Farmer's Protest: Agriculture Minister's remark unfortunate,Task Force urged to look into core issues of agrarian unrest
Dated - 4th June 2018
Farm activist and Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission the Maharashtra state govt.special task force to tackle agrarian crisis chairman Kishore Tiwari has termed the remark of Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh that the protest by farmers in various parts of the country were attempts to get media attention as unfortunate and rubbing to salt to wounds of dying agrarian community and urge him look into the status of the government's agrarian programme to resolve the farmers distress in the country.
Kishor Tiwari urged Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh for his urgent intervention as all executives responsible for implementing PM's flagship programs related to credit flow ,crop pattern shifting to national demand ,input @ output cost regulations ,proper market intervention has been intentionally failed to perform their duties resulting the recent farmers protest .
According to Kishor Tiwari ,even Maharashtra state govt. has given mega farm loan waiver that will cover 90 % debt trapped distressed farmers in the month June 2017 till date bankers have not started giving fresh crop loan to dying farmers thanks to hostile farm credit policy of Nabard more over the state government has so far failed to ensure that farmers are paid the fair and remunerative price for pluses and gram despite policy announcements to that effect.
In a letter to Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, Tiwari recalled the report of National Commission on Farmers (NCF) chairman M S Swaminathan which had focused on the rise in farmer suicides and recommended solutions through a holistic national policy for farmers. The report, submitted during the UPA regime, had listed among major causes of the agrarian crisis the unfinished agenda of land reforms, quantity and quality of water, technology fatigue, access, adequacy and timeliness of institutional credit, and opportunities for assured and remunerative marketing. Swaminathan had also sought shifting of agriculture to concurrent list.
Tiwari said in the letter that Maharashtra had started working on core issues raised in NCF report related to the areas of land, water, bio-resources, credit and insurance, technology and knowledge management, and markets aggressively. Yet, he pointed out that the ground reality that the government programme did not reach small and needy farmers.
"This year the state has implemented mega agricultural debt, waiver and debt relief scheme to benefit around 6 million farmers but as the state has no direct control over functioning PSU banks, it failed to give timely and sufficient credit to needy and debt rapped farmers," said Tiwari.
"Farming is largely an un-organized sector. No systematic institutional and organizational planning is involved in cultivation, irrigation, harvesting etc. Institutional finance is not adequately available and minimum purchase price fixed by the government does not reach the poorest farmer. Traders and middlemen exploitation denies the best price for the produce to cultivators. There is need to promote farmers' market where they can directly sell produce at reasonable prices to the consumers," Tiwari elaborated.