Bengaluru: Waiver benefits fail to reach needy

Bengaluru: He may have handed out a bumper crop loan waiver to farmers but Chief Minister Mr H.D. Kumaraswamy was in for a shock on Monday when he realised that the benefits of the loan waiver had not yet reached the beneficiaries and this had slowed down agricultural activity.

During a meeting of ZP CEOs and distirct deputy commissioners (DCs) here, Mr Kumaraswamy was speaking about the good monsoon which should have spurred agricultural activity. It was at this juncture that the officials told him that agricultural activity had actually slowed down.

The benefits of the loan waiver has not yet reached farmers and they had not renewed their loans and consequently, agricultural activity had slowed down, the officials said. Shocked by the facts, Mr Kumaraswamy asked the officials to convene a meeting of the cooperation and agriculture departments to sort out the issue.

The CM obtained details of agricultural activity and said that farmers should be given compensation as per the amended National Disaster Relief Fund(NDRF) guidelines. Besides, there was a rainfall deficit in 12 districts in the state where the district administration should get ready to face a drought like situation. The administration also should look into the reasons for farmer suicides and take measures for early disbursement of compensation, he said.

The district officials were also asked to take up programmes under Swacch Bharat Andolan and complete construction of toilets by October 2 which is observed as Gandhi Jayanti, to make the state open defecation free.

At the fag end of the meeting, pioneer of natural farming Mr Subhash Palekar spoke on the need to revert to traditional agricultural practices. Introducing Mr Palekar, Mr Kumaraswamy said that the Azim Premji Foundation had promised to support Zero Budget Natural Farming, as it was supporting this initiative in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

Mr Palekar asserted that the Green Revolution had created a lot of problems, but had offered no solutions. For the last 5,000 years, the system of clearing forests for agricultural activities was in place and agriculture was based on cattle manure. Presently, it is impossible to get cowdung for manure as to provide dung manure for one acre, one needs 10 cows.

Chemical fertiliser based farming has created a lot of problems, claimed Mr Palekar adding that global warming and climate change besides farmer suicides are some of the adverse results of this kind of farming.

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