APC to evaluate production cost of crops to benefit ryots

APC to evaluate production cost of crops to benefit ryots

Representatives of Agriculture Price Commission (APC) of Karnataka will travel to various districts, in order to evaluate the production cost of crops cultivated in the State, said chairperson of APC, T N Prakash Kammaradi, here on Tuesday.

Addressing a press meet, the objective of the Commission to ensure that farmers get a profit of atleast 50 per cent more than the total cost of cultivation. “We will consider the opinions of various farmers in the State and submit a report to the Government,” he said.

He was here to participate in a programme organised at Central Institute of Indian Languages.

He said that the Commission was mulling on proposing the State to include ragi cultivation under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA).

“The State has decided to distribute ragi and maize under Anna Bhagya scheme. However, due to acute shortage of agricultural labourers, not many farmers are keen on cultivating ragi. Therefore, by including ragi cultivation under NREGA, the problem of labour shortage could be addressed,” he said. He said that a large share of MNREGA funds remained unutilised.

Since, MNREGA guidelines require 60 per cent of the funds to be spent on agricultural activities, steps will be taken to use the funds for ragi cultivation, he said.

He said that only 50 per cent of the business transactions related to agricultural products took place in organised agriculture produce markets. Remaining produce are sold outside the markets, which has adversely affected farmers. APC will also look into this issue and propose for measures to address them, he said.

Quoting example of Agriculture Credit Co-operative Society of Chattisgarh, he said that the Society has introduced measures to buy farmers produce on his farm. Introducing such de-centralised schemes would benefit both farmers and the consumers and would reduce the menace of middlemen, he said.

He said that there was a total demand of 35 lakh tonnes of food crops for Anna Bhagya and mid-day meal scheme in Karnataka.

Of the demand, only 10 lakh tonnes are produced in the State. Steps will be taken to increase the amount of food crop cultivation, which would benefit the farmers, he added.