MSP blues: Irked red jowar farmers hit the road in Nizamabad

Red jowar farmers have been raising their voices and waiting for the state government to announce the Market Intervention Programme

Published: 12th February 2018 04:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th February 2018 05:49 AM   |  A+A-

Red jowar, turmeric farmers staging a protest in Nizamabad on Sunday | Express photo

Express News Service

NIZAMABAD: With the Assembly elections around the corner, red jowar farmers have been raising their voices and waiting for the state government to announce the Market Intervention Programme (MIP) in order to procure the crop from them by providing Minimum Support Price (MSP).

Red jowar crop is mainly cultivated in Armoor and Balkonda Assembly constituencies of Nizamabad district. According to farmers organisations,  the farmers have been cultivating the crop in around 110 villages in the district. The crop is also grown by few farmers in the erstwhile Adilabad and Karimnagar districts. This is  a 90-day Irrigated Dry (ID) crop, which is cultivated by the farmers with buy back agreement with seed company agents.

The seed companies sell seed as fodder seeds in several states in North India including several countries Sri Lanka, South Africa (SA). Farmers alleged that seed company agents have been playing game every year by trying to purchase the crop with the lowest price.  A similar situation has prevailed in the red jowar crop cultivated areas this year too.  While the farmers are ready for the harvest season, the agents of seed companies offer to pay `1,800 per quintal. But the farmers have been demanding the seed company agents to pay a minimum of `3,000 per quintal.      

However, this is not the first time the farmers have raised their voices. On several occasions, the red jowar farmers have organised road blockades on national highway 65 in Kammarpally and Morthad.  
Farmers Joint Action Committee (JAC) staged a protest programme at district collector office in the district on Sunday, which was attended by JAC chairman professor M Kodandaram. Balkonda former MLA E Anil alleged that seed traders have unitedly disappeared from villages and moved to Sri Lanka in view of decrease in the prices.  The Congress government released Rs 35 crore and started the Market Intervention Programme (MIP), of which only `11 crore has been cleared by the present government.    
A few days back, District Congress Committee (DCC) delegation under the leadership of its president Taher Bin Hamdan submitted a memorandum to the district collector MRM Rao. However, the government did not taken any decision. Meanwhile, Congress leader and former Assembly speaker K R Suresh Reddy has demanded that the state government announce a policy on red jowar crop soon.

 Traffic comes to halt as protest continues for two hours

Nizamabad: In a demand to procure red jowar by declaring Minimum Support Price (MSP), farmers staged a protest on National Highway 47 in Jakranpally police station limits in the district on Sunday. Turmeric farmers also joined the protest by raising slogans to fulfil their demands. Meanwhile, the normal life was thrown out of gear due to the protest. With the farmers continuing the protest for two hours, traffic came to a halt on both the sides of the national highway. Demanding the district collector to come to their rescue, they said that if the state government is unable to settle the issue before February 15, they will unitedly continue the agitation in coordination with all the farmers of Armoor, Balkonda, Nizamabad Rural Assembly constituencies. Meanwhile, police convinced the farmers to call off the protest. 

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