Agri Business

Call for steps to help farmers in distress

Our Bureau Kozhikode | Updated on November 18, 2011 Published on November 18, 2011

In the context of farmers committing suicide in Wayanad district, the All-India Kisan Sabha has called upon the Government to initiate steps to mitigate the problems faced by them .

Mr Sathyan Mokeri, General-Secretary of the sabha, said the Government should extend financial aid of at least Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the farmers who committed suicide.

He said the problem was not confined to the Wayanad district alone but had affected the entire State due to the unwillingness of the banks to provide loans to lease-land farmers and the sharp fall in the prices of various farm produces such as plantain and ginger. In the event, the Government should fix minimum prices for farm produce and procure them from all the districts, Mr Mokeri noted.

He pointed out that as many as eight farmers had committed suicide in the State so far and the matter should be brought to the attention of the Union Government with the seriousness it deserves and seek appropriate Central aid. Besides, the Government should consider evolving a lasting solution for the problem, including setting up of a unit of the National Farmers Commission as proposed by the M.S. Swaminathan Commission report.

Micro financing agencies

Mr Mokeri said micro financing agencies were responsible for the situation to a great extent. While the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) gives loans to the micro financing institutions at an interest rate of four per cent, the latter, in turn, gives loans to farmers at rates ranging from 24 per cent to 60 per cent.

During 2010-11, loans to the tune of Rs 1,378 crore were disbursed by the institutions in Wayanad district, while the total amount of loans in Thrissur district was Rs 3,126 crore; Kasaragod Rs 267 crore; Malappuram Rs 178 crore; Alappuzha Rs 768 crore and Palakkad Rs. 675 crore.

Urgent measures should be initiated to control these institutions and make available loans to the farmers at rates offered by the banks, Mr Mokeri said.

Published on November 18, 2011
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