Basic problems in agri sector not addressed: Kerala CM

Written by Agencies | Thiruvananthapuram, February 29: | Updated: Mar 1 2008, 00:20am hrs
Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan on Friday said waiver of loans taken by farmers announced in the Union Budget will only provide temporary relief as the basic problems faced by the agriculture sector have not been addressed.

Reacting to the Union Budget, Achuthanandan said, though the debt waiver would provide relief to farmers, without hiking import duty on agriculture products, the real problem could not be resolved.

He said the main problem faced by farmers was the low price for their produce and attributed it to the globalisation policy adopted by the Centre.

Waiver of loans will provide some relief. But, the farmers will fall in debt trap again as they will be forced to sell their products at low price, Achuthanandan said.

Kerala was the first state to introduce the Farmers Debt Relief Commission and had repeatedly asked the UPA government to set up a similar Commission at the National Level, he said.

Welcoming the budget proposal for increase in the allocation for health, education and other welfare sectors, he said including more cash crops in the Agriculture Insurance scheme would benefit the states farmers.

The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme was extended to all parts of the country due to the pressure exerted by Left parties, he claimed.