According to agriculture expert, Milind Murugkar, many of the farmers' issues are government-made issues.
Mumbai: Consistent agitations by farmers’ organisations over the last one year have brought farmers' issues at the centre of the political domain. The recent union budget’s proposal to peg crop prices at 1.5 times the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and last year's farm loan waiver scheme implemented by the state government show how farmers’ agitations have made an impact.
The farmers of Maharashtra went on strike on June 1, 2017 - first such strike in the history of independent India - forcing the state government to announce the loan waiver scheme of `34,000 crore. Last November, nearly 180 farmers' organisations all over India gathered at Jantar Mantar and demanded implementation of the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission and a total loan waiver.
Subhash Lomate of Swaraj Abhiyan, said, “Loan waiver is necessary. But after clearing the loans of farmers, the government must increase the MSP of crops. Also, providing loans with two per cent interest, creating irrigation facilities, and building a strong transport system for agricultural production are necessary things. We have proposed a non-government bill in the Lok Sabha through Raju Shetti. It includes all these demands.
According to agriculture expert, Milind Murugkar, many of the farmers' issues are government-made issues. “It is the only business where the producers do not have a say in fixing the price of their production. This is injustice. There are many such barriers which are making agriculture unviable. The government needs to act positively on this."
The government’s export-import policies are also hurting farmers. “You see crops like onions, soya bean and others facing crisis because of the government’s approach. You need to be updated about the international marketer does the government feel the need for it,” said Shankar Dhondage, chief of NCP’s farmers' cell.