Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao reiterated that State government was committed to ensure remunerative price for farmers in the State. He said that procurement of cotton and paddy had just begun and Central government has been requested to accept cotton with 20 per cent moisture content against the current cap of 12 per cent moisture.
Speaking in the Assembly during Question Hour on Tuesday, the Chief Minister clarified that no government can compensate for crop losses of farmers as it would need about four years of State budget. “However, the State government is supporting farmers in terms of free power, irrigation facility, fertilisers and seeds besides measures like input subsidy for severe losses,” he said. He explained that paddy and cotton crops had started arriving in the market and necessary measures are being taken to ensure remunerative price which is more than the Minimum Support Price demanded by the Opposition parties.
KCR further pointed out that the State government had set up Farmers’ Associations Coordination Committees (FACCs) to coordinate with farmers and ensure planned cultivation of crops. He said that FACCs will decide price based on demand in the open market from next year and ensure remunerative price for farmers.
“But the Congress leaders are not ready to accept our efforts and are trying to mislead the House as well as people of the State by presenting fabricated stories. In fact, Congress should be held responsible for ruining agriculture in the State. They never stood by farmers earlier and now they are trying to obstruct irrigation projects,” he added.
Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy rubbished the allegations of Congress leaders that the State government was registering cases against farmers who are demanding MSP for their crops. He clarified that farmers in Khammam district were arrested only after they attacked the government office and staff. “We are concerned about farmers’ plight. But law is the same for all and even Congress government had registered cases against farmers on several occasions during their regime,” he said.
Earlier, Congress legislators T Jeevan Reddy and DK Aruna demanded that the State government announce a minimum bonus of Rs 500 per quintal for crops including paddy, cotton and maize since they were damaged in the recent rains. They wanted the State government to purchase damaged crop directly and ensure that farmers do not suffer due to crop damage. They alleged that farmers were burning their crop as they were not getting remunerative price in the market.