poll meeting: Farmers seek revision in norms determining agricultural loan, drought and flood relief

Updated - April 23, 2024 06:17 pm IST

Published - April 23, 2024 06:16 pm IST - MYSURU

Farmers from Mysuru and Chamarajanagar at the meeting on Tuesday.

Farmers from Mysuru and Chamarajanagar at the meeting on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

The State Sugarcane Farmers’ Association and the Federation of State Farmers’ Association have called for revision in norms that determine crop loans and scientific assessment of flood and drought relief through NDRF and SDRF.

At a meeting of farmers from Mysuru and Chamarajanagar belt, it was also decided that the members will not campaign for any political party and dubbed both the Centre and the State governments as being antithetical to the welfare of the farmers.

Kurubur Shanthakumar, president of the federation, said the political parties were engaged in a show of one-upmanship in the run-up to the elections and the crisis plaguing the agricultural sector due to unprecedented drought has been totally ignored. The farmers called for revision of the NDRF and SDRF norms for release of drought and flood relief funds and sought scientific basis for determining the quantum so as to benefit the farmers.

The federation sought changes in the crop insurance scheme and said that the notified area for determining the crop loss should be the unit of land held by the farmer and not a hobli or a gram panchayat. Besides, the coverage should include any crop cultivated by the farmers and the insurance relief should be released within 30 days of submission of the claims, said the federation.

Calling for reforms in extension of agricultural loans, the farmers said 75% of the land value should be computed to determine the loan amount. The farmers took exception to the practice of financial institutions considering the CIBIL score for sanctioning agricultural loans and wanted the current practice to be abrogated.

The meeting noted that both the Centre and the State has remained ambivalent on issues raised by farmers such as loan waiver, law making it mandatory to ensure MSP for agricultural produce, pension for farmers etc.

Though these demands have been raised many times in the past neither the Centre nor the State has given any assurance on their implementation, said Mr. Shanthakumar.

He said the meeting has resolved to extract a promise from the candidates that on being elected the MPLAD funds will be utilised for development of lakes and other water bodies, minor irrigation repairs, replenishing groundwater and surface water sources, improvements to schools in rural areas and hospitals, and ensure drinking water facility to all villages.

The farmers also demanded the withdrawal of amendments to the land reforms act and other laws passed by the BJP, which, it said, encouraged entry of private companies into agriculture to the detriment of farmers with small-sized landholdings and corporatisation of farming.

The association members said they will not persuade anyone to vote for a particular candidate or party but appealed to them to consider those who are sincere and can empathize with the cause of the farmers. Office-bearers of the federation Atahalli Nagaraj, Bardanapura Nagaraj, Ambale Manjunath, and others were present.

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