Agriculture, horticulture totally neglected by government: Tarigami

J&K Kisan Tehreek demands MSP, agricultural loans for small farmers

Jammu March 7 (KNS): Jammu and Kashmir Kisan Tehreek on Sunday demanded minimum support price (MSP) and agricultural loans to small farmers and orchardists of the region.
During its daylong district conference held in Kathua, with Hari Singh as Stage Secretary, the participants expressed concern over various problems being faced by the Kisans across J&K.

As per the statement issued to news agency-kashmir news service (KNS), While addressing the conference CPI(M) leader, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami  said that the core sectors of our economy agriculture and horticulture have totally been neglected by the government, despite J&K being an agricultural state and major chunk of population dependent on this sector.
He said issue of fair price for their produce by ensuring a minimum support price for all crops has been a long pending demand of kissans. The government must include Basmati and Kashmir fruit industry in the MSP. This legitimate demand despite repeated promises/assurances has not been conceded till date.

Over the issue of Jammu and Kashmir administration’s  move to retrieve state and forest land from alleged encroachers, he said, it is not only dispossessing villagers from the land they have been farming from  decades, thousands of apple trees, too, have been chopped off in the process. Even saplings have not been spared.

This is unfortunate and must be stopped immediately.  The government move is aimed at dispossessing them and attacking their livelihoods. We demand immediate compensation and immediate halt to this alleged eviction.

He said that under free trade agreement various fruits are imported in the country and demanded 100% custom duty be charged on these imported fruits. It is an obligation for the government to come to the support and succor of the farmers and Kisans  as they form the backbone of the J&K’s economy and have always been suffering on account weather vagaries.

The biggest challenge facing the growers and kisans is the menace of pests and diseases and in absence of any fool proof mechanism to curb the sub-standard and spurious pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers the problems of kisans are further aggravated. The callous attitude of authorities has created uncertainty among peasants and orchardists.

President Kisan Tehreek, Jammu Province, Banarasi Das termed the decision of J&K government to annul the March 2015 announcement of then Finance Minister of waiving off water tax on agricultural land as arbitrary and against the interests of farmers. He demanded the immediate revocation of the order.

He said administration has directed the Numberdars to collect water taxes from the farmers from March 2015 onwards failing which they have been warned of action under Jammu and Kashmir Water Resources Regulation and Management Act-2010. It is sheer injustice with the farmers to force them to pay now when they had been given some relief by then government.
Sewa Ram, District Kathua President Kisan Tehreek, demanded procurement centres Halqa wise so that kisans of the area are able to sell their crop at their doorsteps. There are  hardly a few procurement centres in the district. The region being vulnerable to natural calamities, crop insurance scheme was not implemented fully so far that can provide respite to the calamity affected kisans. Though the announcement of crop insurance scheme was made by the government, it is unfortunate that the said scheme is not implemented so far here.

General Secretary Kisan Tehreek Jammu region Sohan Lal  said that the government is paying a meagre compensation to the farmers for their land acquired for developmental projects on meager rates. The authorities must pay suitable compensation to those whose land has been or is to be acquired. Land holding is the only sources of income for farmers. The compensation is being provided as per Land Acquisition Act 1934. Since Parliament has passed Land Acquisition Act in 2013, the compensation must be provided as per the said Act.

The conference demanded the repeal of anti farmer Bills passed by the Parliament and extended solidarity with agitating kisans of the country. In reality, along with small farmers, these laws have serious implications for the landless rural poor. It is clear that barring the few crony capitalists close to the ruling ranks, every section of society will get a hit due to the forced implementation of the new agricultural laws.

Om Prakash, General Secretary CITU also addressed the conference and assured the kisans full support of the working class. He opposed the anti former policies of the BJP government.

Raj Kumar trade union leader also addressed the conference.

The conference elected new district committee comprising with Banarasi Das as president and Sava Ram as Secretary.(KNS)

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