This year’s Kharif season brings more than one reason for Telangana farmers to smile. The major one
being the introduction of Rythu Bandhu Scheme or Farmers’ Investment Support Scheme, launched
on May 10. The scheme, which provides them financial aid of Rs 4,000 per acre per season under the
aegis of the State government, comes as a breather, say several farmers Express spoke to. Farmers
from across Telangana felt the scheme frees them from all the running around they had to do to
borrow money from private money lenders. The financial aid, they feel, would also bring down the
increasing number of farmers suicides
‘The money saved on interest amount will fund education for farmers’ kids’
P Krishna @ Medak/Sangareddy
Tulasidas of Ramachandrapuram village in Medak district owns four acres of land for which the State government has provided him `16,000 under the scheme.
Before the scheme, like several other farmers in the State, Tulasidas too borrowed money from rice mill owners for irrigating crops on his four acres during the Rabi and Kharif seasons. He would return the money, along with the interest, after the harvest. “With the scheme, there is no need to borrow money as the amount given by the State will be sufficient for irrigation purposes," said a jubilant Tulsidas. The money would also help fund the education of his children, he said.
‘Taking loans from private money lenders, banks a thing of past now’
SANGAREDDY: Like Tulasidas, for other farmers of Sangareddy too the problem of getting enough cash for purchasig ploughing tools, seeds, fertiliser ete begins at the start of the Kharif and Rabi seasons. The run-up to banks, private money lenders or any other source to borrow money begins much ahead of the start of the sowing season.
T Jaganreddy, a farmer from Irigipally village, says, "We have gone through sleepless nights in the earlier years. It seems now the situation will change, thanks to the Rythu Bandhu scheme. I have 8 acres of land and the State has given him `32,000. I will use this money in phases." A beaming Jaganreddy adds: "With the money saved from the interest amount alone, I can get my children enrolled to private schools now."
‘Rythu Bandhu is good, mechanism for Min Support Price will be even better’
K Amruth Rao @ Mahbubnagar/Wanparthy/ Nagarkurnool
For farmers having larger tract of agricultural lands, the State government's scheme has come as a one-stop solution. Take the case of Amruth Chander Nayak, a farmer from Shankarayapally village of Mahbubnagar. For his 10 acres of land, the State has provided him `40,000 as the investment support amount.
"This amount is of great help to me," Nayak says, and adds that earlier, due to lack of funds, he was able to cultivate paddy on only three acres of his land. "Now, I will aslo go for dry crops like jowar, maize and pulses on the entire tract of land," he said.
Nayak used to invest around Rs 50,000 as input capital for cultivating 3-5 acres of his land. The arrival of monsoon decided his profits. Timely arrivals would earn him double his investment. Else, he would not get even half his investment.
"I have been facing losses for the last 7-8 years. The year before the last one was good, but this year again all my paddy crop was gone. Hopefully, now I won't be debt-ridden," he said.
Nayak, however, still has one concern left: that of Minimum Support Price. "Along with the input subsidy, if the State regulates the Minimum Support Price too, farmers will earn good profits," he opines.
‘A much-needed surety for farmers; will bring down incidences of farmer suicides’
Wanaparthy: "No more of borrowing money from private money lenders," beams Chukka Sudarshan, a farmer from Nandimalla village of Amarchintha mandal in Wanaparthy. He had been dependent on private money-lenders for past several years to grow sugarcane on his 4.2 acres of land. "The scheme is a blessing for us. I will be now able to buy seeds and fertilizers with this money," he says. The young farmer has received Rs 18,000 under the scheme. Sudarshan feels this was a surety they always needed. "This can bring down the incidents of farmer suicides. If the crop in one season fails, farmers can ensure that they have their profits in the next season," a visibly happy Sudarshan reflects.
‘Puts an end to the vicious loan-debt circle’
Nagarkurnool: Anand, from Timmajipeta mandal of Nagarkurnool, is a marginal farmer. On the 3.4 acres of land he owns, he has been cultivating paddy for the last two years. Untimely rains had subjected him to huge losses. The entire farming season for Anand was nothing but a vicious circle of taking loans to clear debts. Now, he breathes easy. "I used to spend 75 per cent of my income to clear loans. But the this scheme has made me hopeful. I have received `12,000 under and there are no interests to be paid. For marginal farmers like me, this is a great help," he says.