'Govt should frame pricing policy for agricultural produce'

Provision of loans to farmers should be based on land value: Kammaradi

Karnataka Agriculture Price Commission (KAPC) Chairman T N Prakash Kammaradi on Monday said, “The government and financial institutions should take a major responsibility in the pricing policy for agricultural produce to address the issues affecting farmers. The fundamental context of loan facility has failed in the State.”

Addressing the participants of a one-day workshop on ‘Agricultural Finance Management,’ organised jointly by Prasar Bharati, India’s Public Service Broadcaster, and All India Radio (AIR), Mysuru, as a part of ‘Radio Kisan Divas’, at the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Kammaradi said, “Farmers avail loans for various expenses, but their only source of income is agriculture. Besides agriculture, the farmers should follow multi-cropping, animal husbandry and poultry.”

He urged the government to conduct a comprehensive study about the funds required for the farming community. Apart from preparing a budget to manage funds, the farmers should develop risk-bearing ability, follow loan return and repayment policy and the financial institutions should not pester the farmers for repayment.

Highlighting the role of cooperatives in ensuring stability in the lives of farmers, Kammaradi stressed that the farmers ought to enhance their collective bargaining capacity through a group approach.

The move would make their income streams more predictable and ensure quality. Neither a farmer should depend on a single source of income nor should any field depend on a single crop.

Farmers are rich in terms of property, but, poor in income. Financial institutions offer loans against their crop, not based on the value of the lands. Now, the policy makers should make provisions to advance loans based on the value of the lands, he said.

Speaking on crop loss or dip in prices, Kammaradi said, “Crop loss is due to natural calamities and price crash due to market factors, so farmers have no role in either fixing the price or crop loss. But, ironically they are the ultimate victims.”

AIR, Bengaluru, Station Director M A Ahmed said that AIR had been working for the welfare of rural people and farmers since its inception. 

Farmers from different parts of the State, and BSc Agriculture Science students were present. 

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