VELLORE: Farmers in the district on Friday called upon the district administration to evict wholesale dealers and traders from Uzhavar Santhais and protect their interests.
Alleging irregularities in the Uzhavar Santhai at Gudiyattam in the monthly farmers’ grievance day meeting held in the Collectorate, Senthamarai from Gudiyattam taluk said wholesale dealers and traders had occupied shops in the market in the guise of farmers and were selling vegetables procured from Andhra Pradesh. The officials, despite repeated complaints, failed to take action against such irregularities, she charged.
She said, a group of wholesale dealers and traders had formed an association called Uzhavar Welfare Association and were running the market, and even threatening officers from the agriculture department, besides forcing farmers to pay anything between Rs 500 and Rs 2000 to them in order sell their produce in the market. The meeting witnessed a mild flutter when the Deputy Director (DD) of Agriculture Marketing Pandian advised farmers not to get involved in such issues. He said he had conducted a meeting with farmers in Gudiyattam to find a solution, but no one was co-operated in ensuring smooth functioning of the market.
At this juncture, Collector R Nanthagopal instructed the DD of Agriculture Marketing to initiate severe action to ensure that no one except farmers put up stalls in the market. “No wholesale dealers or traders should be allowed inside the Uzhavar Santhai,” he said.
Dhanapaul, a farmer and member of farmers association, requested the forest department to take measures to plant fruit bearing trees in forest areas, to avoid wild animals straying into human habitation. An official said, the department had taken measures to plant 10,000 saplings of fruit bearing trees in each forest range in the district.