YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy had promised Rs 4,500 to each farmer for investment at the beginning of the season. This looks much better than what Telangana Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao had promised to the farmers and what Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had done in the last four years. The crop investment is a big issue for the farmers, particularly the tenant and the small farmers who have to run around the banks or the money lenders at the beginning of the agriculture season.
The input cost is increasing every year with the prices of seeds and fertilisers going up. The wages too have gone up over the years. But the price of the agriculture produce had not increased in commensurate with the input cost. The loans taken from the banks or the money borrowed from the lenders increases the burden on the farmer. Added to this, the non-availability of remunerative prices make agriculture a non-profitable or a less profitable work.
All that the farmers look forward to the government is the remunerative price for their produce and some financial support in the input investment. If this is given, the farmers will work to feed the nation. The successive governments have ignored this and are at the service of the corporate sector. The loans of the corporate sector are waived year after the year. They also have several sops, including tax exemption and subsidies in power. But, there is nothing for the farmer.
A corporate company that purchases a tractor to carry luggage on the runaway of an airport gets subsidy in cost and exemption from the tax but not the tractor purchased by the farmer. The farmer would have to pay all taxes including road tax for using the tractor. This is what the governments are doing for the farming community.
Jagan Mohan Reddy’s announcement, besides others, to the farmers is a welcome move. He had made this during his interaction with the farmers at Denduluru of West Godavari district the other day and it was welcomed by the farmers. He had also promised price stabilisation fund and market support to the farmers. It looks like he is giving his mind towards the welfare, but it is to be seen if the farmers back him in the next elections or will get carried away by what Chandrababu Naidu promises.