Farm Mission recommends 100 wages, Price stabilisation
The state government-appointed task force on farm distress chaired by chief of Vasantrao Naik Shetkari Swawalambi Mission, Kishor Tiwari, has suggested that farmers be given a grant equivalent to 100 wages from Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREGA) and a Price Stabilisation Fund be instituted to protect them from distress sale of their produce.
Mr Tiwari said that due to increased cost of labour, very little work on digging wells in fields had been completed through NREGA. "Farm labour costs are ever-increasing and constitute a big chunk of input costs for cultivation and more so, with low level of mechanisation in these two regions. When NREGA funds are anyway used to pay for labour for digging of farm wells, why not for other farm labour," he questioned. "It would be a big help if 100 days of wages under NREGA are deposited in farmer bank accounts so that costs of labour for a season are met," Mr Tiwari said.
Mr Tiwari also recommended that banks consider a five-year term for farm loans after assessing borrowers’ land costs and other securities, which would give farmers more financial freedom.
In yet another recommendation, Mr Tiwari suggested speedier implementation of the price stabilisation fund in order to protect farmers from distress sale of their produce in the event of price fluctuation.
The Shetkari Swawalambi Mission is a task force constituted by the state a couple of months ago to address farmer suicides and the agrarian crisis. The mission has also undertaken the task of training gram sevaks, police patils, health workers so that they provide timely assistance to farmers on various aspects and thus reduce stress levels. The latest recommendations were made by the mission during a recent review meeting called by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.