Staff Reporter

Seek time-bound action to address farm crisis

KOZHIKODE: Farmers under the aegis of the Karshaka Koottaima, a united farmers' movement in the State, will picket the Collectorate here on November 25. Addressing presspersons here on Thursday, the organisers, who represented different farmer-groups, demanded that the Government address the issues confronting the farm sector in a time-bound manner.

The Kisan Sena, Deseeya Karshaka Raksha Samithi, Famco, Farmers Relief Forum and Infam are among the members of the Karshaka Koottaima. K.A. Devasia, general convener, alleged that despite the long-standing problems such as fall in prices of agricultural commodities and the incidence of diseases such as `mandari', `mahaali', bud-rot and yellowing leaf pest, the Government had failed to provide the needed assistance to agriculturists.

Nevertheless, banks were moving ahead with recovery proceedings against the hapless farmers. An interest of 14 per cent was being levied on loans taken by them, besides 16 per cent penal interest, thereby creating a heavy burden on the farmers. The organisers said that despite the LDF Government declaring that it would waive agricultural loans, banks continued to move ahead with recovery proceedings against the farmers. In contrast, the Tamil Nadu Government had taken a helpful attitude by paying off the loans taken by farmers. The LDF Government was turning a blind eye to farmers' problems by not initiating steps to provide legitimate price for agricultural commodities, crop insurance, pension or health insurance.