The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) will conduct a mega rally in Mandya on Monday to highlight various issues plaguing the farmers and agricultural sector.
Speaking to presspersons in Mysuru on Friday, Badgalpura Nagendra, president of KRRS, said the farmers have been left in the lurch by the governments and they were being pushed to the brink. The KRRS also held a “token” demonstration to draw attention to their demands.
The Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of ₹3,050 per tonne of sugarcane fixed by the government was not only unremunerative but also unscientific as it did not meet the cost of production, said Mr. Nagendra. The State government was yet to discuss or fix the State Advisory Price (SAP) since the last four years as a result of which the cultivators were in dire straits, he added.
Demanding an FRP of ₹4,500 per tonne, the farmers said the input cost of fertilizer, pesticides, labour and so on have increased and there was no justification for pegging the FRP at below the cost of production.
Mr. Nagendra said that the farmers had ensured record production despite the COVID-19 and the negative impact of the pandemic and yet the government was turning a blind eye to their demands.
The KRRS has also sought exemption from payment of electricity charges under various schemes like Kutir Jyothi and Bhagya Jyothi. It also sought 12 hours of uninterrupted power supply to ensure regular agricultural operations. Mr. Nagendra said that until agricultural becomes a viable option and economically lucrative farmers should not be charged for power supply.
The KRRS also wanted a ban on quarrying in a radius of 20 km around KRS Dam in Srirangapatna taluk of Mandya district. Mr. Nagendra said the report submitted a few years ago by Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre should be final based on which the ban should be imposed. The KRRS also opposed the trial blast proposed by the State government and which has been put on hold in view of the farmers protest.
These and other issues, including the amendments to the Land Reforms Act, will be discussed in a mega rally being held at the Silver Jubilee Park in Mandya on Monday, said Mr. Nagendra.