Thursday, October 18, 2012

FIFA to fight for remunerative prices for commercial crops: Dr.JP

The Federation of Independent Farmers' Associations has constituted a committee to go into the causes for the crash in the prices of commercial crops in Andhra Pradesh and submit a report to the State Government seeking remedial measures.

Announcing this in a media statement, Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, President of the Lok Satta Party and Federation of Independent Farmers' Associations (FIFA), pointed out that the prices of commercial crops like cotton, chilli and turmeric have been plummeting even as costs of production have been spiraling year after year and causing much distress among farmers. What is tragic is that consumers are paying through their nose for the produce even farmers are not getting the cost of production, leave alone remunerative prices.

The price of cotton slumped to Rs.3000-Rs.3500 in 2011-12 from Rs.4000-Rs.8000 a quintal, of chilli to Rs.4000-Rs.6000 from Rs.6000-Rs.9000 and of turmeric to Rs.3000-Rs.5000 from Rs.15000.

Yet, Dr. JP said, the Government has not directed Markfed to undertake price support operations and go to the rescue of the farmers in distress. The failure of the Government to make available sufficient storage space and ensure adequate loans is placing farmers at the mercy of traders.

The committee will go round the State, study the situation at the ground level and submit a report to the Government. It will ascertain farmers' problems in production and marketing, bankers' problems in grant of crop and pledge loans and the availability of storage space.

FIFA leader P. Bhaskara Rao is the convener of the committee comprising Messrs Yerneni Nagendranath (Krishna), B. Dasaradharami Reddy (Kurnool), Hanumantha Reddy (Medak), Narsimha Naidu (Nizamabad), S. Raghavulu (Khammam), D. L. Narayana (Kadapa) and Mekala Lakshminarayana (Guntur).

Dr. JP said that if the Government does not respond to the committee report, FIFA would launch an agitation to safeguard farmers' interests.

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