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Farmers look forward for subsidised groundnut seed

Farmers look forward for subsidised groundnut seed
Highlights

- Early monsoon raises hopes of farmers - Govt hikes the price of subsidised seed - Traders make Rs. 50 crore with the govt move T RAJAKUMAR ...

- Early monsoon raises hopes of farmers - Govt hikes the price of subsidised seed - Traders make Rs. 50 crore with the govt move

T RAJAKUMAR

Kurnool: With the climate cooling down, the farmers all over the district have been looking at the sky hopefully for a reasonable rainfall to launch agricultural activities. Many farmers have already started to plough their fields and applying fertilizers. However, the farmers face a nagging question as to whether they would receive the subsidized seeds from the government in time. Reasonable rain already lashed Kurnool district from the midnight of Tuesday to the morning of Wednesday. Two days ago there was a heavy rain in Adoni division. The farmers almost all over the district started agricultural activities at Adoni, Yemmiganur, Mantralayam, Pedda Kadaburu, Kosigi, Gonegandla, Aluru and other areas in Adoni division.

The farmers have even sown seeds in some areas of Done mandal. A rainfall of 47.6 mm was registered at Pedda Kadaburu while 27.8 to 28.8 mm rainfall was registered at Adoni, Chippagiri, Kosigi and Yemmiganuru mandals`. However, Holagunda mandal received the lowest rainfall of 3.6 mm. There is 5.59 lakh hectares of cultivable land in the district, of which groundnut is cultivated in 1.8 lakh hectares. Every year the farmers face the seed shortage and many farmers were skeptical on the timely availability of subsidized seeds to them. Then there is the dubious business of spurious seeds to which several farmers are falling prey every year.

Meanwhile, the government has raised the price of subsidized seed much to the disappointment of the farmers. The farmers sold the groundnut at the rate of Rs. 4,500 per quintal just four months back. Farmers expressed dismay and disappointment over the government move to supply the same seed at the rate of Rs. 6,350. They said the government was in favour of the seed traders. "The increased rate of subsidized seed would benefit only the farmers," they pointed out. The traders would get a clean profit of Rs. 1000 per quintal after deducting expenses, they said. The government had decided to procure 48,000 quintals of seed to distribute to the farmers. The traders would clean sweep Rs. 50 crore in this deal. Farmers express concern over the hike in the subsidized seed price by Rs. 1050 this year. Last year, the price was Rs. 5300 and this year it is Rs. 6350.

It is estimated that the farmers would groundnut in about three lakh hectares in the district this year. The farmers said that the enhanced price of subsidized seed was not in the interest of farmers. The farmers alleged the traders lobby was behind the hike of subsidised seed price. While the groundnut seed was available in Kurnool and Adoni markets at Rs. 4500, the price of government seed was Rs, 6350, they point out and wonder about the rationality between the huge gap in the price. The farmers said that the subsidy percentage had remained at 33 and the government should enhance the subsidy to 50 per cent.

Agriculture officials said that the farmers need 90 kg seed per acre and and farmers cultivate groundnut in three to five acres. In effect, 270 kg to 450 kg seed is necessary for a farmer. However, the government had limited the subsidized seed to 60 kg per acre. The farmers are compelled to purchase the rest of the seed from the traders. Meanwhile, the leaders in the villages have been forcibly taking the pattadar passbooks from the farmers to secure subsidized seed from the government. The poor farmers are the worst hit to this phenomenon.

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