Friday, March 10, 2006

farmer beggars

sri lankan farmers once (long time ago) so proud have turned in to militant beggars. according to reports we are going to get a record breaking maha harvest. needless to say this will mean drastic reduction in prices. farmers will be reduced to selling below cost and we are probably in for a rash of suicides from april on. protests have already started with police batten charging a protest organized by jvp in polonnaruwa yesterday.

this is the inevitable consequence of granting subsides to rice farmers. in sri lanka subsides to rice farmers comes in two forms, below market price for fertilizer and guaranteed buying price for rice produced. in both cases government has neither the mechanism nor the resources to satisfy even a plurality of farmers, let alone every one of them.

however farmers have fallen for the promise of subsides consistently in both voting for the politicians who promise most and in cultivating rice in places that can only make profit if those subsidy promises are kept, if at all. according to reports this maha season had the largest land area under paddy cultivation.

even if the government can afford subsidies (paid by taxing and mortgaging more productive sri lankans), situation will only worsen because it will only encourage more people into rice farming and more land will go under the plow. an imaginary reference to paddy fields being turned into more productive uses in the ranil's manifesto was enough to effectively ridicule him during the last election. unfortunately neither ranil or unp or anybody else had enough backbone to confront the issue head on and say that growing rice is hardly the best use for the land, for instance in colombo district. as for mahinda buffalo and herd, they probably believe in subsides like a bunch of idiots or farmers. even the treasury secretary who is not a complete idiot went so far as to say that fertilizer subsidy should be considered an investment. nobody asked, least of all what goes here as the press, how 'an investment' that results in overproduction that cannot be sold here or abroad unless at a huge loss is good for the country.

in reality sri lankan rice production destroys economic value. value of inputs including subsides, now exceed the value of output.

nobody is willing to admit this reality. it is much easier to blame the private mill owners who buy at rock bottom prices, or the government bureaucracy for inefficiency, or in the case of opposition government politicians for not allocating money.

well i suppose some people have to learn it the hard way. so when you see farmer suicides, protesters getting beaten up, or fasts unto 'death', remember those beggars brought this upon themselves and do not deserve sympathy.

13 comments:

sittingnut said...

my apologies to all those who read this before. i am sure more errors remain but corrected at least 8 errors of various kinds just now. it seems my head is clearer after getting drunk at a cricket ground than in the morning.

Keshi said...

lol Sittingnut dun tell me u get blog-harmingly drunk??


**however farmers have fallen for the promise of subsides consistently in both voting for the politicians who promise most and in cultivating rice in places that can only make profit if those subsidy promises are kept, if at all...

they have a reason to 'fall' for such false promises....they r uneducated poor people..they depend on shrewd n selfish politicians for their daily bread...so what d u expect...these poor farmers need to be educated not to listen to such crap...


hope ur weekend is going good :) I have to make Pasta now..lol..friends coming over for dinner n they want ME to cook n not mum...hehehe...cos they love my Pasta :) Maybe we should get more Sri Lankans to eat Pasta ;-)
Catch u soon!

Keshi.

ashanthi said...

Hey - fantastic article inspite of getting drunk - did you go to the Royal -Thomian match?

If you hadn't gotten drunk you would be the onlly one there that wasn't.

I belive Indi was a bit of a hero at the match.

Back to your post - I hear you loud & clear re subsidies but I have to say one thing, the issue is not about not having any subsidies but when to have them & when not to.

sittingnut said...

keshi:

hey mate !
lol actually it was more blog-benefitingly drunk! otherwise this post will still have more errors . :-)

they r uneducated poor people.....these poor farmers need to be educated not to listen to such crap...
you may have a point. but they can't all be fools, they must have common sense. still they fall for them again and again.

hope ur weekend is going good :)
well it's the royal thomian! what more can i say !
besides royal won!

I have to make Pasta....cos they love my Pasta..
from scratch ? hope not .
btw i love pasta too.
eating not making. :-)
did your friends leave with the opinion?

Maybe we should get more Sri Lankans to eat Pasta ;-)
lolz!

ashanthi:
great to see you !
did you go to the Royal -Thomian match?
yes, on friday and saturday. had a great time :-)
would have written a post but there were so many others already in the blogs here.

I have to say one thing, the issue is not about not having any subsidies but when to have them & when not to.
imo subsides are bad at all times.

ashanthi said...

as you know - we are from different sides with respect to mixed-economy & social issues .... however, I can see why people have become disillusioned with subsidies.

the thing to remember is all these systems work, they must however be fine tuned & they must not be afflicted by politics.

you would have a very good idea at every twist & turn over the last 20 -30 (if not more) years where the SL govt would have played the subsidy card - just as it does everything else.

am glad you made it in one piece through the Roy-Tho match. It is ledgendary isn't it. I gather you are from the Royal camp. Well I've had friends on both sides.

Who knows one day it might get screened all over the world & we can all watch it. Sri Lanka will be a the top of the cricket ladder, peace will reign, there will only be subsidies for the arts & bloggers will rule the world!!!

Hooray!!!!

Ps - we need to talk about Friday... :-) errhmmm I'm serious :-)

Keshi said...

**lol actually it was more blog-benefitingly drunk

lol okkk gotcha :)


Royal-Thomian? WOW I can rem those days...hope u had alot of fun!


Pasta turned out to be the best ever..lol...all my friends were pigging out and were more than pleased this time..:)

hey Ashanthi WB! Missed ya tonz...where were ya?


Keshi.

ivap said...

s/nut - royalist eh? if so, given your age, our paths may have crossed many many moons ago if we ever ended up in the same grades. BTW, will finally post on the free speech thingo.

ashanthi - are you in SL at the moment ? are you plannning to attend the kottu meet up ? I'll have to wait for the pictures

ivap said...

hi Keshi, how is sydney? I left you a belated reply

ashanthi said...

ivap - sssshhhhhh, don't be giving me away... though i must say, am v pleased to see a post/comment from you after all this time...

i kinda remember the good ole days on nittewa ... seems like yonks ago.

re the meet up - have a few things to sort out but yeah, inspite of the hostility, will be chuffing along, incognito. Mainly because i don't know the indi crowd - i "know" you guys (keshi, ivap, s/nut, morq & durga) but those guys, i dont. I also think that incognito is the best because that's what's great about the blog. Unless you want to move into the real world with someone.

sittingnut said...

ashanthi:
yes we have different opinions so we should be better friends. :-)
as for friday i wont be there, too bad, bc i would have liked to see you in disguise . :-)
give us a full account ! hopefully ppl will post pics so we can guess which one is you.

keshi:
yes i had lot of fun at the match, though a bit less than usual . :-)
'pigging' pasta, now that's real fun. :-)

ivap:
as ashanthi said glad to see you back.
you a royalist too? i was in 91 batch
it seems almost all the srilankan male bloggers are either royalists or thomians. shows how limited the sl blogs are.
on the other hand females are from all over the place.

ivap said...

it seems almost all the srilankan male bloggers are either royalists or thomian

must be all that elitism seeking an outlet for self-expression ... ;)

i was in 91 batch

I may have been in that batch too had I stayed in SL but left round about when the O/Ls were disrupted by the mallis in red. i still remember when they raided the school and assembled everyone to the cricket grounds. I think I was in year 10 if I recall correctly. can't remember many notable compatriots from my days but there was a guy who captained the cricket team at a young age.

ashanthi said...

What's this Mallis in red & rounding people up Ivap or s;/nut pse elaborate ... curious?

sittingnut said...

ivap
i was in o/l year 10 too, when that happened, o/ls were held in april 89, 4 months late. how i went to collect the results when they came out few months later in the midst of complete shutdown of the country (no public transport at all) is one of my great memories :-)

ashanthi:
it was not much of a disturbance. jvpers (or alleged jvpers) came and asked everyone assemble in grounds and... (actually i don't quite remember what happened next, nothing much i suppose). happened only once. of course the country was in complete chaos in 88 and 89.