BARGARH: Farmers from across the district have demanded waiver of crop loan and hike in minimum support price (MSP) of paddy. At a farmers’ convention organised under the aegis of Raj Bodasambar Krushak Sangathan at Padampur on Friday, convener of Paschim Odisha Krushak Sangathan Samanwaya Samiti (POKSSS), Lingaraj said while the State Government is waiving loans of corporate houses, farmers are under duress due to loan burden.
The MSP hike of paddy by Rs 200 per quintal of paddy is not adequate and Government should fix the MSP at 1.5 times the cost of production as per Swaminathan Commission’s recommendation, he added. Though the recommendation was made in 2006, State Government is yet to implement it.
Castigating the State Government for its anti-farmers attitude, Lingaraj said the authorities are not serious about the issues pertaining to farmers and farming. Odisha Legislative Assembly had unanimously adopted a resolution recommending to the State Government to urge the Centre to increase the paddy MSP to Rs 2,930 per quintal. However, the State Government failed to take up the matter with the Centre, Lingaraj said. “If the Government is serious about the plight of farmers, it should provide bonus on paddy,” he added. Moreover, Central Government should not include private insurance companies for implementation of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), he said.
Due to deficit rainfall, standing paddy crops in non-irrigated areas of Western Odisha are under water stressed condition. As far as irrigation is concerned, even though 66 per cent of the total cultivable land in the State is yet to be irrigated, the State Government does not have any plan to mitigate water stressed condition.