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COST PER ACRE

Mr. Shanthakumar, who cultivates paddy at T. arsipur taluk, told The Hindu that the cost o! cultivatin" paddy per acre is a#out Rs. $%,&'' and the avera"e yield per acre is around $' (uintals. The support price had #een enhanced to Rs. ),*+' per (uintal. Considerin" this, the returns per acre will not #e more than Rs. $%,'''. ,! the yield was more #y $ or * (uintals and the produce !etched a #etter price -!or !ine variety., the !armers mi"ht make a pro!it that was #etween Rs. *,''' and Rs. /,'''. 0,t is not lucrative at all as the la#our cost has "one up su#stantially,1 Mr. Shanthakumar e2plained. 3e said that one could "et around +& k" o! rice !rom a (uintal o! paddy. ,ncludin" the main #yproducts o! rice millin", the !armer may "et around Rs. *,**& per (uintal. Mr. Shanthakumar, who is also chie! convener o! Consortium o! ,ndian 4armers5 Association, demanded implementation o! the M.S. Swaminathan Commission report on minimum prices. 04i2in" scienti!ic price will #rin" sta#ility to paddy production. 6ack o! a 7usti!ia#le support price will discoura"e "rowers. ,n such a situation, how can we ensure !ood security,1 he asked. Sustainin" the rice scheme lar"ely depended on the "overnment5s move to #oost paddy cultivation in the State, he said. Siddesh, a /89year9old paddy !armer in T. arsipur taluk, said: 0Middlemen were eatin" away at our pro!its. , "et a yield o! a#out $' (uintals per acre. , have not #ene!ited much #y cultivatin" paddy as the cost o! production and the returns , "et are almost the same.1 3e said !armers had to #uy !ertili;er, seeds, pesticides and other inputs at retail prices, #ut their produce was #ou"ht at wholesale price. Another !armer !rom the same taluk said !armers would #e at risk i! the "overnment re"ulated rice transportation to other States as the "overnment here re(uired hu"e (uantities o! rice to meet its P<S needs. Use of chemicals Accordin" to Mr. Shanthakumar, another important reason !or the !all in paddy yield is e2cessive use o! chemical !ertili;er. 0This is harmin" soil !ertility. early )& to )% per cent chemical !ertili;er is used to #oost paddy output. The yield was earlier over $& (uintals per acre #ut now is less even a!ter scalin" up !ertili;er use.1