17 panels formed for Farmers’ Day fete

Various farmers’ organisations in the district have voiced dissent over the non-inclusion of their representatives in lead roles in the sub-committees formed to host the State-level Farmers’ Day celebrations in Kozhikode from August 16.

Representatives of farmers’ organisations alleged that the 17 sub-committees recently formed to conduct the four-day State-level event had elected chairmen who had hardly any link with the agriculture sector. “Even two lawyers have been included in the group to lead the State government’s formal celebration for farmers,” they said.

Kulathingal Johnson, district president of Kerala Karshaka Union (M), said the neglect shown towards farmers’ associations had dampened their spirit.. “District leaders of the organisations, including the Kerala Karshaka Sanghom, Kisan Sabha, Kerala Karshaka Union and Karshaka Morcha, have openly expressed their dissent,” he said.

According to Mr. Johnson, Farmers’ Day was the only occasion when farmers got an opportunity to draw the attention of the authorities to their problems, dreams and intervention expected on the part of the government for their welfare. “How can we be part of a Farmers’ Day celebration where farmers have hardly any role to play?”

When contacted, a senior officer of the Agriculture Department said the State-level celebration was charted in such a way to include only select delegates from various organisations. “We had invited representatives of all the major political parties to the sub-committee formation meeting in Kozhikode on June 22, but, none of them found any fault with the way the committees were formed, he said. He said there would be separate programmes in each panchayat under the leadership of Krishi Bhavans to observe Farmers’ Day. “In those programmes, we have directed the organisers to strictly include the representatives of all leading farm organisations,” he added.

P. Viswan, former MLA, and currently the district president of Karshaka Sanghom, said he was made a member of the accommodation committee formed for the State-level celebrations. “We will have to rethink the way we should cooperate with such kind of a Farmers’ Day celebrations,” he said.

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