Government should take over foodgrain distribution, say farmers
BANGALORE: In the light of rising prices of foodgrain, the Government should step in and take over both the wholesale and retail foodgrain business, a convention of farmers and farm labourers urged here on Monday.
When the food production in the country was normal and inflation was under control, the prices of essential foodgrain were rising only owing to hoarding by middlemen and commission agents, was the resolution passed at the State-level convention of Raitha Krishi Karmikara Sanghatane (RKS) here. “Middlemen should be barred and the Government should take over the responsibility of food distribution. Foodgrain should be bought directly from the farmers and sold to consumers; this would ensure fair prices to both farmers and consumers,” it added.
Condemning the police assault on farmers, the resolution by the RKS said: “It is deplorable that the Government handcuffed those (farmers) who feed us.” On one hand the Government was acquiring fertile land belonging to the farmers by paying a pittance and on the other it was distributing the land among industrialists for a meagre sum. “When the farmers protest such a move, they are attacked by the police.”
The resolution also said that over two lakh farmers had committed suicide in the country in the last two decades since liberalisation and privatisation process commenced. The opening up of the economy has helped private investors and pushed farming community to the brink, it said, and added that life for the farmers had become miserable.
State Secretary of Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) K. Radhakrishna said that the Government was forcibly acquiring agricultural land and selling it to industries and real estate businesses at throwaway prices. Citing the incident of caning of farmers in Haveri, Chamarajanagar, Bellary, Davangere and other places, he said that the BJP Government was attacking those who were protesting against this.
Earlier, a procession was taken out from the Mysore Bank Circle by the farmers who had come to attend the convention from across the State.