Leaders of farmers’ associations, agricultural economists, agricultural scientists and non-governmental organisations have called for establishment of CACP (Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices) at the State-level. They felt that this is important to ensure “income security’’ to farmers.
The commission should have several centres to collect information on various components of production to scientifically ascertain the cost of production.
They felt that it is important to calculate the cost of production at the local level to have a correct assessment of support prices. The present system, they argued, is far from reality and miserably failed to recognise the actual costs involved in farming.
Participating in a discussion here on Friday on the likely components for an exclusive budget for agriculture, they called for subsidies for all farmers holding five acres or less. “If the Government wants to protect the interest of general consumers, it should provide the farmers with subsidies to offset the losses they are suffering,” S. Malla Reddy, Vice-President of the CPM-affiliated All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), said.
The cost of fertilisers and other inputs have gone up by 80 per cent, but the Government increased the prices just by 8 per cent. “The Government should decide the prices of essential commodities just like the way it decides the support prices,” he said.
Yerneni Nagendra Nath, President of Farmers’ Federation of Andhra Pradesh, demanded that the Government should consider the cost of labour as it did in National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
“The labour costs they are paying as per NREGS have resulted in increased cost of agricultural production. It should apply the same labour costs, while calculating costs under CACP,” he said.
Muduganti Sridhar Reddy of Bharatiya Kisan Sangh called for making agriculture a profitable venture. “We should move away from the concept of minimum support price. It in fact should be a profitable job,” he said.