Amaravati: Former minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader Yanamala Ramakrishnudu on Sunday held the Jagan Mohan Reddy government’s ‘anti-farmer’ policies responsible for the deepening crisis in the agriculture sector in the state.
Ramakrishnudu expressed concern over the steep fall in the growth rate in agriculture and allied sectors. He claimed the percentage of population dependent on agriculture fell from 70 per cent to 50 per cent.
All round problems have made the lives of cultivators very difficult as they were caught in debts and losses. The growth rate also dropped by over 4.9 per cent under the Jagan Reddy rule, he said.
The opposition leader in the Legislative Council recalled that the agriculture and allied sectors recorded double digit growth during the TDP rule headed by Chandrababu Naidu. It touched 10.5 per cent during 2017-18 and 2018-19 whereas the growth rate came down to 6.04 per cent under the YSRCP rule. Thus there was a fall of 4.9 per cent when compared to the previous regime.
The former minister said the aquaculture growth rate fell from 27.4 percent to 6.9 per cent under the present rule, a big drop by 20.5 per cent. Horticulture growth rate was 17.7 per cent during the Chandrababu rule and it fell to just 4.4 per cent under the Jagan rule, a fall by 6.9 per cent.
Ramakrishnudu said that there was no growth even in the animal husbandry development. There was a downward trend in the development of industries and services relating to agriculture and allied sectors. This was having an adverse impact on the creation of work opportunities in these sectors.
He claimed that there were no remunerative prices to the crops at the end of the season. The farmers were not getting returns for their hard work, sweat and blood. As a result, the production of foodgrains came down by 3 per cent in 2020-21 when compared to 2019-20.
The TDP leader deplored that the fixing of meters on agricultural motors would amount to hanging a noose round the necks of farmers. Payments were not being made in time to the crops purchased from the farmers. The farmers were stuck in debts as their payments were kept pending for six to nine months.
He pointed out that food inflation was recorded at an alarming 12.5 per cent. The farmers were declaring crop holidays all over the state due to the indifferent policies of the government and rising costs of cultivation. Export of agriculture allied sector produce came down steeply.
Ramakrishnudu accused the Jagan government of failing to rescue the farmers who suffered heavy losses during the natural calamities. Not a single food processing industry came to Andhra Pradesh in the past two and half years.
He claimed that the downtrend in agriculture and lack of work opportunities was causing a rise in migration.
The TDP leader said that the aqua farmers in coastal region and horticulture farmers in Rayalaseema region were incurring heavy losses. Even the subsidies on drip and agricultural implements were cancelled under the present regime.