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Congress Slams KCR For Neglecting Maize, Cotton Farmers

The party demanded MSP and compensation for the farmers since they had followed the government's advice to grow those crops, it claimed.
Hyderabad | 23rd October 2020
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & MP N Uttam Kumar Reddy strongly condemned Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao for neglecting the problems being faced by the maize, paddy and cotton farmers of the state despite massive protests going on across the state.

He was speaking to the media after inaugurating a camp office in Dubbaka for the duration of the by-election campaign.

Former ministers G Vinod and Damodar Reddy, ex-MLAs Maheshwar Reddy and Mahender Reddy, TPCC General Secretary Prem Lal and other senior leaders were also present on the occasion.

"KCR has been pursuing anti-farmer policies since 2014. The TRS government has not only neglected the welfare of the farmers, but has created new problems in every season for the farm sector," he alleged, citing the example of how the Chief Minister advised farmers to grow specific crops like maize and superfine varieties of paddy, but was now not getting the government to procure those crops.

The TPCC chief said that the lakhs of farmers who had cultivated maize on the advice of the Chief Minister were now demanding a Minimum Support Price of Rs 1,850. However, with less than 15 days left for the completion of harvesting, not a single procurement centre had been opened.

Reddy said that the Chief Minister had similarly advised farmers to grow superfine varieties of paddy instead of regular varieties. Consequently, the farmers had made extra investments towards the input cost, and had gotten less than half of the yield of the regular (thicker) variety of rice. While the thicker (doddu in Telugu) varieties of paddy were yielding 30 quintals per acre, the finer (sanna in Telugu) varieties of paddy were yielding 20 quintals per acre.

"The paddy farmers are losing Rs 10,000 per acre because of the lower yield. Since the farmers are cultivating finer varieties of paddy upon the specific directions of the Chief Minister, the state government should purchase the paddy at Rs 2,500 per quintal," he demanded.

Reddy said that the fate of lakhs of farmers depended on the outcome of the Dubbaka by-election.

Reddy also condemned the TRS government for not extending any help to the farmers who had lost their crops due to the heavy rains and floods in the different parts of the state, and was in fact underplaying it. He said that while the state government had pegged the crop loss at about 13 lakh acres, the farmers' organisations had estimated the losses to be more than 20 lakh acres, costing around Rs 5,000 crore.

He also said that earlier the state government used to provide some immediate interim relief to the farmers from its own funds, and the remaining compensation used to come from the union government after enumeration. However, the farmers had never got any relief in cases of natural calamities from the state government ever since TRS came to power in 2014, he claimed.

The TPCC chief said that the cotton farmers were the worst hit due to recent rains and floods. Crop spread across 20 lakh acres of the nearly 60 lakh acres that cotton was being cultivated on was estimated to have been lost due to inundation in flood waters, he said. The state government should take immediate measures to compensate the cotton farmers for the lost crops, and also procure the damaged cotton at an MSP, he demanded.

He said that the farmers had followed the government's advice to sow cotton and paddy under the Regulated Farming System, and therefore it was the duty of the KCR government to compensate the farmers for the losses that they had suffered due to the rains and floods.

He demanded a compensation of Rs 20,000 per acre for the crops damaged due to the rains and floods.
filed in:  Minimum Support Price, N Uttam Kumar Reddy, KCR, Agriculture, Farmers, Telangana, Social Welfare, Telangana Congress, Crops, Compensation
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