Farmers from the Dudu block of Rajasthan have started a march to Delhi along with their produce of gram (chana) in tractors. The farmers under the banner of Kisan Mahapanchayat are demanding that the government purchase 40% of their produce at Minimum Support Price (MSP).
The government has till now purchased 25% of produce as per Government of India guidelines. The directives further say that state governments can purchase extra 15% at their own resources. The farmers claim that they face a loss of Rs 1,200 per quintal if they sell it to traders. Rajasthan government has written to the Union Government to increase the purchase limit to 50%.
The farmers started their march from the Dudu block around 65 kilometers from Jaipur and were halted at Mahla as they entered the capital city limits. Addressing the concerns of the farmers the local administration sent a delegation to meet the senior officials of the agriculture department at Jaipur.
Speaking to The Free Press Journal, Dudu SDM, Rajendra Singh said, “We have explained the situation to the farmers and an 11-member delegation has been sent to Jaipur to meet senior officials. We will follow instructions by the government regarding purchase beyond the approved limit. Purchase as per sanctioned limits has been completed.”
According to the farmers, Rajasthan has registered produce of 26.85 lakh tonne of gram (chana) while just about 6.5 lakh tonnes (approx 25%) have been purchased on MSP. The MSP is Rs 4,875 per quintal while traders buy the produce at around Rs 3,600 to Rs 3,800 per quintal. The farmers are upset at being compelled to sell their crop at a loss of Rs 1,200 per quintal.
“We held talks with the Principal Secretary Agriculture and he has assured us they will communicate to the government of India and sought time for the same. We feel that the Union Government and State Government are passing the buck on this important issue. It is not fair that the farmers should suffer due to indecision by both governments,” said Rampal Jat, National President Kisan Mahapanchayat to The Free Press Journal.
“All we want is the purchase of our entire produce. The farmers are camping at the outskirts of Jaipur. We will wait for a day or else march to Delhi to put up our demands before the Union Government,” added Jat.
Meanwhile, farmers with trolleys full of their crop continue to camp at the outskirts of Jaipur. They have planned to wait for a day for the state government to reach a decision before they plan their next move.