Punjab panchayats cap labour costs, but farmers willing to pay more - ECAS Punjab

Punjab panchayats cap labour costs, but farmers willing to pay more

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Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7

Though panchayats across the state have passed resolutions, capping the labour costs that are to be paid for paddy transplantation at around Rs 3,000 per acre, farmers have maintained that they would not follow these resolutions as their livelihood depends on proper and timely transplantation.

Baldev Singh, a farmer in Bhairupa near Bathinda, says that though his village panchayat, too, has passed a resolution, but farmers are desperate and are willing to pay anything between Rs 4,000 and Rs 5,000, on the condition that the rate they pay should not be disclosed by the labourers.

In Sangatpura village of Sangrur, where 2,000 acre of land is under paddy cultivation, at least eight new direct seeding of rice (DSR) machines have been bought by farmers in the wake of shortage of labour. Shagandeep Singh, a farmer in the village, says that this is an additional cost to the farmer this year, as the 40 per cent subsidy announced by the government has so far not been released to anyone. "Other than this, the cost of most herbicides, pesticides and insecticides, besides zinc and sulphur, have gone up. We will not even break even with the minimal MSP hike, considering that the input costs are so high this year," he laments.

Kulwant Singh of Kishangarh Sedha Singh village in Budhlada (Mansa), who is also the secretary of the Kisangarh Sedha Singh Village Cooperative Society, says while prices of sulphur and zinc have increased by 30-35 per cent, the prices of many pesticides have doubled in the past two years.

"Butachlor, a commonly used herbicide in paddy, is available to farmers at Rs 590 per litre, against its price of Rs 530 per litre last year; price of pesticide choloropyrifos has increased from Rs 295-Rs 300 last year to Rs 350 this year; Cartap (pesticide) prices have hiked from Rs 50-55 in 2018 to Rs 120 now. Even the price of Ferterra insecticide has gone up from Rs 575 for a 7-kg packet in 2018 to Rs 675 this year. With a 15 per cent rise in these prices, how do you expect the farmer to prosper when the price he gets is just 2.9 per cent higher over the last year?" he questions.

from The Tribune https://ift.tt/3eYba3c

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