Nation Other News 07 Aug 2021 Skyrocketing fuel pr ...

Skyrocketing fuel prices rattle farmers

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Aug 7, 2021, 9:16 am IST
Updated Aug 7, 2021, 1:01 pm IST
In the past the rent for ploughing with a simple plough was Rs 700 but now it is Rs 900
. Considering the nature and hardness of the soil, it takes about seven to eight litres of diesel to plough with a tractor for an hour. The increased diesel prices have put an additional burden of more than Rs 1,500 per acre on the farmer. — PTI file photo
 . Considering the nature and hardness of the soil, it takes about seven to eight litres of diesel to plough with a tractor for an hour. The increased diesel prices have put an additional burden of more than Rs 1,500 per acre on the farmer. — PTI file photo

KADAPA: Even as they are yet to cope up with the distress caused by a lack of appropriate supportive prices for agricultural products due to corona, farmers are now reeling under the shock of spiraling diesel prices. Every increase in diesel prices is directly impacting farmers.

At a rough estimate, petrol prices have risen by 33 per cent and diesel by 50 per cent in the last three years. This has increased the investment cost of crop cultivation by about Rs 2,000 per acre.

 

With the Union and state governments insisting on promotion of mechanization in agriculture, the traditional oxen method has become passé. All that matters are tractors and other tech-driven implements.

Seizing the initiative, owners of machines have increased rents abnormally. This places an additional burden of Rs 10,000 on a farmer who cultivates five acres. The area under agricultural crops in Kharif in Kadapa district is 1,06,323 hectares. Also, the area of horticulture is 1,22,309 hectares.

As of today, diesel price in the district is around Rs 99.06 per litre and petrol is at Rs 107.45 per litre. Over the last two and a half years, the average price has gone up from Rs 27 to Rs 30 per litre. There will be a slight variation in prices in different parts of the district based on transportation costs. Prices of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides have also risen sharply because of the increase in fuel prices leaving the farmers enraged.

 

Farmers in the district do agricultural work in two ways. In some areas tractors pay rent on an hourly basis, while in some areas rents are paid depending on the area to be cultivated. Some farmers are using their own vehicles.

In the past the rent for ploughing with a simple plough was Rs 700 but now it is Rs 900. Also, when a rotovator has to be used to soften the soil, the rent which earlier was Rs 800 to Rs 900 per hour, is now around Rs 1m100. Wheeled vehicles used for ploughing paddy fields was earlier Rs 900 per hour and now it has gone up to Rs 1,200. Considering the nature and hardness of the soil, it takes about seven to eight litres of diesel to plough with a tractor for an hour. The increased diesel prices have put an additional burden of more than Rs 1,500 per acre on the farmer.

 

Venkatasubbareddy, a farmer from Chintakommadinne, told this correspondent "I have a 10-acre farm and I own a tractor. In the past, it used to cost me Rs 15,000 to cultivate. Now it has shot up to Rs 35,000. We are feeling the pinch because of rising diesel prices."

AP farmer’s association district president Gali Chandra urged the Union and state governments to supply diesel at subsidized rates by issuing special cards to farmers engaged in agriculture.

Juttiga Muralikrishna, joint director, department of agriculture, told the Deccan Chronicle that investment in agriculture was rising. He said that in order to speed up farm work, many farmers are using machinery. He opined that the reduction in fuel prices would reduce the cost of cultivation for farmers.

 

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