The Pradesh Krushak Morcha of the BJP demanded Rs 2,025 as the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy and rollback the hike in the prices of fertilisers.
The State executive committee of the Morcha slammed the Centre for increasing the prices of fertilisers and its failure to meet the State demand for the soil nutrient. “With increasing input costs for agriculture, MSP announced by the Centre for paddy is not acceptable. The marginal increase in MSP will in no way be remunerative for the farmers while the labour cost has skyrocketed,” said a resolution passed at the executive committee meeting. A 16-point resolution moved by general secretary of the Morcha Jadumani Panigrahi said the Centre had raised the MSP for paddy by Rs 170 a quintal, hike of 15 per cent, whereas the input cost for the farmers had more than doubled.
The Centre announced MSP of paddy at Rs 1,250 a quintal for the 2012-13 kharif as against Rs 1,080 during kharif marketing season of 2011-12. For A-grade variety of paddy, the support price has been raised to Rs 1,280 per quintal from Rs 1,110. While demanding an MSP of Rs 2,025, the Krushak Morcha also asked the State Government to provide a bonus of Rs 500 per bag of paddy.
Accusing the State Government of being anti-farmers, the executive committee of the morcha said ruling BJD has miserably failed to protect the interests of farmers. More than 200 farmers committed suicide due to faulty agricultural policy of the Central and the State Governments, the resolution said. The Morcha derided the State Government for not taking care of the bereaved families of the farmers who committed suicide. The meeting demanded a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to each of the families. Coming down heavily on the government for its failure to check distress sale of paddy, the Morcha demanded a revised procurement policy.
National BJP secretary in-charge of Odisha Santosh Gangwar, former minister BB Haridhandan, State organising secretary Panchanan Rout and national vice-president of the Kishan Morcha KC Jagdev attended the meeting.