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Two Magsaysay awardees and one agriculture expert take part in demo
Minimum support price of Rs 5,000 per quintal of paddy sought
Seeking a fair deal:Activists of the Navnirman Krishak Sangathan holding brooms during a demonstration in front of the Legislative Assembly in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.
BHUBANESWAR: Hundreds of farmers staged a demonstration here on Tuesday demanding social security allowance and increase in minimum support price for paddy.
The demonstration was organised under the banner of Navnirman Krishak Sangathan and it was attended by Magsaysay awardees Rajendra Singh and Sandip Pande and agriculture expert Debinder Sharma and prominent agriculture activists.
Farmers were demanding a monthly social security allowance to the tune of Rs. 5,000.
“Farmers are neglected a lot. Government employees are getting salary ranging from Rs. 90000 to Rs. 1,25,000 and pension. But for farmers there is no social security mechanism,” said Akshaya Kumar, convenor of Navnirman Krishak Sangathan.
Most speakers said faulty government policies had plunged the agriculture sector into a crisis.
Farmer leaders said the State government's tilt in favour of industrialisation was a historic blunder as many farmers committed suicide due to lack of government support.
They also came down heavily on the Seed Bill 2010. “The seed supply by multinational companies will make farmers reliant on them. In the course of time, the investment on agricultural land would increase in absence of favourable government policies,” activists warned.
They said since 1972 the price of paddy had increased by 10 times while in comparison the cost of gold had gone up 80 times. “Had the price of paddy been increased at the rate at which gold price shot up, per quintal paddy would have been Rs. 6,400. So farmers should get at least Rs. 5,000 per quintal of paddy,” speakers demanded.
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