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Farmers in Mysuru Raise Concerns About Agricultural Difficulties Ahead of Karnataka Budget

Farmers from the Mysuru region have highlighted difficulties that have plagued agriculture ahead of the Karnataka Budget.

Chintu Das
Sugarcane Farmers
Sugarcane Farmers

Farmers from the Mysuru region have highlighted difficulties that have plagued agriculture ahead of the Karnataka Budget, which is expected to be introduced in early March. They urge the government to provide enough allocations to the farm sector. 

Kurubur Shanthakumar, president of the Karnataka State Sugarcane Cultivators Association, said in Mysuru on Sunday that the farmers will hold a divisional level conference in Mysuru in the run-up to the Budget session, to bring attention of the government to their demands. 

Farmers were in severe problems, he claimed, and had suffered as a result of the region's untimely and persistent rains, which lasted until early December. He said that this had a detrimental impact on agricultural output, but that the government did not classify poor yields as crop loss because they result in lower remuneration for farmers. 

While input costs have increased, agricultural revenue has decreased, and crop yield reductions would only result in additional decreases in returns, he noted. 

As a result, Shanthakumar urged the government to ensure that the next State Budget be pro-farmer in nature in order to help farmers overcome their financial difficulties. 

Shanthakumar believes that the focus of State policy and the budget should be on ensuring statutory compliance with the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops as well as a minimum income for farmers. 

Farmers' Other Demands 

The Association, which is advocating for the provision of health insurance to farmers, claims that the government may deduct Rs 1 for each tonne of sugarcane or other crop purchased from farmers. According to the farmers, the premium for health insurance may be paid with applicable remittance from the government and would not be a financial burden on the State exchequer. 

Shanthakumar, who requested a similar policy in the State, went on to say that the Telangana government  was paying the premiums for farmers who were insured for Rs 5 lakh and that in the event of an accidental death of the insured, the remaining family members received the insurance sum. 

The present prohibition on constructing an ethanol unit within a 15-kilometer radius of a sugarcane plant, according to the sugarcane farmers' association, should be removed. 

He suggested that the government establish a procurement centre in Hobli to guarantee that farmers have easy access to the market. This would assist farmers with modest land holdings. The present agricultural insurance policy has been criticised for failing to assist farmers in recovering losses, and the organisation has said that all crops should be eligible for crop insurance, regardless of the cost of cultivation or the level of damage experienced due to natural disasters. 

Given the severity of the agricultural crisis and the sector's importance, Shanthakumar explained that the association requested a monthly meeting with the district deputy commissioners to assist resolve issues that the industry was facing. 

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