Hyderabad: The Centre has decided to go in for the Market Intervention Scheme with immediate effect to help distressed chilli farmers in TS and AP. The Centre will buy chillies at Rs 5,000 per quintal till May 31.
After calling on Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh, Union minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said in a tweet: “Happy that market intervention support of Rs 5,000 and additional Rs1,250 for packaging is announced @Radhamohan BJP for chilli in AP & Telangana. (sic)”
The Centre will buy 88,300 metric tonnes of chillies in Andhra Pradesh and Rs 33,700 metric tonnes in Telangana state.
The chilli issue has taken a political turn in both states. While Opposition Congress, Telugu Desam and BJP had launched a stir against the TRS Govern-ment, YSRC chief Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy staged a deeksha and launched protests across AP against the Telugu Desam government, which is an ally of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, demanding remunerative price for chilli farmers.
“The government of India decided to intervene in the market and offered these prices. I don’t say this will satisfy all. But once you offer this price, the distress sale will stop. There will be some buoyancy. Traders will realise the government is purchasing and we can also offer same price. Otherwise farmers are helpless. There is no other way,” Mr Naidu told mediapersons.
He said, “This is to create buoyancy in the market and stop distress sales. There is a need to educate farmers on the quantum of crops to be sown. But farmers follow others if they get a good price. It's the same, be it tobacco or any other crop.”
Mr Naidu added that the market system is expanding slowly. Once it expands, the entire country will be able to know the price in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Kakinada, Telangana state, and they will not sell indulge in distress sales. That, he said, was Prime Minister Narendra Modi's idea and would take some time to bear fruition.
“A farmer takes his chilli crop to the nearest sale point or where he gets good price. From Telangana, he will go to Andhra and vice-versa,” he said.
However, Telangana Rythu Sangham rejected the Centre’s offercalling it meagre and demanded MSP of Rs10,000 per quintal.
“Be it Tamil Nadu or elsewhere, mirchi is priced at Rs10,500 to Rs13,500 per quintal. Nowhere it’s lower than Rs10,000 per quintal. The AP government went a step ahead and offered Rs1,500 bonus. It’s not too late for states to buy at prevailing national market rates,” said P. Janga Reddy, president of the Sangham.
CPI Rajya Sabha member and senior leader D. Raja alleged that farmers’ woes had increased ever since the NDA government took over....