Andhra peasants protest anti-farmer policies

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi, September 28: | Updated: Sep 29 2007, 01:57am hrs
Farmers from major rice producing state, Andhra Pradesh are now gathering in the Capital to press upon the government to adequately raise the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy. They alleged that government's present policies were responsible for farmers' suicides.

The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) has recommended that the MSP for wheat be raised to Rs 1,000 a quintal, while that for common variety paddy remains at Rs 645 a quintal and that of Grade A variety paddy at 675 a quintal.

The Andhra farmers have demanded that CACP be made autonomous and have districtwise representation. They have also demanded that the MSPs for various crops be made remunerative enough to not only cover the cost but also adequately raise the farmers income.

Four farmers representatives from Andhra Pradesh, namely, K Ramulu, K Narayana Reddy, G Govind Reddy and D Vasanth Kumar arrived in Delhi on padyatra from Hyderabad on Friday. We will sit on an indefinite dharna in Jantar Mantar till our demands are fulfilled. Hundreds of our colleagues will be joining us tomorrow, Ramulu detailed.

The national level farmer leaders like Krishan Bir Chaudhary of Bharatiya Krishak Samaj and NK Shukla of All India Kisan Sabha joined the Andhra farmers and extended their support for the cause.

Interestingly the banner of the protesting farmers read "When Americans are planning scientifically to build huge air-conditioners to protect global warming, can't we find a single management guru to stop farmers' suicides, honourable Prime Minister, please come forward to discuss with us."

The farmer leaders alleged that in Andhra Pradesh sugarcane growers were committing suicides

The Andhra farmers have demanded that agriculture be brought under concurrent list of the Constitution, setting up of a price stabilization fund to bail out farmers in the event of crop failure due to natural calamities, removing sugar from the purview of the Essential Commodities Act, checking the sale of spurious seeds and fertilizers, regular supply of power and mechanism to deal with price fluctuation a volatility.