Consortium to take up a campaign from May 1 to October 2
The Consortium of Indian Farmers Associations (CIFA) will take up a nation-wide campaign to “restore the Constitutional rights of Indian farmers” from May 1 to October 2, its secretary general, P. Chengal Reddy, said here on Friday.
The campaign was intended to highlight the plight of the country's farmers, who Mr.Reddy said, were in extreme distress owing to wrong policies of the governments.
The growth rate of the farm sector has been going down. Farmers do not have assured and profitable price for their produce, security against crop failure, old age livelihood security, proper access to modern technologies and mechanisation, he said speaking at a consultative meeting with representatives of various farmers organisations to discuss the action-plan for the campaign here on Friday.
Government regulations violated farmers Constitutional rights of justice, liberty and equality, he contended. Two Pay Commission reports have been implemented in recent years, but the report of the National Commission on Agriculture has been put in the cold storage.
The campaign would put forward a charter of demands including fixation of minimum support price for farm produce taking into account the production cost and providing for 50 per cent profit margin; removal of controls on production, processing, marketing and exports; withdrawal of the Essential Commodities Act and other anti-farmer Acts; reduction of income disparities and empowerment of farmers to plan, implement and monitor their resources.
These apart, region and commodity-specific demands of farmers organisations would also be highlighted.
The campaign will start on May 1 with discussions among farmers organisations to finalise the charter of demands/declarations at the State, district and villages levels.
During June and July, farmers activists would visit villages to meet farmers and explain the objectives.
In August, farmers' leaders would meet local leaders, MPs, MLAs and leaders of political parties to represent their case.
On October 2, farmers would observe a day-long fast in front of a statue or a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi in their respective villages. On the same day, about one lakh farmers would observe a fast at New Delhi.
Mr.Chengal Reddy said he was engaged in enlisting the support of all farmers organisations across the country for the campaign.
“I have planned to meet Sharad Joshi, Mahendra Singh Tikait and farmers' leaders in other States to enlist their support,” he said.
Based on the discussions with various farmers' organisations, the final charter of demands and action plan would be evolved.
Mahadhanapuram V. Rajaram, Executive President, Tiruchi District Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association, R. Raja Chidambaram, Secretary, Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam, G. Ajeethan, general secretary, Tamil Nadu Banana Growers Federation, and representatives of various other farmers' organisations participated in the meeting.