Andhra Pradesh land pooling policy to hit small farmers

Land pooling policy states that it will pool the land from farmers and after development, give back 40% of the land
Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh government’s land pooling policy for the new capital will hit small and marginal farmers while benefiting big farmers.
Small farmers say that they will lose their livelihood if the government takes their lands. Farmers’ associations are also objecting to the state government’s move to acquire agricultural lands for constructing the new capital.
According to official records, in Krishna district, 84 per cent of farmers have below 5 acre land and 14 per cent of farmers have 5 to 10 acre land. Many farmers have only two to three acres.
Majority of these farmers depend on nurseries, horticulture and commercial crops. And while some of them earn '70,000 per acre per year, some earn as much as Rs 5 to Rs 7 lakh per acre.
Kallam Narendar Reddy of Penumaka village, Tadepalli mandai in Guntur district, said that he had nursery on two acres of land and earned Rs 10 to Rs 14 lakh per year. He added that if he sold the land, he would get around Rs 6 to 7 crore. However, in the land pooling system, the government has said that it will give only Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000 per year. He said that he thus would not accept the proposal. Mr Reddy added that in his village all the farmers were opposed to the land pooling system.
Farmers who run nurseries generally earn Rs 70,000 per acre per year. The state government’s land pooling policy states that it will pool the land from farmers and after development, give back 40 per cent of the land. It has stated that once the land is developed, the farmers will get three to four times the original cost of the land.
The farmers, however, said that there was no guarantee that they would get three to four times the cost. They also pointed out that that they would get good money only after the construction of the capital city.
They said that they don’t know how many years it would take to develop the land and how many years to construct the capital. In the meantime, they would lose income as they didn’t have any other means of livelihood. The farmers also said that they could mortgage their land for the marriages of their children, but if the government took their land then they would lose the right to their land till the government gave back their share.
Big farmers usually have other means of livelihood and the land pooling policy will benefit them in the future. Former MP and farmers’ leader, Yelamanchili Shivaji, said that the government did not know how many acre of land was required. He said that the ministers said that one lakh acre was needed for construction of new capital, but in Krishna and Guntur districts, many villages did not have more then 2,000 acre land.
Opposing the land pooling, he questioned if the government wanted to acquire one lakh acre, how many villages were going to be evacuated. Agriculture scientist working with Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, G.V. Ramanjaneyulu, also opposed the pooling of agricultural lands for the construction of capital.
( Source : dc correspondent )
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