The Telangana government on Sunday decided not to set up purchase centers in villages to buy agricultural produce from farmers, saying it was a one-time facility provided on humanitarian grounds during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The farmers will have to bring their produce to agriculture markets. However, the system will be streamlined by issuing tokens to ensure that all farmers don’t turn up at the market on the same day.
The decision was taken at a high-level meeting presided over by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday.
The participants in the meeting observed that due to the pandemic, the government had set up purchasing centers in the village to ensure that farmers did not suffer losses.
“It is not possible to do the same thing every time. The government is not a business organization or a trader. It is not a rice miller or a dal miller. Sale and purchase are not the responsibility of the government. It is not possible to set up purchase centers in the villages from next year onwards. The new farm laws being implemented in the country allowed the farmers to sell their crops anywhere. Hence, the state government need not set purchase centers in the villages,” they said.
The officials said that ever since the Telangana was formed, the government incurred heavy losses due to the purchase of various crops. The government so far incurred losses to the tune of Rs 7,500 crore due to the purchase of paddy, sorghum, maize, redgram, Bengal gram, and sunflower. Though the government had purchased this agricultural produce by paying the Minimum Support Price (MSP), it had to sell them at the lower prices in the market, as there was no demand for these crops.
The Chief Minister announced that all the farmers in the state would be given financial assistance under Rythu Bandhu from Monday. He stated that Rs 7,515 crore financial assistance is given to 1.52 crore acres of the cultivated land of 61.49 lakh farmers at the rate of Rs 5,000 per acre for the 2020 summer season. The CM has instructed the officials concerned to ensure that every farmer gets assistance in his bank account directly for each acre.
The Chief Minister also directed agriculture officers to ensure effective implementation of the Rythu Bhima scheme. When the Rythu Bhima scheme started Rs 630 crore was paid as the installment but many farmers have registered their land among their family members so that they are all covered by the Rythu Bhima policy. Hence the number swelled and the premium doubled. This year’s installment is Rs 1,144 crore but the government decided to continue the scheme.
Rao also directed the officials to continue 24×7 free power supply and ensure that the farmers get quality seed, fertilizers, and pesticides.