Saturday, 7 July 2012

Will support price mechanism help to rescue the rice farming?

An account of the rice farmer; it is his statement on rice farming on his own land and in his area once dominated by farming activities. The place is not far away from the capital city Agartala.
  The farmers with a family members of three owns the below mentioned quantum of land:-
1. Total land: - 11.50 Kani
            a. Two cropped land: - 4 Kani
            b. One cropped land: - 3 Kani
            c. Tilla land: - 3 Kani
            d. Homestead land: - 1 Kani
            e. Farm pond: - 0.5 Kani
   What the farmer is doing during this khariff the main cropping season of the state are as follows:-
            1. Total land: - 10 Kani
            a. Two cropped land: - 4 Kani
            i. Given on crop lease:- 3 Kani
            ii. Given on rent:- 1 Kani
            b. One cropped land: - 3 Kani
            i. Given on crop lease:- 2 Kani
            ii. Growing own crop: - 1 Kani
            c. Tilla land: - 3 Kani
           i. Tilla land is maintained for the purpose of Bamboo and other                                           forest tree. This is to ensure his requirement for fire wood,                       cane and bamboo.
            d. Homestead land: - 1 Kani
            i. Houses: - 17 Guntas
            ii. Homestead garden: - 3 Guntas
            e. Farm pond: - 0.5 Kani
          i. This is maintained for daily water requirement for household                                works and also fishery activities.
    What he narrated about the rice farming in particular and agriculture in general is; farming is no longer a remunerative profession.
  Of this, rice farming has become a loss making activities which people just compelled to continue for staple need of the family.
   This year he has given most of his fertile land on crop lease because, cultivation of rice is no longer viable in his area due to shortage of farm labour, low production in the unit area and low price of rice in the market.
  Giving the land on crop lease has also become a matter of concern because there are hardly any takers for growing crops due to low price of rice in the local market. For a farmer to give land on crop lease to somebody would also require certain amount of investment.
   But in return what he gets is; few quintals of rice for family need. Now, once prominent farmers are struggling to maintain their cultivable land due to present farming scenario.
   Now the land owner has to supply fertilizer and cost of initial field preparation to the person who has agreed to grow crop on his land with the condition that the total yield would be divided into two equal parts.
   There are even instances, where land owner just to keep his land under cropping gives his land for a just 1.20 quintals of rice per kani  per cropping season where the farmer would have obtained the yield of 6.40 to 8.00 quintals of rice per kani per crop.
  Farmer stated that the present rate of wages of farm labour is quite high as indicated below:-
a.       Male:- Rs.300 per man-day
b.      Female:- Rs.220 per man-day
Whereas, the existing price of rice is as follows:-
a. Rs.260-300 per 0.4 quintals
   Farmer feels that rice farming would be remunerative if it gets good market price in the range of Rs.400 to Rs.500 per 0.4 quintals of rice. But, getting this price at this prevailing market condition would be highly unlikely unless state comes out and help in the way of support price.
   But question remains that will the support mechanism help in rescuing the rice farmers? This is because, there are many inter-related variables which are necessary for improving the condition of rice farming.
 This is the generalized feeling  and statement of the concerned farmer.
                                             Agritangkol dated 06.07.2012

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