Farmers fret on delay by state

State sits on crop holiday decision as Rabi season nears.

Vijayawada: Farmers of the Krishna delta are eagerly waiting for the government to clarify whether it intends to announce a crop holiday for this year’s Rabi seaon too, like it did in the last two Rabi seasons.

The farmers’ eagerness stems from the fact that they had lost paddy crop in nearly five lakh acres due to the recent heavy floods that left their fields inundated, and they are pinning their hopes on the Rabi season.

At present, most of the farmers are at the final stages of harvesting their Kharif season crops and preparing for the Rabi season. The government had declared crop holiday for the last two Rabi seasons in the entire delta area under the limits of Krishna, Guntur, West Godavari and Prakasam districts, for the Krishna delta modernisation works.

However, the modernisation works have not been completed so far, even after the two Rabi crop holidays. As per the schedule, the government should have given its approval for the Rabi crop by November 15.

Generally, before announcing the Rabi crop schedule, the local district administration, led by the district collector, holds a meeting and formally gets the approval from the state government. However, the local administration has not conducted such a meeting so far.

On the other hand, Krishna district irrigation officials have sent a requisition, asking the state government to release the water for the Rabi crop. However, the government has not taken any decision in this regard so far, even though the Rabi season began a week ago.

The farmers have already lost aobut Rs 10,000 crore in income from the crop during the last two Rabi seasons, due to the crop holiday, while the state government lost Rs 1,200 crore, having been forced to forgo taxes and marketing cess.

In this backdrop, the farming community’s eagerness for information whether the government would give its approval for the Rabi crop is understandable.

AP Rytanga Samaikya president Erneni Nagendra Nath asked the government to announce its decision without delay as the farmers would have to start spray insecticides before harvesting the present Kharif paddy crop.

( Source : dc )
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