The marathon walkathon launched by the Bharatiya Kisan Mazdur Sangh from the Konaseema region in East Godavari district with a focus on distress conditions in the farm sector reached Eluru on Wednesday. A demonstration was staged outside the Collectorate with an appeal to the government for a statutory arrangement enabling the farmers to fix prices for their products by themselves. BKMS leader Kumara Swamy highlighted the need for a separate budget for agriculture at the State and the Central level and completion of the Indira Sagar Project within a stipulated time frame as a measure to bail out agriculture from the current crisis.
Saying that a crop holiday was observed by the farmers in the Godavari delta region during the previous rabi season for want of remunerative prices for their produce, Mr. Kumara Swamy warned that the country would have to face a serious food security problem if the government failed to initiate remedial measures to boost the agricultural sector. The rytu yatra, which began on February 10, is scheduled to end at Tirupati with a massive rally on March 29 after covering a distance of 965 km. According to Mr. Kumara Swamy, the programme is intended to organise the farmers into a strong pressure group to achieve their demands by creating awareness among them.