'Fixing minimum price for farm produces may address agri crisis'

Sharp decline in farmers’ income by 30 per cent in the last 10 years, increase in prices of manure and fertilisers and prices of agricultural produces remainining non-profitable are the prime findings according to a report on ‘reasons for farm loans’ submitted to the government by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard).

Addressing the gathering during a seminar on ‘Financial aid to farmers’ organised by Zilla Panchayat, Department of Horticulture at Dasara Flower Show here on Monday,  Assistant General Manager of Nabard Aravamudhan said, “Though there is a vast increase in agriculture activities, the income to the farmers is inadequate. As a result, farmers are incurring losses. Though there is a hike in prices of manure and
fertilisers every year, the prices of produces still remain low.”

Aravamudhan felt that the problems plaguing agrarian community can be addressed if a minium price is fixed per produces. That apart, NABARD will help farmers if they are interested in setting up ‘Raithara Koota’ (Farmers Club), with a financial aid of Rs 10,000 per annum to the club up to three years.”

Earlier, stressing on practising financial discipline, agriculture expert Satish Chandra said, “Farmers can reap benefits if they manage finance and technology in effective manner.”
Pointing out the failure in management is driving farmers to the brink of difficulties, Chandra explained, “During the current year, as many as 36 lakh farmers have availed loans to the tune of Rs 76,000 crore against 12 lakh farmers getting Rs 4,000 crore loan in the year 2004.”

Lack of management

Chandra said, “Most have found themselves in difficulties owing to lack of management by investing short-term loan amount on long-term crops. Instead it is better to have triangular system by utilising short-term, medium-term and long-term loans on different set of crops. Most importantly, focus should be on ‘less expenditure and more revenue.”

Dr Arun Balamatti from JSS Krishi Vignan Kendra, Suttur said, “Owing to warehouse, transport and market related issues,  30 per cent of total grain production and 40 per cent of horticultural produces are hit. During such situations, farmers should not resort to suicides, as every problem has a solution. The farmers should make judicious use of the facilities extended by the government,” he said

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