Rythu Swarajya Vedika's round table meeting in Vijayawada on Monday. (Photo: Facebook)
Vijayawada: The situation of tenant farmers in Andhra Pradesh is in a dire situation with only 9.6 per cent receiving Crop Cultivating Rights Cards and only three per cent landless tenant farmers getting Rythu Bharosa scheme, said a study conducted by Rythu Swarajya Vedika, which released a report at a round table meeting in Vijayawada on Monday. About 20 tenant farmers from various districts participated in the meeting. Members Kirankumar Vissa, C. Bhanuja and Gadi Balu were present.
The report revealed that 24 lakh tenant farmers existed in the State while the agriculture department put the figure at 16 lakh.
The RSV activists conducted a statewide survey involving 4,000 tenant farmers spread over nine districts of the state. The study was conducted during the months of January and February 2022, covering nine districts – Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam, Y.S.R. Kadapa, Anantapur and Kurnool. The study was based on door to door survey in selected villages, designed to reach every single tenant farmer in the village.
The report focused on the state-level analysis of the implementation of the Crop Cultivator Rights Act, 2019, and the inclusion of tenant farmers in government schemes including Rythu Bharosa, interest-free crop loans, disaster compensation and crop procurement.
The findings revealed that the tenant farmers are deeply indebted with an average debt of about Rs 2 lakh each. They are facing the burden of large land rents from Rs 20,000 per acre to Rs 1.2 lakh per acre in certain crops, and up to 32 bags of paddy in the coastal districts.
The number of tenant farmers is quite high even in districts like Anantapur, Kadapa, Visakhapatnam where the government estimates of tenancy is very low.
The biggest obstacle to receiving a CCRC card is owners' refusal to sign the application and the failure of officials in convincing them. The report said more than 90 per cent of the tenant farmers reported that they suffered severe crop loss in at least one out of the past three years. But only one per cent received any disaster compensation. This played a big role in pushing tenant farmers into debt.