Farmers expect more subsidies from annual budget

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Ludhiana, July 3 (ANI): Farmers in Ludhiana have expressed hope for some relief in the government's annual budget to be presented on July 6.

They expect that a congenial atmosphere will be created with the right policies, for agriculture to flourish.

Subsidies on farm chemicals, fertilizers, insecticides and farm equipments such as tractors, low interest on loans, insurance on crops and even a television and radio channel exclusively for farmers are all among the demands.

"We expect that the subsidies that the government promises on fertilizers, insecticides and farm equipments like tractors, should be made available. We should get all these subsidies," said Harcharen Singh, a farmer.

The delayed monsoon has also been a major cause of concern this year. In the first month, the rainfall has been 46 per cent below normal. The farmers are particularly worried that their produce could be badly hit.

They are also demanding that interest on farm loans should be on minimum interest and more loans so that they are not at the mercy of the moneylenders.

"The fertilizers and insecticides should be cheaper; the interest on our loans should be lesser. We should get more prices for our crop. The labour has also become expensive. We used to give them 1000 rupees last year but now it has gone up to 2000," said Ikbal Singh, a farmer.

The farmers also expect introduction of crop insurance this year, as a protection against destruction of crops by natural calamities.

"The insurance for the crops should be announced in this budget. It should be at minimum premium. More crops should be included under the natural calamity fund for the good of the farmers," said Paritpal Singh Pangaliy, Punjab Agricultural University, farmers club.

In Punjab, for instance, the farmers want that provisions be made for grain storage system.

Punjab being one of the major producers of food grains in the country still lacks a proper storage system leading to huge losses each year.

Farmers hope that the budget next week provides resources needed by agriculture to realise its rich potential, with likely big investments in irrigation and seeds aimed at boosting productivity. (ANI)

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