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WB potato farmers celebrate govt schemes but voice need for more initiatives

Potato farmers held on to their produce to reap major benefits, which shows better financial conditions, say government officials

14 Apr 2021

Potato

West Bengal’s potato farmers welcomed the many steps undertaken by the state government to assure fair prices to their produce without bringing in moneylenders and middlemen, reported the Telegraph on April 13, 2021.

Cold storages were filled at maximum capacity in the wake of a bumper crop that anticipated huge sales for the 15 lakh-odd potato farmers. The agriculture marketing department estimated 115 lakh tonnes of potatoes were produced in the state against an average annual harvest of 90 lakh tonnes. Moreover, peasants owned 70 percent of these stocks.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) government employed schemes such as buying of stocks from peasants and issuance of Kisan Credit Cards, hoping to gain favour in the potato belt of Hooghly, East Burdwan, Birbhum, West Midnapore and parts of Murshidabad for the Assembly election. According to agriculture department officials, the TMC would have struggled to retain power if they lost people’s favour in this part of the state.

Accordingly, instead of resorting to distress sales like earlier sales, farmers held onto the produce until they availed deserving prices. Government officials considered this a significant decision because the wait indicated farmers were in a better financial position. Further, Kisan Credit Cards provided easy farm loans for 80 percent potato farmers,  who no longer needed to interact with moneylenders.

Earlier in mid-February, potato prices decreased to Rs. 4 per kg during harvesting. Farmers were in deep trouble as the input cost was estimated to be Rs 5. for producing a kilogram of potato. However, the government bought 10 lakh tonnes of potatoes at Rs. 6 per kg on February 23 to relieve the burden on farmers.

According to The Telegraph, increased paddy procurement also provided benefits to farmers to invest better in potatoes. Despite the benefits, farmers added that the government still needs to help with the sale of cold storage produce.

Hooghly district farmer Milan Kumar voiced a hope that the administration will help him sell his two tonnes of stored potatoes outside the state if the price is below Rs. 12 to Rs.14 per kg. Similarly, Birbhum district’s farmer Rishi Adak asked the government to provide more cold storages in the potato belt along with the assistance already provided.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been promising this last demand to potato farmers during his election rallies. However, in response the TMC states that it has been working towards that end for the past few years. Regardless, experts said that such a move will also benefit neighbouring states such as Jharkhand, Odisha, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh in the dry season. This will also help with competition against other states like Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat that enjoy better infrastructure and thus capture the market in the absence of other state’s export policy and storage capacity.

Related:

West Bengal has highest number of hospital beds in government hospitals: CDDEP

Battleground Bengal: EC's different strokes for different folks

Battleground Bengal: Campaign ban on Mamata Banerjee parting shot by outgoing CEC?

Sitalkuchi killings: This blood won’t wash easy…

WB potato farmers celebrate govt schemes but voice need for more initiatives

Potato farmers held on to their produce to reap major benefits, which shows better financial conditions, say government officials

Potato

West Bengal’s potato farmers welcomed the many steps undertaken by the state government to assure fair prices to their produce without bringing in moneylenders and middlemen, reported the Telegraph on April 13, 2021.

Cold storages were filled at maximum capacity in the wake of a bumper crop that anticipated huge sales for the 15 lakh-odd potato farmers. The agriculture marketing department estimated 115 lakh tonnes of potatoes were produced in the state against an average annual harvest of 90 lakh tonnes. Moreover, peasants owned 70 percent of these stocks.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) government employed schemes such as buying of stocks from peasants and issuance of Kisan Credit Cards, hoping to gain favour in the potato belt of Hooghly, East Burdwan, Birbhum, West Midnapore and parts of Murshidabad for the Assembly election. According to agriculture department officials, the TMC would have struggled to retain power if they lost people’s favour in this part of the state.

Accordingly, instead of resorting to distress sales like earlier sales, farmers held onto the produce until they availed deserving prices. Government officials considered this a significant decision because the wait indicated farmers were in a better financial position. Further, Kisan Credit Cards provided easy farm loans for 80 percent potato farmers,  who no longer needed to interact with moneylenders.

Earlier in mid-February, potato prices decreased to Rs. 4 per kg during harvesting. Farmers were in deep trouble as the input cost was estimated to be Rs 5. for producing a kilogram of potato. However, the government bought 10 lakh tonnes of potatoes at Rs. 6 per kg on February 23 to relieve the burden on farmers.

According to The Telegraph, increased paddy procurement also provided benefits to farmers to invest better in potatoes. Despite the benefits, farmers added that the government still needs to help with the sale of cold storage produce.

Hooghly district farmer Milan Kumar voiced a hope that the administration will help him sell his two tonnes of stored potatoes outside the state if the price is below Rs. 12 to Rs.14 per kg. Similarly, Birbhum district’s farmer Rishi Adak asked the government to provide more cold storages in the potato belt along with the assistance already provided.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been promising this last demand to potato farmers during his election rallies. However, in response the TMC states that it has been working towards that end for the past few years. Regardless, experts said that such a move will also benefit neighbouring states such as Jharkhand, Odisha, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh in the dry season. This will also help with competition against other states like Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat that enjoy better infrastructure and thus capture the market in the absence of other state’s export policy and storage capacity.

Related:

West Bengal has highest number of hospital beds in government hospitals: CDDEP

Battleground Bengal: EC's different strokes for different folks

Battleground Bengal: Campaign ban on Mamata Banerjee parting shot by outgoing CEC?

Sitalkuchi killings: This blood won’t wash easy…

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Kisan Shaheed Smarak: A memorial to those who died during the nationwide farmers' protest 

Metallic flames, anthems and earthen pots full of India’s soil; India’s local artists use their talents to honour the martyrs of the farmers’ struggle.

10 Apr 2021

Farmers protest

As many as 360 people died by April 7, 2021 while participating in the nationwide farmer’ struggle, they are now seen as martyrs of the movement. Many martyrs were the sole breadwinners of their families, their absence an irreparable loss that left many families haplessly fending for themselves. Yet, when Mitti Satyagraha Coordinator Guddi Tiwari talked to a mother about her son’s death, she received the reply, “If I had four sons, I would have sent them to each Delhi border.”

As an homage to this brave declaration, five memorials nowadays stand near Singhu, Tikri, Ghazipur and Shahjahanpur borders. Every memorial contains the soil accumulated by the satyagraha from various historical places like freedom fighter Bhagat Singh's village Khatkhad Kalan, Sukhdev's village Ludhiana, Udham Singh's village Sangrur, Chandrashekhar Azad's birthplace Bhabhara, Jhabua, Bardoli farmer movement sites, Sivasagar in Assam, Singur and Nandigram in West Bengal, Uttar Dinajpur, Vasava Kalyan and Bellary in Karnataka and hundreds of other places from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar.

However, what surprised Tiwari were appeals from local artists to contribute in the making of these memorials. Visual artist Kulpreet Singh from Patiala, Punjab reached out to organisers offering to help in the making of memorials at Singhu and Ghazipur border. What resulted from this offer were two sculpted jyots (flames) using proficiently-cut metal sheets with images of grains, farmers tilling the field, their bullock driven plough, the sun and the moon.

Farmers protest

Farmers protest

“The construction is welded together and painted in black for extreme contrast with the surroundings and the gaps of the cut outs,” says Singh while speaking to SabrangIndia.

Special pegs attached to the structure, allow for the satyagraha’s kalash (earthen pots) to surround the flame. One pot was also kept at the centre of the flame. Singh says the memorial conveys how a farmer wars and works with natural elements like the wind, water, and fire to feed the whole nation.

Farmers protest

“Today that same farmer is sitting at Delhi borders for his basic rights. This sculpture is dedicated to all who sacrificed their lives for the good of all. It has been named the Martyrs’ Column. This work belongs to everyone coming to Singhu and Ghazipur. This is yours too. Just like the soil, this work belongs to all of India. It is a symbol of reverence rather than a sculpture,” he says.

The veteran artist has been participating in the farmers’ struggle against the three laws since the rail-roko protests in Punjab. Regarding the events that unfolded in past months, he says that the government has behaved poorly and argued that a vibrant democracy thrives on mutual respect between the government and the public.

He also praises the mitti satyagraha by quoting Guru Govind Singh, “मानस की जात सबैएकै पहिचानबो,” which roughly translates to recognise the whole human race as of one caste. Singh said the satyagraha rose from all religious beliefs and castes; blurring the lines of the upper and the lower (economically and socially) and reached the Singhu border.

Similarly, ANHAD Founding member Shabnam Hashmi hails the atmosphere at and around Tikri border protest sites, where people from various sections of society had arrived to express solidarity to the movement, saying, “You can see Bhagat Singh’s legacy at these sites. It is amazing. You return from there energised after witnessing the power of the movement.”

Hashmi along with Bhavna Sharma, Leena Dabiru, Gauhar Raza arrived 48 hours before the satyagraha arrived at the Bahadurgarh protest site near the Tikri border to create an installation to honour the farmer martyrs. The end result was a melange of martyr photos, painted kalash and plants to represent a better future, said Tiwari.

Farmers protest

Farmers protest

SKM leaders such as Balbir Singh Rajewal, Dhanpal Singh and Harinder offered the photos while the Trolley Times group provided a list of all the deceased. The temporary memorial was inaugurated with a special anthem that was sung by singers Vedi and Pakhi Sinha.

 

Both Hashmi and Tiwari assert that the satyagraha and ensuing reactions refute mainstream media’s claim of “a weakening struggle.” Around three to four lakh farmers continue to protest near city borders, says Hashmi, while Shahjahanpur and Ghazipur borders boast a strength of thousands of protesters.

“This matured movement is an image of a single mulk fighting to protect the constitution. It is also a movement that recognises the huge participation of women. It is not easy to live four months in a trolley but they stand firm on their demands,” she says.

Similarly, Tiwari applauds all villagers, who sent the soil of their villages to the satyagraha through buses and trains. Even in Gujarat, where state police hindered their procession and cancelled their events, citizens collected and presented the soil from 400 state villages to the satyagraha at Ahmedabad. To Tiwari, it proves that the emotion and individual freedom of Gujarat farmers cannot be stopped despite state repression.

An artist from the state capital had also asked to create the Shahjahanpur borders. Now, the area near Rewari is marked by hundreds of kalash hoisted on black poles to honour martyrs who fought for farmers’ rights.

shahjan

About mitti satyagraha

A collective of India’s people's movements came together to start a soil satyagraha, reminiscent of the historic salt march carried out by Mahatma Gandhi during the Independence struggle. Participants were to pick up a fistful of soil and pledge to defend India’s fields, rivers, lakes and the public sector from private corporations.

Specifically, it honoured martyrs who died while decrying the central farm laws – the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance & Farm Services Act, the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act – in the second half of the march.

Related:

Mitti satyagraha begins on the same day as the historic salt satyagraha!

Farmer dies at Ghazipur border, family booked for draping body in Tricolour

Farmer Navreet Singh’s death not due to gun-shot injury: Police to Delhi HC

144 peasants died during farmers’ struggle since November 24, 2020

Kisan Shaheed Smarak: A memorial to those who died during the nationwide farmers' protest 

Metallic flames, anthems and earthen pots full of India’s soil; India’s local artists use their talents to honour the martyrs of the farmers’ struggle.

Farmers protest

As many as 360 people died by April 7, 2021 while participating in the nationwide farmer’ struggle, they are now seen as martyrs of the movement. Many martyrs were the sole breadwinners of their families, their absence an irreparable loss that left many families haplessly fending for themselves. Yet, when Mitti Satyagraha Coordinator Guddi Tiwari talked to a mother about her son’s death, she received the reply, “If I had four sons, I would have sent them to each Delhi border.”

As an homage to this brave declaration, five memorials nowadays stand near Singhu, Tikri, Ghazipur and Shahjahanpur borders. Every memorial contains the soil accumulated by the satyagraha from various historical places like freedom fighter Bhagat Singh's village Khatkhad Kalan, Sukhdev's village Ludhiana, Udham Singh's village Sangrur, Chandrashekhar Azad's birthplace Bhabhara, Jhabua, Bardoli farmer movement sites, Sivasagar in Assam, Singur and Nandigram in West Bengal, Uttar Dinajpur, Vasava Kalyan and Bellary in Karnataka and hundreds of other places from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar.

However, what surprised Tiwari were appeals from local artists to contribute in the making of these memorials. Visual artist Kulpreet Singh from Patiala, Punjab reached out to organisers offering to help in the making of memorials at Singhu and Ghazipur border. What resulted from this offer were two sculpted jyots (flames) using proficiently-cut metal sheets with images of grains, farmers tilling the field, their bullock driven plough, the sun and the moon.

Farmers protest

Farmers protest

“The construction is welded together and painted in black for extreme contrast with the surroundings and the gaps of the cut outs,” says Singh while speaking to SabrangIndia.

Special pegs attached to the structure, allow for the satyagraha’s kalash (earthen pots) to surround the flame. One pot was also kept at the centre of the flame. Singh says the memorial conveys how a farmer wars and works with natural elements like the wind, water, and fire to feed the whole nation.

Farmers protest

“Today that same farmer is sitting at Delhi borders for his basic rights. This sculpture is dedicated to all who sacrificed their lives for the good of all. It has been named the Martyrs’ Column. This work belongs to everyone coming to Singhu and Ghazipur. This is yours too. Just like the soil, this work belongs to all of India. It is a symbol of reverence rather than a sculpture,” he says.

The veteran artist has been participating in the farmers’ struggle against the three laws since the rail-roko protests in Punjab. Regarding the events that unfolded in past months, he says that the government has behaved poorly and argued that a vibrant democracy thrives on mutual respect between the government and the public.

He also praises the mitti satyagraha by quoting Guru Govind Singh, “मानस की जात सबैएकै पहिचानबो,” which roughly translates to recognise the whole human race as of one caste. Singh said the satyagraha rose from all religious beliefs and castes; blurring the lines of the upper and the lower (economically and socially) and reached the Singhu border.

Similarly, ANHAD Founding member Shabnam Hashmi hails the atmosphere at and around Tikri border protest sites, where people from various sections of society had arrived to express solidarity to the movement, saying, “You can see Bhagat Singh’s legacy at these sites. It is amazing. You return from there energised after witnessing the power of the movement.”

Hashmi along with Bhavna Sharma, Leena Dabiru, Gauhar Raza arrived 48 hours before the satyagraha arrived at the Bahadurgarh protest site near the Tikri border to create an installation to honour the farmer martyrs. The end result was a melange of martyr photos, painted kalash and plants to represent a better future, said Tiwari.

Farmers protest

Farmers protest

SKM leaders such as Balbir Singh Rajewal, Dhanpal Singh and Harinder offered the photos while the Trolley Times group provided a list of all the deceased. The temporary memorial was inaugurated with a special anthem that was sung by singers Vedi and Pakhi Sinha.

 

Both Hashmi and Tiwari assert that the satyagraha and ensuing reactions refute mainstream media’s claim of “a weakening struggle.” Around three to four lakh farmers continue to protest near city borders, says Hashmi, while Shahjahanpur and Ghazipur borders boast a strength of thousands of protesters.

“This matured movement is an image of a single mulk fighting to protect the constitution. It is also a movement that recognises the huge participation of women. It is not easy to live four months in a trolley but they stand firm on their demands,” she says.

Similarly, Tiwari applauds all villagers, who sent the soil of their villages to the satyagraha through buses and trains. Even in Gujarat, where state police hindered their procession and cancelled their events, citizens collected and presented the soil from 400 state villages to the satyagraha at Ahmedabad. To Tiwari, it proves that the emotion and individual freedom of Gujarat farmers cannot be stopped despite state repression.

An artist from the state capital had also asked to create the Shahjahanpur borders. Now, the area near Rewari is marked by hundreds of kalash hoisted on black poles to honour martyrs who fought for farmers’ rights.

shahjan

About mitti satyagraha

A collective of India’s people's movements came together to start a soil satyagraha, reminiscent of the historic salt march carried out by Mahatma Gandhi during the Independence struggle. Participants were to pick up a fistful of soil and pledge to defend India’s fields, rivers, lakes and the public sector from private corporations.

Specifically, it honoured martyrs who died while decrying the central farm laws – the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance & Farm Services Act, the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act – in the second half of the march.

Related:

Mitti satyagraha begins on the same day as the historic salt satyagraha!

Farmer dies at Ghazipur border, family booked for draping body in Tricolour

Farmer Navreet Singh’s death not due to gun-shot injury: Police to Delhi HC

144 peasants died during farmers’ struggle since November 24, 2020

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Back-to-back farmers’ events in coming days: SKM

Farmer leaders announced a series of events that will also honour local citizens and Bahujan supporters for their contribution to the struggle

09 Apr 2021

Image Courtesy:news18.com

Farmers will block the KMP-KGP highways from 8 AM on April 10, 2021 to the same time on the next day, as a warning to the government, said the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) during a press conference.

On Friday, farmer leaders announced a series of events planned for April from Saturday to the last week of April. Following the highway blockade, protesters will celebrate the foundation day of Khalsa Panth on April 13, at Delhi borders while simultaneously paying respects to martyrs on the anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

The next day is declared as the ‘Save Constitution Day’ and ‘Kisan Bahujan Unity Day.’ Protest site stages will be occupied and managed by agitators of Bahujan Samaj spokespersons.

“In their spirit of hatred and division, BJP leaders can perform various programs in Haryana by presenting farmers and labourers as enemies. We appeal to all Dalit-Bahujans and farmers to protest against these forces while remaining peaceful,” said farmer leader Darshan Pal.

The SKM said that on the same day, Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala has “deliberately” organised a program in Kaithal town. It called upon all protesters to decry the event by demonstrating peacefully at maximum number.

Later on April 18, farmers will honour the participation and dedication of local people by calling them on SKM stages and handing over its responsibility to them. Two days later, Rajasthani poet Bhagat Dhanna’s birth anniversary will be celebrated. The soil of his village, Doha Kalan, will be brought to Delhi borders and farmers will commemorate his memory with on-stage programmes.

Finally, the national struggle will complete 150 days of protest on April 24. The day will be marked by week-long special programs in which farmers, labourers, employees, youth, traders, students and other organisations will be called to join the Delhi morcha.

April’s last week will see a national convention of organisations supporting the farmers movement to plan and intensify the nationwide struggle. The official date for the Parliament march will be announced after completion of these events, said farmers.

Related:

Employees to strengthen farmers' protests during wheat harvest time
Stop attack on farmers, repeal hike in fertilizer prices: AIKS
Haryana Property Damage law, an attempt to kill democracy: Protesters
Farmers burn farm law copies during Holika Dahan!
Haryana passes recovery of damages to property bill, amidst slogans, by a voice vote

Back-to-back farmers’ events in coming days: SKM

Farmer leaders announced a series of events that will also honour local citizens and Bahujan supporters for their contribution to the struggle

Image Courtesy:news18.com

Farmers will block the KMP-KGP highways from 8 AM on April 10, 2021 to the same time on the next day, as a warning to the government, said the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) during a press conference.

On Friday, farmer leaders announced a series of events planned for April from Saturday to the last week of April. Following the highway blockade, protesters will celebrate the foundation day of Khalsa Panth on April 13, at Delhi borders while simultaneously paying respects to martyrs on the anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

The next day is declared as the ‘Save Constitution Day’ and ‘Kisan Bahujan Unity Day.’ Protest site stages will be occupied and managed by agitators of Bahujan Samaj spokespersons.

“In their spirit of hatred and division, BJP leaders can perform various programs in Haryana by presenting farmers and labourers as enemies. We appeal to all Dalit-Bahujans and farmers to protest against these forces while remaining peaceful,” said farmer leader Darshan Pal.

The SKM said that on the same day, Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala has “deliberately” organised a program in Kaithal town. It called upon all protesters to decry the event by demonstrating peacefully at maximum number.

Later on April 18, farmers will honour the participation and dedication of local people by calling them on SKM stages and handing over its responsibility to them. Two days later, Rajasthani poet Bhagat Dhanna’s birth anniversary will be celebrated. The soil of his village, Doha Kalan, will be brought to Delhi borders and farmers will commemorate his memory with on-stage programmes.

Finally, the national struggle will complete 150 days of protest on April 24. The day will be marked by week-long special programs in which farmers, labourers, employees, youth, traders, students and other organisations will be called to join the Delhi morcha.

April’s last week will see a national convention of organisations supporting the farmers movement to plan and intensify the nationwide struggle. The official date for the Parliament march will be announced after completion of these events, said farmers.

Related:

Employees to strengthen farmers' protests during wheat harvest time
Stop attack on farmers, repeal hike in fertilizer prices: AIKS
Haryana Property Damage law, an attempt to kill democracy: Protesters
Farmers burn farm law copies during Holika Dahan!
Haryana passes recovery of damages to property bill, amidst slogans, by a voice vote

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Haryana Property Damage law, an attempt to kill democracy: Protesters

Haryana farmers and other citizens demand the repeal of the recently passed state law that holds protesters accountable for property damage

09 Apr 2021

HaryanaSamyukt Kisan Morcha | Image: The Hindu
 

Haryana’s peasants and activists held a demonstration against the state government’s newly enacted “property damage law” at the local Rewari bypass on April 8, 2021. Protesters called the law “an attempt to assassinate democracy that will not succeed.”

Farmer organisations associated with the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), All India Kisan Khet Mazdoor Sangathan (AIKKMS) members and All India Democratic Youth Organization (AIDYO) activists participated in the event and burned copies of the law. Similar protests occurred in Matanahal, Dujana, Achhej and other areas to demand the cancellation of this law.

“This law was introduced with the objective of crushing the ongoing historical farmers movement. The government wants that no one should raise their voice against the government, no matter how much anti-people work is done by the government,” said SKM leaders in a press release.

The Recovery of Damages to Property during Disturbance to Public Act, 2021 provides for property damage recovery caused by persons during disturbances to public order by an assembly, lawful or unlawful, including riots and violent disorder. The law is reminiscent of the Uttar Pradesh laws passed after anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests.

Meanwhile, Haryana's youth farmer leader Ravi Azad received bail on Thursday. Farmer leader Darshan Pal said it has become a trend of the state government to arrest those, who talk about farmer and labour rights. “But with the rising power of the people, the government has to release them from jail. We warn the Haryana government that such behaviour should be stopped immediately,” he said.

Protesters at Delhi borders have also begun preparations for the KMP highway 24-hour road blockade on April 10. The SKM emphasised that citizens will not be disturbed or harmed. At the same time, it urged common citizens to cooperate in this program in honour of farmers and to pressure the government to listen to farmers’ demands.

Related:

Farmers burn farm law copies during Holika Dahan!

Haryana passes recovery of damages to property bill, amidst slogans, by a voice vote

Haryana gov't trying to trap farmers in false cases: SKM

Is UP's new Ordinance on recovery of damages an example of abuse of power?

 

Haryana Property Damage law, an attempt to kill democracy: Protesters

Haryana farmers and other citizens demand the repeal of the recently passed state law that holds protesters accountable for property damage

HaryanaSamyukt Kisan Morcha | Image: The Hindu
 

Haryana’s peasants and activists held a demonstration against the state government’s newly enacted “property damage law” at the local Rewari bypass on April 8, 2021. Protesters called the law “an attempt to assassinate democracy that will not succeed.”

Farmer organisations associated with the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), All India Kisan Khet Mazdoor Sangathan (AIKKMS) members and All India Democratic Youth Organization (AIDYO) activists participated in the event and burned copies of the law. Similar protests occurred in Matanahal, Dujana, Achhej and other areas to demand the cancellation of this law.

“This law was introduced with the objective of crushing the ongoing historical farmers movement. The government wants that no one should raise their voice against the government, no matter how much anti-people work is done by the government,” said SKM leaders in a press release.

The Recovery of Damages to Property during Disturbance to Public Act, 2021 provides for property damage recovery caused by persons during disturbances to public order by an assembly, lawful or unlawful, including riots and violent disorder. The law is reminiscent of the Uttar Pradesh laws passed after anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests.

Meanwhile, Haryana's youth farmer leader Ravi Azad received bail on Thursday. Farmer leader Darshan Pal said it has become a trend of the state government to arrest those, who talk about farmer and labour rights. “But with the rising power of the people, the government has to release them from jail. We warn the Haryana government that such behaviour should be stopped immediately,” he said.

Protesters at Delhi borders have also begun preparations for the KMP highway 24-hour road blockade on April 10. The SKM emphasised that citizens will not be disturbed or harmed. At the same time, it urged common citizens to cooperate in this program in honour of farmers and to pressure the government to listen to farmers’ demands.

Related:

Farmers burn farm law copies during Holika Dahan!

Haryana passes recovery of damages to property bill, amidst slogans, by a voice vote

Haryana gov't trying to trap farmers in false cases: SKM

Is UP's new Ordinance on recovery of damages an example of abuse of power?

 

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Stop attack on farmers, repeal hike in fertilizer prices: AIKS

Farmers have demanded an explanation for the exorbitant increase in prices, especially amidst an economically crippling lockdown 

09 Apr 2021

Image Courtesy:business-standard.com

Demanding that the central government repeal the new price hikes on fertilisers, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) on April 8, 2021 called upon all units to protest the Centre’s decision.

AIKS President Ashok Dhawale condemned fertiliser companies’ huge price hikes in chemical fertilizers such as the diammonium phosphate (DAP 18-46-00) that will now be sold at Rs.38,000 per metric tonne instead of Rs.24,000 per metric tonne in 2020.

This means an increase of Rs.14,000 per metric tonne for what is described by the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) as “the most popular phosphatic fertiliser”.

“Farmers, who were paying Rs.1,200 for a 50 kg bag, have to now pay Rs. 1,900. The prices of NPK complex fertilizers have also seen an exorbitant rise. NPK-I (10-26-26) prices increased from Rs. 23,500 to Rs. 35,500, an increase of Rs.12,000. NPK-II (12-32-16) prices increased from Rs. 23,700 to Rs. 36,000, an increase of Rs. 12,300. NP (20-20-0- 13) prices also increased from Rs. 18,500 to Rs. 27,000. AIKS demands immediate rollback of the increase in prices,” said Dhawale.

Similarly, AIKS General Secretary Hannan Mollah pointed out that this IFFCO-provided information was published mere two months after the government claimed that prices will not be increased as they aimed to reduce agricultural input cost to farmers.

“This has happened as the government has promoted deregulation in the fertilizer sector and companies are fixing farm gate prices without even transferring fertilizer subsidies benefits to farmers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP-led government are doubling farmers’ woes rather than their incomes,” said Mollah.

Leaders reminded that farmers have already suffered huge losses due to the unplanned lockdown announcements last year. Moreover, increasing fuel prices and other agricultural inputs have also increased the cost of production. This also comes at a time when internationally crude oil prices are low.

Meanwhile, farmers’ group Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) decried the government decision in light of repeated demands regarding fair crop prices and rising input cost.

“Farmers are not getting prices of their crops as per fixed MSP. Parallelly, the input cost of farming is increasing so much that it exceeds the prices of the crop. Similarly, the prices of other products have also increased. This is a direct attack on farmers where farmers will have to buy DAP at expensive prices,” said SKM leaders in a press release.

Leaders warned that the national movement will be intensified if the IFFCO and the government do not reduce product prices.

Related:

Employees to strengthen farmers' protests during wheat harvest time

Mumbai’s prominent union leader Datta Iswalkar passes away

Haryana: Farmers condemn police lathi-charge on peaceful protesters

Provide adequate budget to FCI! Protect the hungry! Demand India’s farmers

 

Stop attack on farmers, repeal hike in fertilizer prices: AIKS

Farmers have demanded an explanation for the exorbitant increase in prices, especially amidst an economically crippling lockdown 

Image Courtesy:business-standard.com

Demanding that the central government repeal the new price hikes on fertilisers, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) on April 8, 2021 called upon all units to protest the Centre’s decision.

AIKS President Ashok Dhawale condemned fertiliser companies’ huge price hikes in chemical fertilizers such as the diammonium phosphate (DAP 18-46-00) that will now be sold at Rs.38,000 per metric tonne instead of Rs.24,000 per metric tonne in 2020.

This means an increase of Rs.14,000 per metric tonne for what is described by the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) as “the most popular phosphatic fertiliser”.

“Farmers, who were paying Rs.1,200 for a 50 kg bag, have to now pay Rs. 1,900. The prices of NPK complex fertilizers have also seen an exorbitant rise. NPK-I (10-26-26) prices increased from Rs. 23,500 to Rs. 35,500, an increase of Rs.12,000. NPK-II (12-32-16) prices increased from Rs. 23,700 to Rs. 36,000, an increase of Rs. 12,300. NP (20-20-0- 13) prices also increased from Rs. 18,500 to Rs. 27,000. AIKS demands immediate rollback of the increase in prices,” said Dhawale.

Similarly, AIKS General Secretary Hannan Mollah pointed out that this IFFCO-provided information was published mere two months after the government claimed that prices will not be increased as they aimed to reduce agricultural input cost to farmers.

“This has happened as the government has promoted deregulation in the fertilizer sector and companies are fixing farm gate prices without even transferring fertilizer subsidies benefits to farmers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP-led government are doubling farmers’ woes rather than their incomes,” said Mollah.

Leaders reminded that farmers have already suffered huge losses due to the unplanned lockdown announcements last year. Moreover, increasing fuel prices and other agricultural inputs have also increased the cost of production. This also comes at a time when internationally crude oil prices are low.

Meanwhile, farmers’ group Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) decried the government decision in light of repeated demands regarding fair crop prices and rising input cost.

“Farmers are not getting prices of their crops as per fixed MSP. Parallelly, the input cost of farming is increasing so much that it exceeds the prices of the crop. Similarly, the prices of other products have also increased. This is a direct attack on farmers where farmers will have to buy DAP at expensive prices,” said SKM leaders in a press release.

Leaders warned that the national movement will be intensified if the IFFCO and the government do not reduce product prices.

Related:

Employees to strengthen farmers' protests during wheat harvest time

Mumbai’s prominent union leader Datta Iswalkar passes away

Haryana: Farmers condemn police lathi-charge on peaceful protesters

Provide adequate budget to FCI! Protect the hungry! Demand India’s farmers

 

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Employees to strengthen farmers' protests during wheat harvest time

Farmer unions warn the Centre against reversing any commitment made to farmers on Draft Electricity Amendment Bill

08 Apr 2021

Image Courtesy:indiagardening.com

Thousands of employees associated with the Democratic Employees' Federation and the Punjab Subordinate Service Federation have set off to join Delhi protest sites on April 11, 2021, to maintain the farmers’ struggle vigour during wheat harvest.

Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) leaders on April 7 said full preparations have been undertaken to strengthen the protest sites. “The movement will not be allowed to weaken in any manner,” said the SKM in a press release.

While wheat farmers prepared for this year’s harvest, cotton farmers strongly condemned the increase in Bt cotton seed prices by Rs. 37 per packet by the central government. Calling it an attack on farmers, they said the new prices will put an additional burden of Rs. 14 crores on Punjab farmers alone. 

“Last year, the price was fixed at Rs. 730 per packet, whereas the supply of seeds for this season started at Rs. 767 per packet. Farmers of Malwa belt of Punjab as well as cotton growers in other parts of India will be affected by this price rise,” said SKM leaders.

They also warned the central government against falling short of their commitment to withdraw the Draft Electricity Amendment Bill. Any re-introduction and passing of the Bill would be a reneging on the commitment made, and would lead to an intensification of the agitation, warned SKM leader Darshan Pal.

Meanwhile, Haryana farmer unions warned BJP and JJP leaders that their social boycott will continue and that leaders should refrain from participation in public programs anywhere in the state. Earlier, leaders issued an ultimatum to this effect as a response to the anti-farmer attitude and behaviour.

Farmers took such actions against the backdrop of Tuesday protests against BJP State President OP Dhankar and BJP MP Nayab Singh Saini, and MLA Gopal Kanda – the State Lok Hit Party President, who voted against a recent No Confidence Motion against Khattar government – in Sirsa on Wednesday. Police used water cannons on protesting farmers. However, the SKM appealed to farmers to remain peaceful in their social boycott of anti-farmer politicians.

Further, the SKM noted that a member of the Uttar Pradesh State Women's Commission resigned from her post in support of the farmers' movement and invited other BJP leaders to quit their posts too.

Related:

Haryana: Farmers condemn police lathi-charge on peaceful protesters
Provide adequate budget to FCI! Protect the hungry! Demand India’s farmers
Farmers’ struggle, a battle against a single party’s communal thoughts: Punjab SKM leaders
Punjab: Contract workers put 'No Entry' signs for Ministers who failed employment promises

Employees to strengthen farmers' protests during wheat harvest time

Farmer unions warn the Centre against reversing any commitment made to farmers on Draft Electricity Amendment Bill

Image Courtesy:indiagardening.com

Thousands of employees associated with the Democratic Employees' Federation and the Punjab Subordinate Service Federation have set off to join Delhi protest sites on April 11, 2021, to maintain the farmers’ struggle vigour during wheat harvest.

Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) leaders on April 7 said full preparations have been undertaken to strengthen the protest sites. “The movement will not be allowed to weaken in any manner,” said the SKM in a press release.

While wheat farmers prepared for this year’s harvest, cotton farmers strongly condemned the increase in Bt cotton seed prices by Rs. 37 per packet by the central government. Calling it an attack on farmers, they said the new prices will put an additional burden of Rs. 14 crores on Punjab farmers alone. 

“Last year, the price was fixed at Rs. 730 per packet, whereas the supply of seeds for this season started at Rs. 767 per packet. Farmers of Malwa belt of Punjab as well as cotton growers in other parts of India will be affected by this price rise,” said SKM leaders.

They also warned the central government against falling short of their commitment to withdraw the Draft Electricity Amendment Bill. Any re-introduction and passing of the Bill would be a reneging on the commitment made, and would lead to an intensification of the agitation, warned SKM leader Darshan Pal.

Meanwhile, Haryana farmer unions warned BJP and JJP leaders that their social boycott will continue and that leaders should refrain from participation in public programs anywhere in the state. Earlier, leaders issued an ultimatum to this effect as a response to the anti-farmer attitude and behaviour.

Farmers took such actions against the backdrop of Tuesday protests against BJP State President OP Dhankar and BJP MP Nayab Singh Saini, and MLA Gopal Kanda – the State Lok Hit Party President, who voted against a recent No Confidence Motion against Khattar government – in Sirsa on Wednesday. Police used water cannons on protesting farmers. However, the SKM appealed to farmers to remain peaceful in their social boycott of anti-farmer politicians.

Further, the SKM noted that a member of the Uttar Pradesh State Women's Commission resigned from her post in support of the farmers' movement and invited other BJP leaders to quit their posts too.

Related:

Haryana: Farmers condemn police lathi-charge on peaceful protesters
Provide adequate budget to FCI! Protect the hungry! Demand India’s farmers
Farmers’ struggle, a battle against a single party’s communal thoughts: Punjab SKM leaders
Punjab: Contract workers put 'No Entry' signs for Ministers who failed employment promises

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Government is bent on ending the mandi system: Yogendra Yadav

Farmers MSP Calculator continues to look at market prices in states across India

06 Apr 2021

Image Courtesy:zeenews.india.com

Karnataka farmers have been agitating for Minimum Support Price (MSP) for years but the government is bent on ending the mandi system rather than ensuring proper prices, said Jai Kisan Andolan Founder Yogendra Yadav on April 2, 2021.

According to the MSP Loot Calculator, state farmers incurred a loss of Rs 27.99 crore in March due to being forced to sell various crops at prices less than the MSP. Kusum farmers incurred the most loss by receiving an average market price of Rs. 4,175 per quintal as opposed to its MSP of Rs. 5327 per quintal. They suffered a “loot” of Rs. 1,152 per quintal.

Similarly, maize farmers in Karnataka suffered the most in terms of total loot. In these 31 days, farmers lost Rs. 8.11 crore, while gram farmers lost Rs. 6.95 crore and ragi farmers lost Rs. 4.97 crore.

MSP rates in other states

The Calculator also showed that other states also face similar issues in availing MSP. Particularly, for gram crops, farmers receive an average market price of Rs. 4,668 per quintal instead of MSP of Rs. 5,100 per quintal – a difference of around Rs. 432 per quintal. In March, farmers incurred a loss of Rs 273 crore due to selling gram below MSP.

In main gram producing regions such as Gujarat, the situation farmers reported a loss of Rs. 639 per quintal due to an average market price of Rs. 4,461 per quintal. Last month, Gujarat gram farmers lost a total of Rs. 72 crores while their Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra counterparts were robbed of Rs. 76 crores and Rs. 55 crores respectively.

Related:

MSP Loot Calculator: MP farmers lost more than Rs 200 crores in March
Terrified by MSP Loot Calculator, the Centre is speaking half-truths: JKA
MSP Loot Calculator: Loss on Barley sales amounts to Rs. 2 crore in 27 days!
Jowar farmers suffer major blow during kharif season sale!
Farmers lost Rs. 18 crore on Moong sales: MSP Loot Calculator

Government is bent on ending the mandi system: Yogendra Yadav

Farmers MSP Calculator continues to look at market prices in states across India

Image Courtesy:zeenews.india.com

Karnataka farmers have been agitating for Minimum Support Price (MSP) for years but the government is bent on ending the mandi system rather than ensuring proper prices, said Jai Kisan Andolan Founder Yogendra Yadav on April 2, 2021.

According to the MSP Loot Calculator, state farmers incurred a loss of Rs 27.99 crore in March due to being forced to sell various crops at prices less than the MSP. Kusum farmers incurred the most loss by receiving an average market price of Rs. 4,175 per quintal as opposed to its MSP of Rs. 5327 per quintal. They suffered a “loot” of Rs. 1,152 per quintal.

Similarly, maize farmers in Karnataka suffered the most in terms of total loot. In these 31 days, farmers lost Rs. 8.11 crore, while gram farmers lost Rs. 6.95 crore and ragi farmers lost Rs. 4.97 crore.

MSP rates in other states

The Calculator also showed that other states also face similar issues in availing MSP. Particularly, for gram crops, farmers receive an average market price of Rs. 4,668 per quintal instead of MSP of Rs. 5,100 per quintal – a difference of around Rs. 432 per quintal. In March, farmers incurred a loss of Rs 273 crore due to selling gram below MSP.

In main gram producing regions such as Gujarat, the situation farmers reported a loss of Rs. 639 per quintal due to an average market price of Rs. 4,461 per quintal. Last month, Gujarat gram farmers lost a total of Rs. 72 crores while their Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra counterparts were robbed of Rs. 76 crores and Rs. 55 crores respectively.

Related:

MSP Loot Calculator: MP farmers lost more than Rs 200 crores in March
Terrified by MSP Loot Calculator, the Centre is speaking half-truths: JKA
MSP Loot Calculator: Loss on Barley sales amounts to Rs. 2 crore in 27 days!
Jowar farmers suffer major blow during kharif season sale!
Farmers lost Rs. 18 crore on Moong sales: MSP Loot Calculator

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MSP Loot Calculator: MP farmers lost more than Rs 200 crores in March

As the farmers’ movement enters a new month, farmers look back at March mandi sales to put the government's MSP assurances to the test

06 Apr 2021

MSP

The Minimum Support Price (MSP) Loot Calculator of farmers has highlighted the worsening conditions of Madhya Pradesh (MP) farmers during March , 2021. According to the Jai Kisan Andolan’s latest initiative, state farmers incurred a loss of around Rs. 226.55 crore due to the sale of various crops below MSP.

MP’s jowar farmers received the lowest average market price of Rs. 1,292 per quintal instead of MSP Rs. 2,620 per quintal. This resulted in a loss of Rs. 1,328 per quintal. Similarly, wheat farmers suffered the most in terms of total loss. By the end of March, they suffered a loss of Rs. 79.18 crore. Gram farmers were robbed of Rs. 77.07 crore.

April 4

Farmer leader Yogendra Yadav said, “The shameless lies of the central government can be traced to any nearby mandi. It is not able to get MSP on any crop, but tells everyone ‘MSP is, was and will remain.’”

Regarding maize, the MSP for the crop is Rs. 1850 per quintal. Yet, all mandis across India bought the crop from farmers at an average of Rs. 1,514 per quintal. Thus, farmers suffered a loss of Rs. 336 per quintal due to selling at a price less than MSP. Overall farmers incurred a loss of Rs. 105.58 crore in March for maize crop alone.

Madhya Pradesh maize farmers received the lowest average price of Rs. 1,283 per quintal, resulting in a loss of Rs. 567 per quintal. Again, the state’s maize farmers witnessed the highest ‘MSP loot’ of around Rs. 45 crore, while Rajasthan and Maharashtra farmers were robbed of around Rs. 14 crore and Rs. 10 crore respectively.

April5

 

Related:

GoI blindly following Shanta Kumar Committee recommendations for private sector benefit: AIKS

Terrified by MSP Loot Calculator, the Centre is speaking half-truths: JKA

MSP Loot Calculator: Loss on Barley sales amounts to Rs. 2 crore in 27 days!

Jowar farmers suffer major blow during kharif season sale!

Farmers lost Rs. 18 crore on Moong sales: MSP Loot Calculator

MSP Loot Calculator: MP farmers lost more than Rs 200 crores in March

As the farmers’ movement enters a new month, farmers look back at March mandi sales to put the government's MSP assurances to the test

MSP

The Minimum Support Price (MSP) Loot Calculator of farmers has highlighted the worsening conditions of Madhya Pradesh (MP) farmers during March , 2021. According to the Jai Kisan Andolan’s latest initiative, state farmers incurred a loss of around Rs. 226.55 crore due to the sale of various crops below MSP.

MP’s jowar farmers received the lowest average market price of Rs. 1,292 per quintal instead of MSP Rs. 2,620 per quintal. This resulted in a loss of Rs. 1,328 per quintal. Similarly, wheat farmers suffered the most in terms of total loss. By the end of March, they suffered a loss of Rs. 79.18 crore. Gram farmers were robbed of Rs. 77.07 crore.

April 4

Farmer leader Yogendra Yadav said, “The shameless lies of the central government can be traced to any nearby mandi. It is not able to get MSP on any crop, but tells everyone ‘MSP is, was and will remain.’”

Regarding maize, the MSP for the crop is Rs. 1850 per quintal. Yet, all mandis across India bought the crop from farmers at an average of Rs. 1,514 per quintal. Thus, farmers suffered a loss of Rs. 336 per quintal due to selling at a price less than MSP. Overall farmers incurred a loss of Rs. 105.58 crore in March for maize crop alone.

Madhya Pradesh maize farmers received the lowest average price of Rs. 1,283 per quintal, resulting in a loss of Rs. 567 per quintal. Again, the state’s maize farmers witnessed the highest ‘MSP loot’ of around Rs. 45 crore, while Rajasthan and Maharashtra farmers were robbed of around Rs. 14 crore and Rs. 10 crore respectively.

April5

 

Related:

GoI blindly following Shanta Kumar Committee recommendations for private sector benefit: AIKS

Terrified by MSP Loot Calculator, the Centre is speaking half-truths: JKA

MSP Loot Calculator: Loss on Barley sales amounts to Rs. 2 crore in 27 days!

Jowar farmers suffer major blow during kharif season sale!

Farmers lost Rs. 18 crore on Moong sales: MSP Loot Calculator

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GoI blindly following Shanta Kumar Committee recommendations for private sector benefit: AIKS

AIKS leaders write to Prime Minister Modi, asserting that protecting India’s national security is the Centre’s responsibility

06 Apr 2021

All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS)

According to the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) the Centre’s attack on the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and the Public Distribution System (PDS) began with the Shanta Kumar Committee report. AIKS leaders Hannan Mollah and Ashok Dhawale said this on April 5, 2021, FCI Bachao Divas.

While farmers across India marked the day by gheraoing FCI offices, the AIKS wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as a constituent to the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) to condemn government attempts to dismantle both the PDS and the Minimum Support Price (MSP) procurement for corporate benefit.

AIKS General Secretary Mollah decried the government's decision to employ the 2015 committee report’s recommendations such as: 

  • reduction in number of beneficiaries under the Food Security Act—from the then 67 percent to 40 percent

  • permission to private entities to procure and store food grains

  • disposing bonuses on MSP paid by states to farmers

  • adoption of a cash transfer system to directly transfer subsidy amounts to farmers and beneficiaries

  • restricting FCI in poor-procurement states while well-performing states like Haryana, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, the states should do the procurement.


“It is evident that the three farm laws enacted by your government carry forward some of these recommendations. They compromise the FCI, MSP, PDS and procurement of food grains,” said Mollah.

For this reason, farmers also submitted a memorandum with the following demands:

1.       Increased FCI budget with government paying pending loan and interest to increase FCI procurement centres.

2.       Speedy procurement and sale of farmers’ produce at MSP or higher prices, failing which, buyers must face strict action.

3.       Immediate withdrawal on the decision to reduce number of ration cards to continue food security of millions of people through the PDS service.

4.       Until PDS is universalised, ensure that the 81.35 crore PDS beneficiaries get 15 kg food grains, and 1 kg each for dal, sugar and cooking oil per head every month. 

5.       Roll back on government provision of direct payment to farmers’ bank accounts and repeal decision to submit jamabandhi for wheat procurement.

6.       Permanent charges to FCI employees and workers on contract and occupancy of all vacant posts.

Under the Essential Commodities Amendment Act 2020, the GOI has freed up stock limits by all private traders and corporates and permitted annual increase in food grain prices by 50 percent. This will increase food grain hoarding, profiteering and black marketing, said farmers. Similarly, new APMC laws will promote private mandis and practically dispose of government procurement and MSP.

Leaders reminded PM Modi that the Government of India is responsible for the national food security and as such must procure food grains, maintain food stocks to tide over scarcities and calamities and provide food grains to the poor to ensure that people are not forced to remain hungry.

“The budget allocation for food subsidy continues to remain stagnant at around Rs. 1,15,000 crore for the last several years and even this amount is not fully spent by the government. The PDS supplies around 50 million tonnes of food grains to the poor. The Niti Aayog has already recommended that 60 percent and 40 percent reduction in ration cards in urban and rural areas. If the poor have to buy from the open market, they will starve and deaths due to hunger will increase,” said AIKS President Dhawale.
 

Related:

Provide adequate budget to FCI! Protect the hungry! Demand India’s farmers

Protection of FCIs, a matter of food growers’ future: AIKMS

Farmers to commemorate Samvidhan Bachao Diwas on Babasaheb Ambedkar’s birth anniversary

Farmers may lose nearly Rs. 5,000 crore this season: MSP Loot Calculator

Do farmers’ demands benefit India’s hungry population?

GoI blindly following Shanta Kumar Committee recommendations for private sector benefit: AIKS

AIKS leaders write to Prime Minister Modi, asserting that protecting India’s national security is the Centre’s responsibility

All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS)

According to the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) the Centre’s attack on the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and the Public Distribution System (PDS) began with the Shanta Kumar Committee report. AIKS leaders Hannan Mollah and Ashok Dhawale said this on April 5, 2021, FCI Bachao Divas.

While farmers across India marked the day by gheraoing FCI offices, the AIKS wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as a constituent to the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) to condemn government attempts to dismantle both the PDS and the Minimum Support Price (MSP) procurement for corporate benefit.

AIKS General Secretary Mollah decried the government's decision to employ the 2015 committee report’s recommendations such as: 

  • reduction in number of beneficiaries under the Food Security Act—from the then 67 percent to 40 percent

  • permission to private entities to procure and store food grains

  • disposing bonuses on MSP paid by states to farmers

  • adoption of a cash transfer system to directly transfer subsidy amounts to farmers and beneficiaries

  • restricting FCI in poor-procurement states while well-performing states like Haryana, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, the states should do the procurement.


“It is evident that the three farm laws enacted by your government carry forward some of these recommendations. They compromise the FCI, MSP, PDS and procurement of food grains,” said Mollah.

For this reason, farmers also submitted a memorandum with the following demands:

1.       Increased FCI budget with government paying pending loan and interest to increase FCI procurement centres.

2.       Speedy procurement and sale of farmers’ produce at MSP or higher prices, failing which, buyers must face strict action.

3.       Immediate withdrawal on the decision to reduce number of ration cards to continue food security of millions of people through the PDS service.

4.       Until PDS is universalised, ensure that the 81.35 crore PDS beneficiaries get 15 kg food grains, and 1 kg each for dal, sugar and cooking oil per head every month. 

5.       Roll back on government provision of direct payment to farmers’ bank accounts and repeal decision to submit jamabandhi for wheat procurement.

6.       Permanent charges to FCI employees and workers on contract and occupancy of all vacant posts.

Under the Essential Commodities Amendment Act 2020, the GOI has freed up stock limits by all private traders and corporates and permitted annual increase in food grain prices by 50 percent. This will increase food grain hoarding, profiteering and black marketing, said farmers. Similarly, new APMC laws will promote private mandis and practically dispose of government procurement and MSP.

Leaders reminded PM Modi that the Government of India is responsible for the national food security and as such must procure food grains, maintain food stocks to tide over scarcities and calamities and provide food grains to the poor to ensure that people are not forced to remain hungry.

“The budget allocation for food subsidy continues to remain stagnant at around Rs. 1,15,000 crore for the last several years and even this amount is not fully spent by the government. The PDS supplies around 50 million tonnes of food grains to the poor. The Niti Aayog has already recommended that 60 percent and 40 percent reduction in ration cards in urban and rural areas. If the poor have to buy from the open market, they will starve and deaths due to hunger will increase,” said AIKS President Dhawale.
 

Related:

Provide adequate budget to FCI! Protect the hungry! Demand India’s farmers

Protection of FCIs, a matter of food growers’ future: AIKMS

Farmers to commemorate Samvidhan Bachao Diwas on Babasaheb Ambedkar’s birth anniversary

Farmers may lose nearly Rs. 5,000 crore this season: MSP Loot Calculator

Do farmers’ demands benefit India’s hungry population?

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Haryana: Farmers condemn police lathi-charge on peaceful protesters

Farmer leaders stated that such attacks on peacefully protesting farmers will only intensify the struggle

06 Apr 2021

farmers protestImage courtesy: The Hindu


Many farmers were injured during Haryana police’s lathi-charge on agitating farmers at Asthal Bohar area in Rohtak district on April 3, 2021. Farmers’ group Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) strongly condemned the attack on peaceful protesters.

Incensed farmers came out on streets with black flags and gathered in large numbers at Asthal Bohar, where the Haryana Chief Minister's helicopter was to land, to protest the continuous anti-farmer behaviour by the Bharatiya Janata party-led (BJP) government.

“However, the police unleashed violence against protestors and did not spare even women protestors. Several were injured seriously in this incident,” said SKM leader Darshan Pal.

Following the incident, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Haryana youth leader Ravi Azad was arrested for alleged involvement in various cases. Decrying this repressive behaviour, the SKM demanded Azad’s immediate and unconditional release.

Along with farmer unions, former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda also condemned the lathicharge on April 4. According to The Tirbune, he claimed the BJP-JJP government was shedding the blood of those farmers who feed the nation by irrigating the fields with their sweat.

A similar protest also took place against BJP MP Duggal in Fatehabad on Saturday. On April 2, a state level convention was organised against the “draconian” Haryana laws on regarding the recovery of damage to public property that seeks compensation from protesters. Friday also witnessed the attack on farmer leader Rakesh Tikait in Rajasthan.

“The SKM would like to warn BJP that its agitation will only intensify despite the many reprehensible attacks by BJP and its governments on the farmers' movement,” said Darshan Pal.

Meanwhile, in Punjab, farmers, farm workers, women, employees, students, youth, commission agents, teachers, university staff and other citizens attended a joint meeting at the State Agriculture University, Ludhiana. More than 100 organisations took part in this meeting to discuss wheat harvesting while Delhi protests continue with the same strength in participation.

Related:

Provide adequate budget to FCI! Protect the hungry! Demand India’s farmers

Farmers’ struggle, a battle against a single party’s communal thoughts: Punjab SKM leaders

Protection of FCIs, a matter of food growers’ future: AIKMS

Farmers to commemorate Samvidhan Bachao Diwas on Babasaheb Ambedkar’s birth anniversary

Assam’s rice farmers express fears concerning government’s free rice scheme

Farmers may lose nearly Rs. 5,000 crore this season: MSP Loot Calculator

Do farmers’ demands benefit India’s hungry population?

Haryana: Farmers condemn police lathi-charge on peaceful protesters

Farmer leaders stated that such attacks on peacefully protesting farmers will only intensify the struggle

farmers protestImage courtesy: The Hindu


Many farmers were injured during Haryana police’s lathi-charge on agitating farmers at Asthal Bohar area in Rohtak district on April 3, 2021. Farmers’ group Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) strongly condemned the attack on peaceful protesters.

Incensed farmers came out on streets with black flags and gathered in large numbers at Asthal Bohar, where the Haryana Chief Minister's helicopter was to land, to protest the continuous anti-farmer behaviour by the Bharatiya Janata party-led (BJP) government.

“However, the police unleashed violence against protestors and did not spare even women protestors. Several were injured seriously in this incident,” said SKM leader Darshan Pal.

Following the incident, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Haryana youth leader Ravi Azad was arrested for alleged involvement in various cases. Decrying this repressive behaviour, the SKM demanded Azad’s immediate and unconditional release.

Along with farmer unions, former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda also condemned the lathicharge on April 4. According to The Tirbune, he claimed the BJP-JJP government was shedding the blood of those farmers who feed the nation by irrigating the fields with their sweat.

A similar protest also took place against BJP MP Duggal in Fatehabad on Saturday. On April 2, a state level convention was organised against the “draconian” Haryana laws on regarding the recovery of damage to public property that seeks compensation from protesters. Friday also witnessed the attack on farmer leader Rakesh Tikait in Rajasthan.

“The SKM would like to warn BJP that its agitation will only intensify despite the many reprehensible attacks by BJP and its governments on the farmers' movement,” said Darshan Pal.

Meanwhile, in Punjab, farmers, farm workers, women, employees, students, youth, commission agents, teachers, university staff and other citizens attended a joint meeting at the State Agriculture University, Ludhiana. More than 100 organisations took part in this meeting to discuss wheat harvesting while Delhi protests continue with the same strength in participation.

Related:

Provide adequate budget to FCI! Protect the hungry! Demand India’s farmers

Farmers’ struggle, a battle against a single party’s communal thoughts: Punjab SKM leaders

Protection of FCIs, a matter of food growers’ future: AIKMS

Farmers to commemorate Samvidhan Bachao Diwas on Babasaheb Ambedkar’s birth anniversary

Assam’s rice farmers express fears concerning government’s free rice scheme

Farmers may lose nearly Rs. 5,000 crore this season: MSP Loot Calculator

Do farmers’ demands benefit India’s hungry population?

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