Nashik: Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asserted that he would make farmers capable through a troika of availability of electricity and water, and effective marketing for agriculture produce.
He was speaking after the bhoomi puja of a cold storage facility erected jointly by the Indian Railways and Lasalgaon Cooperative Kharadi Vikri Sangh (LCKVS) at Lasalgaon in Nashik district on Sunday. Railway minister Suresh Prabhu, Union minister of state for defence Dr Subhash Bhamre, state ministers Girish Mahajan, Jaikumar Raval, LCKVS chairman Nanasaheb Patil, MP Harishchandra Chavan, collector Radhakrishnan B and others were present.
Meanwhile, a group of farmers demonstrated during the CM’s speech. They shouted slogans demanding complete waiver of their loans and remunerative prices for their produce. The CM appealed to the farmers to sit down but the farmers did not heed him and continued with their sloganeering. In another incident, a group of farmers opposing the ‘Samruddhi’ Mumbai-Nagpur expressway sent the CM an application written in their blood.
Fadnavis further said that arrangements were necessary for storage of onion and marketing so that the onion market remained in the hands of the farmers. “The joint effort by the railways with a cooperative body was one of the arrangements. Out of 227 cold storages proposed in the country, 52 cold storages would be set up in Maharashtra. Total 25 cold storages have been completed and the remaining would be completed soon,” he said.
Farmers to sue IMD
Farmers in Maharashtra are furious, and their anger is directed towards the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the government agency responsible for weather forecasting in the country. On July 14, a group of farmers from Anandgaon village in Beed district of Marathwada filed a police complaint against the IMD for “colluding with seed and pesticide manufacturers and inflating the monsoon forecast figures.” Meanwhile, Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathan, a state-level farmers’ organisation, has threatened to shut down the IMD office at Pune.