Rising inputs burdens farming community

Shreenesh Raman

The global food demand and consumption has lead to rapid industrialization in the field of agriculture. In India, every global agri major has done a great damage to the farming community directly or indirectly alleges P Shanmugam, State secretary, TNFA.

Speaking on the sidelines of the farmers meet in Orathanad, he said unlike early 70s and 80s, farmers these days are more burdened due to the frequent fluctuation and scarcity of fertiliser and other raw materials. Though the farmer has increased in output, still problems prevail in the form of delayed payment, rising fertiliser price, increasing labour cost, he pointed out.
Corporate's mint money at the cost of Farmer's life

Condemning the central government for reducing the funding for agriculture, he said the government is deviating from its path in favour of corporates who are ready to poach our livelihood. Very recently the government ordered decontrolling fertiliser price resulting in 300 percent price hike in DAP and other potash fertiliser across the country.
Leaving the farmers in peril will not be good both for people and for the country, he warned as the centre is ready to table Food security bill, which promises 3Kg of pulses every month for the “common man”. It will lead to further increase in malnutrition in majority of the country. And he lauded the efforts of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa for writing a strong worded letter on the ill effects of the proposed bill.

Labour shortage has become imminent during sowing and harvest season after the introduction of MNREGA scheme, says Shanmugam. Farmers are now finding hard to resource labour during the crucial stages of agriculture, as people are willing to work in MNREGA at the cost of grain production. In order to retain labourers, farmers have raised the wages up to 40 percent approximately to nearly Rs 300 to 450 per acre.

Already, small scale farmers are cash strapped and debt ridden; there is a mounting pressure to increase the outputs. It will by and large affect a huge chunk of farmers across the state if the government is not putting an end to the labour and fertiliser prices, said Shanmugam.

Source: Express Thanjavur


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