Special Correspondent

Farmers to hold rally to mark anniversary of police firing

SHIMOGA: State general secretary of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha H.R. Basavarajappa said here on Tuesday that it was unfortunate that Governments in the last 30 years had not offered compensation or support price scientifically for crop loss.

Addressing a farmers' rally held at Nagasamudra in Bhadravati taluk to mark the 28th anniversary of the police firing on agitating farmers, he said that the waiving of farm alone would not solve the farmers' problems.

He pointed out that nearly 2 crore tonnes of paddy was grown in Karnataka as summer crop this year but its price had come down to Rs. 800 a quintal as against last years Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 1,800. This had come as a big blow to the farmers, he said. It was estimated that farmers would lose up to Rs. 800 crore on account of this steep fall, he added.

Blame game

Mr. Basavarajappa criticised the Centre and the State Governments for blaming each other for this unusual development.

He said that the Government's investment spree on the industrial front was bound to hit the agriculture sector as it would not just result in the shrinkage of cultivable land but also reduce food production.

It was disturbing, he said, to see villages being deserted by youths who migrate to cities in search of jobs. The only way to reverse this dangerous trend was to extend greater support to agriculture, he suggested.

Insurance

Mr. Basavarajappa also expressed concern over insurance companies “bungling” in compensating for crop loss on account of natural calamities. He demanded that crop insurance be determined by holding villages as units, and the rate of premium on each crop insured not exceed Rs. 100.

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