Acute farm distress in Madhya Pradesh: Kisan Sabha

New Delhi


The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) on Tuesday alleged "acute (farm) distress" after visiting Mandsaur region in Madhya Pradesh where police shot dead five farmers during protests last week.

An AIKS delegation met the grieving families of two of those killed -- Chain Ram Patidar (23) and Abhishek Patidar (17). 

"The team found a situation of acute distress in the region as prices of most crops have crashed and are about 60 per cent below the prices of last year," the AIKS said in a statement.

The Left-leaning body said last year's demonetization had led to this crash while faulty policies like import of wheat and pulses and also a good harvest had further pushed down the prices.

It said soyabean, which fetched Rs 5-6,000 a quintal last year, was now getting only Rs 2,200-2,400. Chana's price had crashed from up to Rs 9,000-10,000 a quintal last year to Rs 4,000.

Similarly, best quality wheat was fetching only Rs 1,200 a quintal, way below the Minimum Support Price of Rs 1,625. Last year, it had ranged between Rs 1,900 and 2,000 a quintal. 

Garlic prices have fallen from Rs 13,000 a quintal to Rs 1,000 and Methi from Rs 9,000-10,000 a quintal to Rs 2,200-3,000. 

"Post demonetisation, traders were paying 2 per cent less for cash transactions," AIKS added.

The farmers' body said Madhya Pradesh government officials had not visited the families of the victims. And the local MP and MLA had not paid even "a courtesy visit". 

The AIKS demanded that the promised compensation of Rs 1 crore must be given to the families of all the farmers killed in police firing. 

And all cases foisted on farmers must be withdrawn and immediate talks must be held to address "the genuine demands of the farmers".  - IANS