Farmers are frustrated as farm produce prices do not cover their production cost, making a long-term agriculture police an imperative.
Nashik : Farmers are frustrated as farm produce prices do not cover their production cost, making a long-term agriculture police an imperative. The All India Kisan Sabha’s ‘Long March’ to Mumbai from Nashik to protest over agrarian woes, is an outburst of the frustration over farm produce prices, said farmers and experts.
After vegetable prices went down, farmers turned to the cash crop — onion. Now with heavy production, onion prices are very low. Shetkari Sanghatana president Anil Ghanwat said that it is a serious lapse that in an agrarian economy like India and there is no agriculture policy.
“The policy should give freedom to farmers. There should be minimum or zero interference in agriculture markets. Farmers should have the freedom to use advanced technology like BT. The new technology gives lower cost crops and increases the yield,” Mr Ghanwat said.
A farmer and Lasalgaon APMC Chairman Jaydatt Holkar said, “Due to the perennial shortages and gluts, and the chaos of the onion market, many farmers turned towards different cash crops – vegetables. With bumper harvests, prices of vegetables dropped. Now again farmers have turned towards onion, and the result is the present glut. We desperately need good policy,” Mr Holkar said. Social activist Bablu Khaire said that in cities and towns, a person could do anything and earn his bread, but in the villages, there is no alternative to agriculture. “Even if the crops fail, the farmer has to plough and plant another round with loans. This issue can be addressed only through a policy,” he said.
Former agriculture minister Sharad Pawar also bemoaned the lack of an agriculture policy during his speech in Nashik on Saturday. He had said, “The yield per acre has decreased, farm produce has no monetary value. Farmlands are decreasing as the lands are being used up by large projects which were coming up.”