Many dry horticultural farmers in Anantapur District are still awaiting financial assistance approved by the central government under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
A minimum of £ 87.47 crore was sanctioned for growing and growing the crops under the program, but many of the 13,700 beneficiaries still need to receive them after two years.
While 23,320 acres were covered under this program for 8,100 farmers in fiscal year 2019-20, 16,061 acres were covered for 5,607 beneficiaries in 2020-21. The farmers planted mango, lime, cheek and pomegranate, among other things.
The Hindu visited Patha Bathalapalli, a village in Nallamada Mandal, where farmers planted mango seedlings in December 2019 and fed them by buying water from tankers as no groundwater was available.
“We took a break during the monsoons, and some people were lucky when their wells became operational after the water table improved that year,” says Pulivendula Chittamma, one of the beneficiaries. She and her husband had planted mango saplings in two acres and procured them for £ 150 a sapling. They planted 150 seedlings in two acres.
Similar is the case with Gangulamma and C. Narasimhulu in the village, who planted mango seedlings on two and three hectares respectively and received some money for pitting operations but were waiting for the greater part of the amount due to them. “As the fiscal year ends, we’re concerned that our bills will be sanctioned,” Narasimhulu explains.
You have not chosen to do the regular NREGS work as all mandays under this program will be converted to grow the mango plants for three years.
Nallamada Mandal has 12 grams of panchayats and 197 farmers had registered for 197 acres under the 2020-21 program, said field assistant M. Ganesh. In Patha Bathalapalli alone there are 42 farmers who plant horticultural crops on 111.94 acres under the program. For the three year period they would be paid £ 31 for the cost of seedlings, pitting, fertilizer, transportation and technical assistance in growing the plants.
Mr Ganesh said the beneficiaries would get their money as it was sanctioned and partially paid. However, there was a delay in payment for reasons unknown.