Saturday, June 17, 2017

'Ban' on cattle sale has farmers plough land

Vachalabai and her son Sunder ploughing their land
The proposed ban on the sale of cow and bullock by the Central government has  already begun to hit the farmers even before it has become law. 

Farmers are unable to buy cows and other cattle for agricultural operations without producing a great many documents, which many do not possess.

In Guarapur village, Indravelli mandal, Adilabad district, Ms. Vachalabai,65 and her son Sakre Sunder, 28, are ploughing their three-acre land without the help of bullocks; the son drags the plow while the mother sows the seeds.

They were unable to buy the animals they needed at the Utnoor cattle market because no one wanted to sell to them because of the heavy documentation and permissions required. 

Both the buyers and sellers of cattle in rural areas are in a panic because of the government’s diktat. Ms. Vachalabai said she was told to produce many documents related to their land and take the required permission from the village revenue officer, sarpanch, Tahsildar, and veterinarian.  

She said the restrictions on cow sales will certainly cause loss to the farmers, especially tenant farmers. Cattle owners also have to get the relevant certificates from the officials to sell their 
cattle.

FARMERS BUY CATTLE AFTER HARVEST SEASON

Most of the small and marginal farmers sell their cattle after harvesting season is over and then purchase new animals just before the next agriculture season so as to avoid having to feed the cattle during the off season.

In the tribal and rural areas of Adilabad, the tradition is for the tenant farmers to take cows and bullocks on rent for a few months for the agriculture work.

President of the Rythu Swarajya Vedika (RSV) in Adilabad district, Sangepu Borranna, says that the proposed ban on the sale of cows and bullocks has started showing its negative impact on the agriculture and is causing additional problems for the already distressed farmers. 

It was natural for poor farmers to sell their cattle in the agriculture off season and purchase them before the beginning of the next agriculture season.

“Most of the times, some small and marginal farmers clear their debts with the money they get by selling their cows and bullocks in the market. The proposed ban is likely to create a crisis in the agriculture sector”, Mr. Borranna says.

The ban will force the many farmers to take the extreme steps if they are unable to clear their debts or unable to cultivate their agriculture land due to a ban on sale of cows and bullocks’, he warns.

There are 4.25 lakh farmers in the integrated Adilabad district. Sixty – four percent them own less than two acres of land and 24 percent own less than five acres. There were 1.75 lakh tenant farmers in the old Adilabad district.

Under the Forests Rights Act, 2016, 1.37 lakh June 2 of land was distributed to the tribals and 1.32 lakh acres land is under podu cultivation in integrated Adilabad district.

Banks don’t give crop loans to the farmers cultivating lands given under ROFR (Recognition of Forest Rights) and Podu cultivation and also tenant farmers.

These farmers are also not going to be considered by the state government for Rs 4,000 assistance to be given as agriculture investment by the state government.

Between, June2, 2014 and May 25, 2017, 2,964 farmers committed suicide in the Telangana state. Seventy per cent of them were tenant farmers.