Meagre compensation for crop loss irks farmers

Meagre compensation for crop loss irks farmers

State has not revised relief amount for more than a decade

Despite the reduction in cases of crop loss and cattle death, owing to wild animals, in the district, the farming community continues to suffer due to the conflict because of the measlely compensation provided by the government. Farmers complain that the compensation amount is insufficient and State government should revise it.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Palaniswamy, president of H D Kote taluk unit of Raitha Sangha, noted that H D Kote was among the worst affected regions, due to man-animal conflict in the State.

“Even though works on retaining walls, elephant trenches and solar fences are under progress, animals continue to raid crops. However, the compensation amount for farmers have not been revised for more than a decade, despite an increase in the expenses on agriculture,” he said.

Citing an example, he said, elephants had raided his two-acre plantain crop, four years ago, and destroyed all the crop ready for harvest. “The Forest department, based on their estimates, calculated the compensation amount to be Rs 4,000. However, the crop loss cost me more than Rs 2 lakh,” he said.

Repeated demands

Even though farmer organisations have been repeatedly demanding the successive governments to revise the compensation amount, our demands have fallen on deaf ears. To make matters worse, the payment of the compensation is delayed, he said.
V Karikalan, Deputy Conservator of Forests, said, the compensation amount is being distributed as per the limits set by the State government. However, there have been demands to revise the compensation amount and a proposal is before the department, he said.

Cattle death

As a precedent, the State has increased the compensation for cattle death from Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000, about three months ago. The limit for the compensation amount that can be distributed by the DCF has also been increased from Rs 50,000 to Rs one lakh, he said.
He said, of the six ranges in Mysuru forest division, maximum cases of crop loss were reported from H D Kote and Nanjangud taluks.

During the year 2014-15, about 1,400 cases of crop loss and cattle death have been registered and compensation has been distributed in 950 cases, he said.

He said, the cases are on a decline, as the department had spent Rs 45 lakh for compensation in 2013-14, as compared to a little over Rs 23 lakh till February 2015 this year.

Sources in the Forest department acknowledge that the compensation amount for farmers had not been revised for more than a decade and half, with farmers receiving a compensation of Rs 85 per plantain sapling and Rs 650 per tonne of sugarcane.
Farmers have demanded at least Rs 2,500 per tonne of sugarcane, the source added.

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