TODAY -

The other side of food for all : NFSA likely to pinch State farmers hard
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 27 2013 : Certain quarters have raised serious apprehension that the National Food Security Act (NFSA) would give a crippling blow to the farmers of Manipur.

Official sources in the Department of Agriculture and CAF&PD Department said that rice cultivated in the State would never reach the markets once NFSA comes into force in the State and the same commodity is distributed to people at Rs 3 per Kg.

Notably, the State Government has been working hard to implement NFSA in the State from April next year.

Although the Act envisages to provide rice at Rs 3 per Kg, CAF &PD Department has been working to provide rice between Rs 3 and Rs 5 per Kg in Manipur.

When rice is distributed at Rs 3 or Rs 5 per Kg, there would be very few buyers for the rice/paddy produced by farmers of the State.



Farmers working at their field
Farmers working at their field


On account of the high cost of fertilizers and steep labour charge, farmers in Manipur have been investing substantial amount of money in paddy cultivation every season.

During the last kharif season, farmers spent Rs 9000 to Rs 10,000 in cultivating paddy over an area of one sangam.

At this rate, farmers have to sell rice at Rs 26 per Kg otherwise they do not get any profit.

Once the NFSA comes into force and rice is distributed at Rs 3 or Rs 5 per Kg, farmers in the State would experience crippling blow and ultimately no one would like to take the pain of cultivating paddy in the State.

When farmers are reluctant to cultivate paddy, the movement to save agricultural land would be rendered meaningless.

The State Government after perceiving all these threats posed by NFSA to farmers have been studying possible remedial measures.

But it is still unable to take a concrete decision.

As of now, the Government has been considering to buy rice/paddy produced by the farmers of Manipur at the normal price for distribution to public at subsidised rate.

But this option poses big challenge to the State exchequer.

Buying rice at normal price and distribution of the same commodity at the subsidised rate of Rs 3/5 per Kg would take a heavy toll on the State exchequer.

As such, the State Government would be compelled to seek Government of India's assistance in implementing NFSA in the State.

For this, the State Government need to lobby hard towards this end, said the sources.


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