When farmers in Rajasthan city of Sikar took to streets for 13-day agitation earlier this month, several organisation like Sikar Zila Vyapar Sangh, Sikar Zila Petrol Pump Union, LIC agent union, R.O. Filter Plant Union, Mini City Bus Union, Sikar Zila DJ Union, Dugdh Dairy Union, Bakra Mandi Unions came in their support either through financially or physically, Indian Express said. CPM district secretary Kishan Parikh, while explaining mass support for the stir, told the paper, “For the past couple of years, agriculture in Shekhawati region has been deteriorating. Government apathy and increased restrictions around cattle have hurt the farmers further. This has affected their purchasing power and hence, other businesses in the region, all of which came out in support.”
As per report, farmers have sought fair price for their produce, debt waiver, implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report, Rs 5,000 monthly pension to those of them over 60, among othet demands. Udaram Thore, a 60-year old farmer from Sangliya village said loans have been mounting. “The cost of pesticides, manure, diesel etc. has been rising, but the prices for our crops haven’t increased proportionally.” “I have 3 hectares where I grow peanuts, bajra, guar, moong. There is not one crop on which I don’t make losses,” the paper quoted him as saying further.
Another farmer Pannalal said that the evolving labour patterns have also affected farmers. “Earlier we would give our land to another farmer, who would work on the fields for, say, four months, keep half the crop and give us the other half. Around a decade ago, this practice declined. People chose to work on farms on a daily basis as the pay was immediate. This increased our input costs,” he told the paper.
The agitation, which was led by All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) national president Amra Ram as and former MLA Pema Ram, ended after the Rajasthan government agreed to a debt waiver up to Rs 50,000 each, even as farmers had sought a sweeping Rs 39,500 crore.