BHOPAL: While the farmers at Delhi borders have refused to budge from their demand of repealing the agri laws, about 900 km away, dozens of paddy farmers in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh’s Hoshangabad have been left in a lurch by a rice company, for which they’ve been contract farming for last four years.
Pyramids of harvested paddy outside the houses and stack-yards of the paddy farmers in Gadhaghat and other villages reveal their misery. The Delhi-NCR based company allegedly went back on its promise of buying their produce at prevailing market price on the pretext that harvested samples contained the hazardous chemical Hexa.
This is the same rice company that had reneged on its contract clause of buying the produce of paddy farmers at the prevailing market price plus Rs 50 bonus in Bhaukhandi village. It was after the local administration acted against the company under the new contract farming law that it procured paddy from 12 farmers. Top BJP leaders have been citing this instance at BJP’s Kisan Chaupals to tom-tom the benefits of the new farm laws.
Now, the farmers in other villages are repenting contract farming for the company. “Just like the previous three years, we sourced seeds and fertilizers from the same local traders who’ve worked as intermediaries between us and the company. But this year, they are saying the paddy has heavy traces of Hexa,” Ram Shankar and Patiram Patel told this newspaper.
Rattled Anil Sharma and Mithilesh Chowdhary said they would henceforth sell their produce at the mandis. Nitin Taale, the sub-divisional magistrate who had acted against the company in the case of Bhaukhandi farmers, said, “The administration will act as per the new law once the farmers concerned come to us.”