Farmers from 120 villages in Dindori, Niphad and Chandwad tehsils will not sow seeds from the beginning of the Kharif season.
Nashik: Following in the footsteps of workers’ unions and trade associations, farmers in Nashik have decided to go on strike. Thousands of farmers from 120 villages in Dindori, Niphad and Chandwad tehsils of Nashik will not sow seeds from June 1, the beginning of the Kharif season. Farmers have confirmed their participation which will be finalised at the May 1 gram sabhas (village meetings).
Farmers are demanding deletion of all loan entries from their July 2012 revenue extract, waiver of all loans, interest-free loans for agriculture, continuous electricity supply, pension scheme for farmers, and implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations.
Some agricultural experts and farmers, however, are calling the impending strike a political stunt. Chandwad APMC chairman and BJP zilla parishad member, Dr Atmaram Kumbharde, said that when the rains would begin, these farmers would automatically begin sowing. “The farmers can’t wait once the monsoon starts, and neither do they have the economic resources to strike because nearly all are dependent only on agriculture.”
Farmer Sharadrao Jagtap from Lasalgaon in Niphad tehsil said that the strike would be a wakeup call for all farmers. Farmer and teacher, Mahesh Thube, said, “Seeing our resolve, farmers from other tehsils and districts in Maharashtra will join this historic strike. Farmers are finding it difficult
to recover even their production costs and they have not calculated their own labour. Rates of grapes, onion, tur, maize, soya bean etc. have dropped alarmingly. When agricultural produce and milk stops in cities, people will question the government.”
Former Shetkari Sanghatana (SS) activist and leading lawyer Nana Jadhav said that the strike call was a good step and should have happened much earlier for the power of farmers to be seen. SS founder, late Sharad Joshi had urged farmers to grow for themselves to force the government and wanted loan mukti (freedom) and not mafi (waiver), he said.