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Look into farmers’ grievances, ensure that crops are procured at MSP: Gujarat HC

The court was hearing a petition filed by an Ahmedabad-based businessman and agriculturist who had filed a a public interest litigation (PIL), stressing that the supply chain of produce has been affected due to the lockdown that had initially led to complete shutdown of the Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs).

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
Updated: May 30, 2020 6:13:35 pm
gujarat government, crop loan repayment cycle, APMCs, foodgrains, nitin patel, gujarat news, indian express On its part, the state government admitted that although the lockdown did temporarily affect the working of APMCs, 148 grain markets and 71 fruit and vegetable markets have been opened across Gujarat.

The Gujarat High Court (HC), on May 29, directed that the state government look into the difficulties being faced by farmers and then take appropriate steps to procure agricultural produce at Minimum Support Price (MSP). This is in light of a petition moved by an Ahmedabad-based businessman and agriculturalist, seeking the court’s direction to the state to fully procure the agricultural produce at MSP.

Mahendrasinh Zala had filed a public interest litigation (PIL), stressing that the supply chain of produce has been affected due to the lockdown that had initially led to complete shutdown of the Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs).

The petitioner, represented by Advocate Arjundev Zala, had highlighted that the state “conditionally procures a specified quantity of specified commodities at Minimum Support Price (MSP) from the farmers (CCI), who have registered for the same.” Farmers, who sell the remaining produce to APMCs or other agents or entities, are now being “forced to sell the produce at undesirable rates.”

The petitioner cited an example wherein remuneration on onions at Bhavnagar market yard were being procured at Rs. 20 per 20 kg, despite the market cost ranging between Rs. 100 and Rs. 150 per 20 kg. The petitioner also cited the example of a farmer who committed suicide upon failing to sell his agricultural produce at remunerative rates, post the imposition of the lockdown.

On its part, the state government admitted that although the lockdown did temporarily affect the working of APMCs, 148 grain markets and 71 fruit and vegetable markets have been opened across Gujarat.

The court disposed of the petition with the direction that the state will look into the grievances expressed in the petition and may take steps accordingly.

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