HYDERABAD: Though 30 per cent of the farmers in the state are tenants cultivating leased lands and 60 per cent of those who have committed suicide in the state belong to this category, they are being denied all benefits from state, according to an independent survey conducted by Rythu Swarajya Vedika, an organisation which works for rights of farmers. With no recognition from the government, at least 10 lakh tenant farmers in TS are unable to access the various benefits provided by the state.
At a public hearing held in the city on Thursday, farmers from across the state explained how Loan Eligibility Cards (LECs), under the AP Land Licensed Cultivators (LLC) Act passed in December 2011 have not been issued, thus preventing them from accessing any government schemes.The LECs entitled them to gain access to bank credit, crop insurance, input subsidies and disaster relief. While 58,000 LECs had been issued to farmers in TS before bifurcation, no cards were issued in the following year. In 2015, about 44,000 cards were issued, followed by zero cards in 2016 and only 12,000 in 2017.
The yearly renewal of LECs has not been done in few cases. Compensation for damaged crops, in some cases, was paid to owners and loans are a far-fetched thought, farmers said. “The LLC Act is enforceable and favours tenant farmers. Instead of effectively implementing it, the government has decided to adopt the Centre’s Model Agricultural Land Leasing Act, 2016 without consulting farmers,” said Kiran Vissa of Rythu Swarajya Vedika. The organisation will bring these concerns to the notice of the principal secretary (revenue) in the next two days and demand that these irregularities be cleared.