S. Vydhianathan

They allege that middlemen grab major part of selling price

  • They seek easy access to a regulated market
  • "Uzhavar sandhai" can be opened in each block
  • They seek easy access to a regulated market
  • "Uzhavar sandhai" can be opened in each block

    CHENNAI: A majority of farmers across the State have alleged that they do not get remunerative price for their produce. In the absence of a good marketing mechanism, a major portion of selling price is going to middlemen.

    During their interaction with officials of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, farmers called for easy access to a regulated market where they could get a remunerative price equal to or more than the minimum support price set by the Government.

    On many occasions, a fall in price to ridiculously low levels forced them to resort to distress sale. At present farmers cultivating chillies, onion, cashew, coriander and vegetables were forced to sell to private people/intermediaries.

    A focus paper published recently by the NABARD at the interaction pointed out that farmers wanted the Government to open more weekly markets so that they could sell their produce for better price.

    Arrangements such as "uzhavar sandhai" could be made in each block on a large scale to help farmers sell their produce locally and directly to consumers.

    They felt the weekly village and panchayat shandies should be strengthened with adequate infrastructure so that they could market their produce directly.

    Sugarcane farmers complained that there was undue delay on the part of sugar mills, especially the private ones, in honouring the minimum support price and the state advised price set by the Central and State Governments. Delay in the settlement of procurement price increased their interest burden.

    Dairy farmers voiced similar complaints. The cooperative milk producers' societies, functioning under the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers' Federation, were not regular in paying producers. Though the federation claimed that weekly payments were being made in Erode and Salem districts, dairy farmers were getting the payment late and were not paid the government fixed price.

    In many districts, government veterinary centres lacked facilities. The farmers were willing to pay consultancy charges if qualified veterinarians were available. Another problem for cattle owners was the shortage of drinking water. A majority of irrigation tanks, canals and small rivers were polluted by effluents from nearby factories. The farmers urged the Government to address these issues for improving the growth of agriculture.