Agri Nation Network
Mumbai | 29 April 2017
As farmers of Maharashtra feel that government is insensitive to their issues and farmers’ suicides, so like trade unions they are going on a ‘strike’ from June 1 to draw the state government’s attention to their problems. They will stop supplying and selling agri produce in market including fruits, vegetables and milk. They will also stop sowing any fresh crop growing activities. This decision of strike was taken earlier this month at a meeting of farmers at Puntamba village in Rahata tehsil of Ahmednagar district.
The protest and strike will not involve any political party or leaders. One of the farmers said, “If there is no action from government on our demands by May 31, we will stop supply of agri produce and will stop sowing new crop”.
Farmers are demanding deletion of all loan entries from their July 2012 revenue extract, waiver of all loans, interest-free loans for agriculture, continuous electricity supply, pension scheme for farmers, and implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations. The demands also include a 100 per cent subsidy for drip irrigation and appropriate price for their produce and higher price for milk. In many districts farmers’ organizations have already submitted demands to the local tehsildar.
The announcement of the farmers’ agitation has come at a time when the opposition parties have demanding loan waiver to farmers, particularly after Prime Minister Modi had promised the same to UP farmers and the new government in Uttar Pradesh announced the loan waiver.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had earlier said that Maharashtra government would study the Uttar Pradesh model of farm loan waiver. He had also said that they had asked the Centre for financial assistance and in case there is no assistance from Centre, they were working on how a loan waiver could be granted. The total farm loan is around Rs 30000 crore.
Last year report of National Crime Records Bureau on farmer suicides revealed that suicides in the country increased by 42 per cent between 2014 and 2015. Farmers in Maharashtra have faced two consecutive droughts and damage to crops due to recent unseasonal showers in parts of Marathwada.