Farmers want paddy centres opened

Special Correspondent

Government urged to announce minimum support price

Instances of traders rejecting produce upsets farmersFarmers finding it difficult to dispose of produce

SHIMOGA: Members of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha staged a dharna on the premises of the Deputy Commissioner's office here on Wednesday demanding the opening of a purchase centre to procure paddy and cotton at remunerative prices.

They presented a memorandum to the district administration urging the Government to help the farmers who were apprehensive about the market price being much lower than the minimum support price fixed by the Government.

They pointed out that the farmers were anxious, as the harvesting of paddy grown in irrigated and rain-fed areas had begun simultaneously and was likely to cause a glut in the market. The instances of traders rejecting their produce had also upset the farmers.

The protesters demanded that the Government announce the minimum support price for paddy immediately and suggested that centres be opened throughout the district to purchase paddy at a reasonable price.

They also pointed out that the farmers who had grown cotton in rain-fed and irrigated areas were finding it difficult to dispose of their produce at one time. What had upset them was the fact that the price of the cotton prevailing at the time of sowing came down drastically at the time of harvesting, they said and warned that the farmers would be forced to resort to suicide if the Government did not intervene immediately and fix minimum support price.

President of the district unit of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha T.M. Chandrappa and general secretary H.N. Onkarappa led the protest.