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Tuesday, August 03, 2021

The farmers PM spoke to: Their gains from govt schemes, and their plans

PM Modi asserted that an overwhelming number of farmers across India have welcomed the new laws and are already reaping the benefits, and listed out the BJP’s victory in panchayat elections across states

By: Express News Service |
Updated: December 26, 2020 8:05:56 am
Protests an Opposition ploy, says PM Modi, signals no yield on demand for repealSlamming the Opposition for what he called its “dogali” (doublespeak) policy over the new farm laws, Modi said the government is ready to hold talks in the interest of farmers, but it will be on “issues, logic and facts”.

Manoj Patidaar, 42

Dhar, Madhya Pradesh

A resident of Chikliya village in Madhya Pradesh’s Dhar district, Patidaar feels the farm laws have opened up alternatives, but ensuring mandis are up and running with assured MSP are of utmost importance. Patidaar who cultivates wheat, gram, garlic, peas and onion during the Rabi season and soyabean and maize during kharif on his four hectares, says the government needs to ensure that they don’t just declare MSP but purchase on it too. He says he has benefited from the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme and has received Rs 10,000 in five instalments.

“I forgot to ask the PM if the government will just declare MSP or also procure on it. There are people in my village who cultivated maize after the government declared MSP at around Rs 1,700-Rs 1,800 but are forced to sell at 1,200 as the government has not initiated procurement.” Patidar says when he finds the prices at mandi to be lower, he sells his produce to the soya choupal set up by ITC outside the mandi.

The second generation farmer has a family of six. He denies any political affiliation.

Hari Singh Bishnoi, 51 Fatehabad, Haryana

Bishnoi, A resident of Nadhori village in Fatehabad district, owns 10 acres of land. He and his three brothers and their families live together and jointly own 40 acres in the village.

He said, “Three days ago, I got a call from SDO (Agriculture). He told me that I have been shortlisted for having a conversation with the PM. I was also told that two of my brothers have received money under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme.”

“I have been doing farming for the last 15 years. Earlier, I grew paddy, but now I have started growing fruits and vegetables. We sell our crop in local mandis and markets.”

On the farmers’ agitation, he said he was neither in favour nor against the laws. “If the legislation have been framed and certain shortcomings are pointed out, those shortcomings shall be removed. But, to say the entire concept is wrong is not correct.”

Ganesh Bhosale, 38

Latur, Maharashtra

During his interaction with the PM, Bhosale, from Matola village in Latur district, spoke of his experience with the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.

Bhosale grows soyabean, tur, wheat, chana over his 7.5 acres of land. “I opted for the insurance scheme as it acts as a cushion in case my crop fails due to adverse climate conditions,” he says. For the last kharif season, Bhosale paid a premium of Rs 2,580 per acre for his soyabean crop, and received compensation worth Rs 54,315 per acre as his crop was all but destroyed in heavy rain.

“I am a simple farmer and stay as far as possible from politics,” he says.

Bhosale supports the new laws and believes they would help growers like him increase their earnings. “Traders will come to our village to buy directly from us. Through contract farming, small holders can pool in their holdings and grow for corporate buyers,” he says. The discontent, he says, is due to some “misconceptions”.

Ram Gulab, 53

Maharajganj, Uttar Pradesh

Hailing from Maharajganj district, he owns 1.5 acres of land. Along with four other farmers, he recently brought together 300 small farmers under the farmer producer group, Maharajganj Producer Company Ltd, and entered into a contract with a company to grow a specific variety of sweet potato.

Having studied till Class VIII, Gulab has said he has benefited from several government schemes, from Swachh Bharat Mission to Kisan credit card to PM Kisan Samman Nidhi.

He said they are growing a specialised variety of sweet potato that has higher protein and vitamins content.

“We would have to give 10 tonnes by February-end or March and over 200 tonnes by next season. In a year, we can get two crops and as per the agreement, the company will pick our produce from the field at Rs 25 per kg, which otherwise sold at Rs 10-15 per kg in the market,” he said. He said they estimate expenditure of Rs 35,000- Rs 40,000 to grow the crop per acre and expect profit of Rs 1 lakh per acre.

Gagan Perying

Lower Dibang Valley, Arunachal Pradesh

An organic ginger cultivator from Lower Dibang Valley district, Perying is managing director of the farmer producer’s company Lower Dibang Valley Organic Ginger Producer Company Ltd.

Perying said the PM asked him about the PM Kisan scheme. “I told him about getting Rs 2,000 after every four months. He asked me about what I was doing with the money I received as a part of the scheme. I told him that I was buying organic fertilisers and other organic chemicals,” he said. Perying said the company has also signed an agreement with a Siliguri-based company to sell finished organic ginger products.

The Prime Minister also spoke to M Subramani from Tamil Nadu and Naveen Thakur from Odisha

Reporting: Iram Siddique in Bhopal, Varinder Bhatia in Chandigarh, Partha Sarathi Biswas in Pune, Maulshree Seth in Lucknow and Abhishek Saha in Guwahati

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