Vidarbha farmers knock Sonia's doors for quick relief
YAVATMAL: Various organisations of farmers in Vidarbha have urged UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to help stop their ever-growing planned exploitation by unscrupulous private traders and touts operating in the region.
Sources said that cotton prices fell alarmingly from Rs 6,200 to Rs 2,200 per quintal owing to unwanted restriction imposed by the textile minister on the quantum of bales to be exported. They have demanded to lift restrictions on cotton exports if the Union government wanted to bail out the dying farming community of the region.
They have also drawn her attention towards crisis in pulse trading and requested her to act quickly to save the toiling masses.
According to Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti president Kishor Tiwari, private traders have brought down the price of pulses, especially of tur which is one of the major crops cultivated in the region. Tiwari has urged Gandhi to issue directives to the authorities to protect minimum support price of tur - Arhar - pulses at Rs 3,000 per quintal and stop exploitation at the hands of traders by booking them under the provisions of Essential Commodities Act. He has also urged her to ensure start of procurement centres of Nafed and Trifed for procurement of Tur - Arhar - pulses at minimum support price of Rs 3,000 along with assured bonus and incentives of Rs 500 per quintal in all districts of Vidarbha.
He further claimed that a huge stock of pulses is lying with private traders who purchased it from the needy farmers at a price much less than MSP. The administration should not only seize such illegally procured tur stock but also take action against those found guilty of exploiting farmers. "All the victims of the greedy traders should be adequately compensated by giving them a bonus at the rate of Rs 500 per quintal under NFSM programme," he said.
Yavatmal District Farmers Action Committee has registered its protest against restrictions on export of cotton bales by setting afire bales in the local Cotton Market yard.
Ashok Bhutada, spokesperson of the action committee, has said that a huge stock of raw cotton is lying with the farmers in the district. He feared that if restrictions are not lifted immediately, the traders would bring down the price further which may badly affect farmers.