The Tiruchi district unit of the Indian Farmers Forum has called for the nationalisation of all inter-state rivers so as to prevent disputes between riparian states.
In a resolution adopted at its district level meeting here recently, the organisation observed that unless the rivers were nationalised there could be more regional disputes, affecting the country's overall food production.
Agriculture in Tamil Nadu, which has been suffering for long, owing to the inter-state disputes, has been badly affected. It was regrettable that the State government has not initiated steps to press Karnataka to release Tamil Nadu's due share of water in the Cauvery. Karnataka has failed to release Tamil Nadu's monthly quota of water this year and only the surplus waters from Kabini has been released in the Cauvery, the resolution said.
Through another resolution, the meeting called for uniform norms for agriculture loan waiver/interest relief schemes implemented by the State and Central governments. Though the State government has not differentiated between small and big farmers in its loan waiver scheme, farmers who had already repaid the loans at the time of the announcement of the scheme were in for a disappointment. The Centre has given relief for small farmers with land holdings of less than five acres.
Repeated requests to grant the relief for all farmers, without any differentiation based on land holdings, has not been accepted by the Centre. This has led to banks initiating distraint proceedings against farmers through the seizure of tractors, it regretted. The Forum demanded the immediate suspension of distraint proceedings and urged the Centre to grant the relief to all farmers.
The Forum urged the State government to hike the procurement price of milk in view of the increase in the price of cattle feed and wages of farm hands. The government should hike the procurement price of cow milk to Rs.25 a litre and buffalo milk to Rs.30 a litre.
Through other resolutions, the forum demanded that the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme be implemented only during the non-agricultural season and steps to encourage more students to take up vocational education to meet the requirements of technicians for repair of farm machinery in the rural areas.
R.Nallakannu, senior leader, Communist Party of India, M.Rajasekaran, MLA, D.Gurusamy, President, Indian Farmers Forum, Tamil Nadu, Indrajit, district secretary, CPI, C.Masilamani, district secretary, Tamil Nadu Vivayasigal Sangam affiliated to the CPI (Marxist), A.Nagarajan, district president, Indian Farmers Forum, and others spoke.
Farmers who had achieved high productivity in various crops were honoured on the occasion.