A week after farmer organisations under the leadership of Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav launched a nation-wide ‘MSP Satyagrah’ to ensure that farmers across the country get the minimum support price (MSP) for their agricultural produce, leaders from National Alliance of People’s Movements, Jai Kisan Sabha as well as Swaraj Abhiyan on Saturday issued an interim report on the ground condition of nine farmer markets in five states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan and Haryana.
“Not even in a single mandi are the farmers able to sell their entire produce for the government’s guaranteed MSP. You can imagine the mockery being played out in the name of MSP,” stated Yogendra Yadav in the press conference.
“In this year’s union budget, it was perhaps the first time that the issue of MSP was talked about. Finance Minister had said that he is aware that farmers are not getting the prices which are fixed by the government (MSP) and that he will make special arrangements to prevent this by involving the Niti Aayog. The MSP satyagrah aims to check whether these assurances have been realised or not,” added Yadav.
The Swaraj Abhiyan leader also asserted that even when there is a debate about increasing the MSP for agricultural produce, the present condition is that market price for every crop (except cotton) is far below the MSP across the country. “Leave alone the demands about increasing the MSP, even the MSP which is already guaranteed by the government is not being implemented,” said Yadav.
“Talking about the condition of farmers in Madhya Pradesh, when the farmer’s agitation in Mandsaur resulted in the death of six farmers (June, 2018), chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had observed a fast following which he assured that the sale of agricultural produce below MSP shall be treated as a criminal offence and cases shall be registered. The ground reality is that if we consider the prices of maize, the MSP for its produce has been fixed at rupees 1425 per quintal, whereas it has been sold at rupees 600-800 per quintal across the state and no case has been registered anywhere. The government has merely granted a bonus of rupees 200 per quintal of sale, at a time when government estimate for the production of maize is 1954 kilograms per hectare whereas the actual production is 6000 kgs/hectare. This implies that almost 3/4th of the produce is left at the mercy of traders. Same is the condition of crops like gram, mustard and garlic,” said Dr. Sunilam, national convener, National Alliance of People’s Movements.
“Another major issue is that at the time of the sale of the produce, authorities are deducting the price owing to the previous loans of the farmers. This is completely illegal and yet this is being practised across Madhya Pradesh,” added Dr. Sunilam.
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