Aurangabad: Farmers from Maharashtra's Puntamba village, which was the epicentre of a massive protest by cultivators in 2017, began an agitation on Wednesday over issues related to sugarcane and other crops.
The agitation, which started near the gram panchayat office in Putamba village of Ahmednagar district, will continue till June 5, sarpanch (village head) Dhananjay Dhanwate told PTI.
If the government does nor respond to their demands, the agitation will be intensified, he said.
Farmers from nearby areas like Niphad (in Nashik) and Kopargaon (Ahmednagar) also joined the protest, he added.
Last month, a meeting was held at the Puntamba gram panchayat where farmers decided to put forth 16 demands before the government.
Referring to some of their demands, Dhanwate said the sugarcane cultivation was on the higher side in the state due to (last year's) excess rains, but now sugar factories are not picking up the crop. Farmers are burning the crop or even committing suicide.
Hence, they want that the state government provide a help of Rs 2 lakh per hectare to the farmers whose sugarcane is still in the fields, he said.
Besides, onion growers should get an aid of Rs 500 per quintal as the rates of the key kitchen staple have come down. The farmers have also demanded electricity bill waiver, he said.
"We held a rally in the village in the morning and then started the agitation. We will hold the protest till June 5 and we expect the government to talk to the agitating farmers over their demands. If discussions are not held, we will intensify our agitation," Dhanwate said.
Farmers from Puntamba, under the banner of the Kisan Kranti Morcha, had organised a massive farmer strike in 2017 to raise their various demands.
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