'Govt's initiatives to help farmers less effective in coastal region'

'Govt's initiatives to help farmers less effective in coastal region'

Announce support price to paddy keeping in view geographical factors: ZP

'Govt's initiatives to help farmers less effective in coastal region'

The zilla panchayat members raised their voice against the problems encountered by the farmers in the coastal belt. They said the government’s initiatives to support the farmers across the State was less effective to the farmers in the region.

Raising the issue, member Ganapathy Sriyan said that the government should announce support price to the paddy keeping in view the geographical factors in the coastal belt.

The harvest season in the coastal belt ends by September/October unlike other areas where the harvesting season ends in November/December. The government’s initiatives, supporting the farmers, are announced only in December which would prove beneficial to the farmers in other parts but not in the coastal areas, he added.

Sriyan said that currently the price for one quintal of paddy was around Rs 1,000. He alleged that there were no warehouses to store the paddy and sell it when the price was high, which was a major disadvantage. Hence, the mill owners take undue advantage of this helplessness of the farmers, he added.

Member Manjunath Poojary said the farming in the coastal belt was a huge bane owing to the wild animals menace, irregular rainfall and scarcity of labourers. He said that compensating a farmer’s family after his death didn’t serve any purpose.
 The Agriculture Department Joint Directory Antony Immanuel said that the Central government had declared the price for one quintal of paddy as Rs 1,410. It is yet to be implemented as the issue has to pass through the Cabinet.

Member Gopi Naika said that the centres that rent the farm machineries charged heavy fee from farmers. Katpadi Shankar Poojary said that the APMC yard was dysfunctional when it comes to benefiting the farmers. He said the government should announce special package to the farmers.

The official said the proposal for the support price to be considered earlier for this part of the region, had been sent to the government. He said there are nearly 100 combined harvesters in the district as against the demand of 200 machineries.

Hence, the centres that rent the machines have been directed to borrow the required number of machines from other States and also to charge price for transporting the machineries.

He assured that the centres would be directed to charge minimal amount. He said the land for warehouses have been identified at Sanoor and Koteshwara. The proposal is sent and the government approval is expected at the earliest.

The other issue that was raised was the irregularities that was going on in the identified sand extraction areas in the district.

Member Babu Shetty said that illegal sand mining was rampant in the region. He said the permit was issued in one area and the work was being carried out in another area. The Mines and Geology Officer Mahesh said the licence holders were permitted to extract sand in the area of convenience, given the condition of accessibility. It is not mandatory for gram panchayat to issue the NOC, he added.

There was great hue and cry in the meeting after members raised the issue of local people reportedly being deprived of sand which was being sent to other districts.

Ananth Muwadi said the locals had to pay Rs 6,000 per unit. The locals should get the sand at concessional rates.

Kundapur tahsildar Gayatri said that in the backdrop of the opposition by locals, the sand license holders were checked strictly and if found violating the rules, the licence would be barred.

She said the licence holders were strictly warned to supply 50 per cent of the sand extracted to the locals. The official said that the Tahsildar, police, RI, DFO can be contacted.

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