Stage `rasta roko;' seek establishment of procurement centres to buy produce directly from growers
Pest attack and deficient rain have affected the output Plea to take into consideration the cost of cultivation
GULBARGA: Traffic was disrupted for some time on Wednesday on the Gulbarga-Aland inter-State highway near Kadaganchi village in Aland Taluk, as hundreds of farmers staged a "rasta roko" agitation demanding that the State Government announce a minimum support price of Rs. 2,500 a quintal for red gram and establish procurement centres to purchase the produce directly from the farmers from the beginning of the season.
The agitation was organised by the Jana Jagruti Raitara Party. In a memorandum submitted to the Aland Tahsildar, the leaders of the party, including Dayanand Patil, and party president Mahadevi Shivaraya Singe, said the Government should take into consideration the expenses involved in the cultivation of the red gram and fix the minimum support price. The minimum support price of Rs. 1,710 fixed last year for was unscientific and would result in heavy loss to the farmers, they said.
The memorandum said that this year the expenditure on the cultivation of red gram had more than doubled due to pest attack and the farmers were forced to take up spraying of the pesticides at least eight to nine times. Besides, the failure of rains in the crucial months of cultivation led to a drastic fall in the output.
They demanded that the Government conduct a survey regarding the loss of the red gram crop due to scanty rain to pay compensation to farmers and ensure immediate release of crop insurance amount due to the farmers.
Referring to the problems in the distribution of new ration cards, the memorandum said majority of the poor families have been deprived of the BPL and Antyodaya cards. The Government should take steps to correct the mistakes in the survey conducted earlier for identifying the BPL and APL families and ensure distribution of the BPL cards to all the deserving families, they said.
The memorandum demanded that people with disabilities and their family members should be supplied 25 kg of foodgrains free. The farmers demanded that villages coming under the Kadaganchi circle, including Kamala Nagar, Bodan, Belagunda, Bablad, Savalgi Tanda, Wagdargi, Karhari and Chetta Jewargi, should be provided basic amenities such as separate toilets for women. The drinking water problems in villages should be solved immediately, the memorandum said.