Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday unveiled what he called the first ever such intervention in the country to bail out the farm sector from crisis, a new financial assistance scheme for input investment towards making Telangana a welfare State. The scheme would cost about Rs.8,000 crore a year to the exchequer.
The scheme to be launched in May 2018, from the kharif season next year, would cover all farmers irrespective of their land holding. Farmers would be given Rs.4,000 per acre for cultivation of kharif and an equal amount for rabi crops and fruit orchards as input investment.
“They can utilise the assistance either for seed, fertilizer, pesticide or any other input requirement as per their need", the TRS chief said at the party's 16th plenary held at Kompally here.
He explained that the input investment assistance would be credited into the bank accounts of beneficiary farmers well in advance of the commencement of the crop seasons – in May for kharif and in October for rabi crops.
Taking a dig at Congress leaders for their remarks that TRS had copied their idea and the assistance should be given from the forthcoming kharif itself, Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao said it could not be launched in a haste as it required a lot of homework.
He reminded the Congress leaders that he had mentioned the concept during his speech after the first budget presentation in the Assembly itself, wherein he had stated that the government would create crop colonies based on soils and other conditions after the completion of loan waiver scheme.
Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao stated that the concept of crop colonies would prevent farmers from suffering heavy losses due to sudden slump in prices, mostly because of a large number of farmers cultivating the same crop, by deciding varieties of crops to be raised in a season and their extent. Before that soil health cards would be prepared for every farmer’s holding to suggest crops suitable for that particular holding, he said.
Stating that MGNREGS had been creating labour problem during agriculture season, he said he would raise the issue of linking it with farming at the NITI Aayog meet in New Delhi on April 23. A resolution to this effect was also adopted at the plenary.
In a move that is being seen as an attempt to strengthen support for the party, the TRS chief said the government would mobilise farmers into village, mandal, district and State federations with those engaged in agriculture as well as allied in activities such as dairy farming, sheep or goat rearing, fisheries and others. “It is necessary to have those federations so that they could fight for their demands as other associations do”.