Khai Muk dashes hopes of delta ryots

Staff Reporter

Delegation of peasants visits them

We cannot survive without State relief, says a farmer

Promise of input subsidy yet to materialise, says rytu samithi leader

BHIMAVARAM: The recent cyclone named `Khai Muk’ has left Munagala Venkateswara Rao, a tenant farmer from Mahadevapatnam in Undi mandal of West Godavari district, in a debt trap. “All my hopes were dashed and there were no signs of my bailing out from the mounting debts which I incurred for cultivation,” Venkateswara Rao bemoaned while interacting with a delegation of peasant activists from the Rytu Karyacharana Samithi on Thursday. The team visited the cyclone-raged farm fields in Undi, Akiveedu and Kalla mandals.

He raised paddy on four acres of land which he took from a landlord for a lease of 12-15 bags per season by obtaining a loan of Rs 30,000. “My crop suffered a heavy damage twice in the current year”, he said. “My days as a farm worker seemed to be relatively far better when compared to my present status as a tenant farmer”, he added.

“We cannot survive if there is no timely relief from the Government,” says Varre Appa Rao from Pedakapavaram in Akiveedu mandal. The cyclone had devastated his crop on five acres at a time when it was about to be harvested within a week. He told the visiting leaders that he did not know how to repay the loan of Rs 80,000 which he raised for cultivation.

The Undi Assembly segment covering Undi, Akiveedu and Kalla mandals, is the worst affected in terms of crop damage caused by cyclones. It may be recalled that paddy on a little over 20,000 acres was damaged in the segment soon after transplantation at the beginning of the current khariff. The farmers gave up their efforts to raise a fresh crop on these lands for want of investment. In the latest spell, the paddy at the stage of harvesting was fully damaged on 20 acres. In all, the paddy in an extent of 40,000 acres out of the total 78,000 acres in the khariff alone was damaged in the Undi Assembly segment alone. Besides, the farmers are likely to witness a sharp decline in the yield in the current season because of late transplantation in view of the delay in release of canal water due to the canal modernization programme.

M.V. Suryanarayana Raju, spokesman of the Rytu Karyacharana Samithi urged the Government to ensure that the succour reached the tenant farmers. He regretted that the government’s promise of input subsidy for the farmers whose crops were damaged in the beginning of the season was yet to become a reality.

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