Farmers’ convention on December 23 to seek complete loan waiver

December 18, 2023 06:42 pm | Updated 06:45 pm IST - MYSURU

 Farmers leaders including Kurubur Shanthakumar (second from left) releasing a poster of the December 23 Farmers Convention in Bengaluru at a press briefing in Mysuru on Monday.

Farmers leaders including Kurubur Shanthakumar (second from left) releasing a poster of the December 23 Farmers Convention in Bengaluru at a press briefing in Mysuru on Monday. | Photo Credit: M.A. Sriram

A farmers’ convention convened on Farmers’ Day on December 23 in Bengaluru by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) will make a strong pitch for complete agriculture loan waiver by the State government.

On the day of the convention in Bengaluru, organised jointly by the Morcha, Federation of Karnataka Farmers’ Association and the Karnataka Sugarcane Growers’ Association, a formal letter will be submitted to the Chief Secretary of the State government to completely waive off the farm loans, said farmers leader Kurubur Shanthakumar while addressing a press conference in Mysuru on Monday.

He appealed to the farmers to gather for the convention in Bengaluru in large numbers.

He said the farmers of the State, who were reeling under the impact of either floods or drought since the last three years, had used the loan amount for growing the crops. But, the farmers had suffered crop loss on account of the natural calamities like floods and drought.

Hence, the government should waive off the crop loans completely, Mr. Shanthakumar demanded while referring to the loan waiver extended to industrialists.

He also urged the State government to increase the crop loss compensation from the present ₹2,000 per farmer to a minimum of ₹25,000.

Mr. Shanthakumar also urged the Centre to increase the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) for sugarcane from the existing ₹3,150 per tonne to ₹4,000 per tonne. “The existing FRP has been fixed unscientifically as the cost of production itself is ₹3,580 per tonne”, he said.

Also, criticised the Centre’s decision to curb imports of sugar and the restrictions placed on manufacture of ethanol by sugar mills. He urged the Centre to review these decisions that were like “adding salt to the wounds” of sugarcane farmers.

Pension to farmers

Mr. Shanthakumar said the government should announce a pension of ₹5,000 per month to farmers on crossing 60 years of age.

He also urged the government to come out with a policy that reserves 10 per cent of government jobs for brides of farmers. This he felt will prevent farmers’ children from abandoning agriculture and migrating to urban areas.

The farmers’ convention in Bengaluru on December 23 is part of a series of conventions organised by Samkyukta Kisan Morcha (non political) in southern India.

The conventions called Kisan Mahapanchayat will be held in Palakkad in Kerala on December 20, in Chennai on December 21 and in Hyderabad on December 26.

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