The farmers in Maharashtra have called off their June 1 strike after meeting Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai on Tuesday. A delegation of farmers from Puntamba village Rahata tehsil of Ahmednagar district had threatened to go on strike, raising a slew of demands from loan waiver to free electricity. Earlier, more than 2,000 farmers who mobilised support from various grampanchayat across 40 villages in districts of Ahmednagar, Nashik and Aurangabad had threatened not to sell the farm produce in market if their demands were not heeded by May 31. On Tuesday, farmers’ groups came to Mantralya to meet Fadnavis and held a detail deliberation.
As he met these farmers, Fadnavis explained to them, “All the major agriculture policies undertaken by the government were intended to provide water and power 24×7, and minimum support price for their farm produce.” While reiterating that the government was not against loan waiver, Fadnavis explained that a high powered committee of state and Centre was working to bring all farmers within the institutional credit crop loan bracket.
The farmers were informed that almost one crore out of the total 1.36 crore were availing crop loan from banks and making payments. However, there were 31 lakh who are debt-ridden and have fallen from the crop loan credit. The state government, while working loan waiver for the debt-ridden farmers, was also keen to provide incentives to others.
When the delegation made suggestions, the CM said they could also associate with the government and present agriculture model. The government is not averse to accommodate them in a committee. Dhananjay Dhanwate, Subash Wahadne and Vijay Dhanwate, who led the farmers delegation, said, “The government should take up the problems of onion growers with the Centre. It should also facilitate minimum support price to farm produce.” Speaking to the media, the farmers’ delegation said, “We had some issues which we placed before the government. We are satisfied as the chief minister has assured all our concerns were being addressed through various schemes and policies.”