Subabul, eucalyptus growers demand MSP hike

Subabul, eucalyptus growers demand MSP hike
Highlights

The subabul and eucalyptus growers have decided to hold a meeting on Saturday to discuss the agenda for the coming financial year, to access the progress in the previous financial year and the schemes to secure Minimum Support Price for their crop.

Khammam: The subabul and eucalyptus growers have decided to hold a meeting on Saturday to discuss the agenda for the coming financial year, to access the progress in the previous financial year and the schemes to secure Minimum Support Price for their crop.

The meeting will be held near Madhu College of Wyra constituency to discuss the future goals of Subabul and Eucalyptus Farmers Union.

It can be recalled that the eucalyptus and subabul cultivation in the erstwhile district has grown heavily since 2013-14 due to ITC and other industries promoting its cultivation. At present, 40,000 farmers are cultivating the crops over an area of 1.20 lakh acres.

In 2014, the ITC acquired approximately 100 lorries load per day by paying Rs 4,200 per tonne of subabul and Rs 5,000 per tonne of eucalyptus wood. Farmers alleged that ITC paper industry had reduced the purchasing price of subabul to around Rs 3,000 to 3,500 now and the price of eucalyptus to Rs 3,500 to 4,000 per tonne. Farmers also alleged that ITC didn't increase the quantity of purchase on par with the increased production in the district. They demanded to pay Rs 7,000 per tonne of subabul.

It can be recalled that the farmers have been in the news for the past few months with their unique protest against ITC and their demands for MSP. Their protests including locking down of ITC office and threatening to submit bulk nominations in MP elections have gained a lot of attention.

The Subabul and Eucalyptus Farmers Union has always been active and was successful in abolishing mediators and sub-contractors system in selling their crops. As a result of their protests, the paper industries are directly inspecting the crop and purchasing them first hand directly from farmers.

"The meeting will try to address and develop action plans to resolve the various problems that the farmers are facing. We will also elect committee members and discuss goals for the coming financial year in the meeting," said Union president AK Ramarao.

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