Nashik Farmers' Protest Enters 8th Month: Is Anyone Paying Attention?

Nashik Farmers' Protest Enters 8th Month: Is Anyone Paying Attention?

One of the primary concerns driving this movement is centred on the operations of the Nashik District Central Cooperative Bank

Prashant NikaleUpdated: Sunday, February 18, 2024, 04:29 PM IST
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Nashik Farmers' Protest Enters 8th Month: Is Anyone Paying Attention? | Sourced

In the backdrop of a nationwide agitation by farmers in Delhi, a parallel and widespread movement has been unfolding in Nashik for almost eight months. The movement seeks to address critical issues concerning agricultural practices and the well-being of farmers in the region.

One of the primary concerns driving this movement is centred on the operations of the Nashik District Central Cooperative Bank, a pivotal financial institution in the district. Farmers allege that the bank's practices, particularly the direct auctioning of farmers' lands and vehicles to recover loans, have led to harassment and financial distress among farmers with arrears. Consequently, the protestors are demanding a resolution to this issue and advocating for a guaranteed price for agricultural products to safeguard farmers' interests.

The bank has played a significant role in the agricultural economy of the region, with thousands of farmers relying on loans from the institution. However, the aggressive measures taken by the bank to recover loans, including directly auctioning farmers' lands and omitting their names from land ownership records, have sparked outrage among farmers. Despite numerous protests, meetings, and efforts to resolve the issue, a satisfactory solution remains elusive.

The agitation, which began on June 1 last year and has since continued unabated, has been primarily concentrated in the Golf Club area of Nashik. The farmers' association has been at the forefront of organising and leading the movement, amplifying the voices of the aggrieved farmers and drawing attention to their plight.

In solidarity with the movement in Delhi, farmers from Nashik and other parts of India have joined forces to amplify their demands. Key demands put forth by the farmers include the enactment of a law for Minimum Support Price (MSP), implementation of Swaminathan Commission recommendations, waiver of agricultural loans, withdrawal of India from the World Trade Organisation (WTO), immediate initiation of bans on onion/grape exports, and prompt compensation under the crop insurance scheme.

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