Aggrieved ryots distribute vegetables free as protest

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 03 Jan 2017 11:46:02

Business Reporter,


Jan 2,

Over 500 vegetable growers from various areas get together for peaceful protest

THE vegetable farmers in the State are in dilemma as they are unable to get price for their produce. This year there has been a bumper production but farmers have failed to market their produce as the government has not provided any facility for cold storage and transportation of the perishable veggies. Farmers are under whip due to these infrastructural lacunas and now they have staged a unique protest to raise their various demands by distributing veggies free of cost to the people.

The protesting vegetable farmers demanded to waive off electricity bills, interest on loans obtained from banks, setting of food processing units, setting more sugar producing factories, providing AC transporting vehicles and most importantly setting up vegetable mandies where growers can directly sell their produce in the cities.

While talking to The Hatavada, State President of Chhattisgarh Pragatasheel Kissan Sangh (CPKS) Hitesh Varu informed that this year the weather condition was favourable resulting in bumper vegetable crop across the country. Locally, vegetable production exceeded the demand generated in the market and to make the situation worse, orders for 25 per cent of the produce consumed by mandies across the country has gone blank.

Thus, it has been a nightmare for vegetable growers with low demand in proportion to the standing crop that needs immediate plucking. Based on the lower demands and bumper crop this year, the expenses incurred from the initial sowing to final supply in the market, the vegetable growers are at total loss. Being perishable item, it is not possible to extend the plucking of final yield to a certain limit which has resulted in excess stocks at the growers end. Thus growers planned a unique protest by distributing the vegetables free of cost among the public as ‘protest-cum-free distribution’ here at Dharna site near the indoor stadium on Monday, said Varu.

He further said that the vegetable growers have suffered heavy loss and not in a position to recover the actual investment. With the inability to re-pay bank loans, the fear of interest looming large and the pending electricity bills, the vegetable growers are now avoiding going for vegetable crops next season. Thus, State Government should on priority sort out these issues or find an amicable solution to save the farmers from both tensions, Varu added.

Jayant Bhai Tank, a vegetable grower having his farmland at Doma village near Sej Bahar informed that State Government should strictly focus on establishing sabji mandies in the state. Since, the existing Sabji Mandies at Shastri Market and Dumartarai are not functioning under Mandi Act, government should come up with common mandies that will provide platform to the vegetable farmers to sell their produce in the cities.
Whether conditions are good or bad, farmers are generally at the receiving end. Thus, being an agri based state, government must develop facilities that will enable local produce to reach the other end in fresh conditions and fetch good price. In Jalgaon and Savda, the Maharashtra government has introduced AC vans for transporting locally produced vegetables to different destinations at a reasonable charge. Services of special perishable product carrying coaches are also utilized by farmers in some regions of Maharashtra. So, local Government should take steps that will encourage farming activities and also attract more investors in this sector, Tank added.

More than 500 vegetable growers from Dhamda, Malpuri, Dharsinwa, Arang, Kumhari, Sejbahar, Bhatagaon and other neighbouring areas assembled at the Dharna Sthal besides indoor stadium for a peaceful demonstration and free distribution of vegetables to the public here on Monday. As permitted by the administration, 30 tempos with around one metric ton of vegetables consisting of tomato, capsicum, semi, bhata, lauki, green banana etc were distributed free from 10 am. Around 20,000 people lined-up and collected vegetables, said Hitesh Varu. He further said that a memorandum of demands was handed over to Tehsildar Padmini Bhai Sahu at the dharna site.