Subabul fails to fetch desired MSP, growers look for alternative crops

Subabul fails to fetch desired MSP, growers look for alternative crops
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The farmers who took up cultivation of Subabul plants in the district with so much of zeal seem to be a depressed lot. They are in search of alternative crops due to non-availability of Minimum Support Price for their produce.

Khammam: The farmers who took up cultivation of Subabul plants in the district with so much of zeal seem to be a depressed lot. They are in search of alternative crops due to non-availability of Minimum Support Price for their produce.

The Subabul wood, which is used as raw material in paper industry, is usually purchased in large quantities by ITC. However, due to failure of the Marketing Department, the middlemen are calling the shots by pushing the growers into problems.

Meanwhile, district president of the Congress party Aitham Satyam alleged that the BPL (ITC) Company was deceiving Subabul farmers present across the district. He said the company had earlier supplied Subabul seeds and saplings to farmers and encouraged them to go for Subabul farming making the promise of purchasing wood. However, it has gone back on its promise leaving the farmers in lurch.

“The company, which should make the purchase of wood directly from the farmers, has entrusted the responsibility to the contractors, who in turn passed on the responsibility to sub-contractors. As a result, the farmers are confused as to whom to approach for selling their produce,” the Congress leader pointed out.

He demanded the government to pay MSP for Subabul and protect the farmers from the hands of middlemen. Rajaiah, a Subabul farmer said due to assurance given by the BPL (ITC) Company, many of the farmers took up Subabul cultivation expecting more profits. But the increasing input costs, lack of a minimum support price and involvement of middlemen were forcing them to look for an alternative crop.

N Sambashiva Rao, a leader of Telangana Rythu Sangham alleged that the company decided to pay Rs 4,600 per tonne of wood to the farmers before supplying Subabul seeds and saplings to them. Excluding the cutting and transport charges, the farmer would be getting Rs 3,550.

“But by entrusting the responsibility to contractors, it is playing with the lives of farmers. Citing bizarre reasons and imposing unnecessary restrictions, the contractors are paying only Rs 2,300 per tonne and robbing the farmers of their money,” he alleged.

He also demanded the government to bring Subabul plantation under Horticultural department purview besides taking necessary steps for re-opening of Kagaznagar and Kamalapur paper mills to help the farmers and establish a separate board for Subabul plantation.

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