Telangana to constitute farmer associations to fix crop prices, says Chandrasekhar Rao
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Hyderabad: The Telangana government will set up farmers’ associations at the mandal, district and state levels in order to create a price support operation for crops amid unrest over dropping chilli prices. These bodies will have the power to set floor prices.
A sum of Rs500 crore will be allocated to the state farmers’ federation, which will enable farmers to realize the minimum support price set for various crops, chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao said.
“The farmers’ federation will intervene and give the difference of money when the rates are down to help the farmer get minimum support price (MSP),” the chief minister’s office said on Sunday night.
The central government currently fixes the minimum support for 23 crops, but procures mainly rice, wheat and pulses. State governments are free to set higher MSPs but have to pay the difference from their own coffers. They can also fix support price for crops not covered by the central MSPs.
Agriculture scientists will decide on which crops to be cultivated based on the quality of soil, temperature, weather, availability of water, etc, said the statement.
“We will provide support to export the produce to other states and countries after consumption within the state,” Rao said.
The move follows violent protests in Khammam district on 28 April, when an agricultural market yard was ransacked, allegedly by chilli farmers, after a sharp drop in the price of the crop.
On 27 April, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government had mobilized thousands of farmers in a show of strength at Warangal district as part of the party’s foundation day celebrations.
Rao recently also announced a financial assistance scheme for farmers through which they will get Rs8,000 per acre for cultivation of kharif (Rs4,000) and rabi (Rs4,000) crops from next year.
The government is currently supplying nine hours of electricity to farmers and building godowns with a total storage capacity of 21.5 lakh metric tonnes, according to statement issued on Sunday.