Subabul axed over low price

Farmers seek government intervention.

KOTHAGUDEM: Subabul is no more a safe crop for farmers in Khammam and Bhadradri-Kothagudem districts. Subabul farmers from various mandals convened meetings and adopted resolutions, urging the government to lift the produce from agricultural market committees.

Subabul is being raised in 75,000 acres in the two districts. The crop is being raised by the farmers for the last 20 years to avert losses from chilly and cotton farming. Also, the labour is minimum for subabul. The farmers of Bonakal, Chintakani, Errupalem, Enkoor, Tallada, Julurpad, Chandrugonda and Karepalli mandals in the two districts made a resolution and sent it to their concerned MLAs and MPs.

The guidelines set by paper industries on one side and the falling prices on another side have forced the farmers to leave the crop in future. But the farmers, who are already cultivating the crop, will face loss for the first time after the crop has been introduced in the state.

The menace of middlemen has become a problem and a farmer is getting '2,400 per tonne of subabul against the ITC Paper Board payment of '4,500 per tonne. The commissions and deductions made by the traders are the reason for this.

The queries imposed by ITC company so as not to cut the plantation with axes and to use saws and removing of bark have became a curse for the farmers. The ITC is lifting the produce from various private agencies and these have led the farmers to suffer.

Earlier, the farmers used to export the produce to paper mills in Kamalapuram and Sirpur-Kagaznagar and these mills have been closed. The farmers have no option to sell the produce to ITC Bhadrachalam.

Narvaneni Venkateswara Rao, a farmer from Choppakatlapalem under Bonakal mandal raised subabul in 15 acres. He faced a loss of Rs 2.40 lakh after selling the produce. The farmers have stopped raising the crop now.

According to an estimate, the crop has already been removed from around 7,000 acres in Khammam and 4,000 acres in Bhadradri district. More farmers are considering about doing the same. These farmers have opted to cultivate chilli and cotton this year.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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