Kuruburu urges Pralhad Joshi to pass law to make MSP scheme legal

He said that in other states, procurement centres have been opened at hobli level, but not in Karnataka, and a lot of restrictions are placed to procure agricultural produce.
A farmer sowing fertilizer for his crops.
A farmer sowing fertilizer for his crops. | H Jashwanth Kumar

HUBBALLI: The Federation of State Farmers’ Associations has urged Food, Public Distribution and Consumer Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi to play a positive role in enhancing central grants to state governments to procure farm produce under the minimum support price (MSP) scheme and demanded that a law be passed to give the process a legal sanctity.

Talking to reporters on Wednesday, Federation president Kuruburu Shantakumar charged the Central government with meting out injustice to farmers of states under the price support scheme, as over 45 per cent of farm produce is being procured from Punjab, Haryana and other North Indian states and the share of Karnataka in the nation-wide procurement is just 3 per cent.

He said that in other states, procurement centres have been opened at hobli level, but not in Karnataka, and a lot of restrictions are placed to procure agricultural produce. “Because of this, state farmers are facing a lot of hardship and not benefiting from the MSP scheme. The Union government should make the procurement process easy by enacting a law to make MSP legal,” he stressed.

Shantakumar, who also heads the State Sugarcane Growers’ Association, pointed to the importance of digitisation of sugar industries and the sugarcane sector, in line with the Uttar Pradesh government, which has been doing a transaction of Rs 25,000 crore. Such an initiative will generate more revenue for the government and also assure a fair price for farmers, he said. In Karnataka, since half of the sugar factories in the state are owned by politicians, they are not allowing the government to reform the sector.

Lashing out at sugar mills in the state, he alleged that they owe around Rs 700 crore to sugarcane growers over the last eight months. “If at all the Congress government is concerned about farmers, let the government confiscate such factories and file a criminal case against such owners,” he said. He appealed to the Centre to amend NDRF rules against crop damage due to natural disasters and pressed for full compensation.

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