Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cotton, soyabean ryots being paid less: VJAS- TIMES OF INDIA Reports

Cotton, soyabean ryots being paid less: VJAS
19 Nov 2008, 0331 hrs IST, TNN

NAGPUR: Farmers taking cotton and soyabean to procurement centres at Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs) in Vidarbha were being paid less than the minimum support price fixed by the Central government for the produce, Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti has alleged. The Samiti has warned of legal action against such purchases claiming that it was mandatory to pay the support price fixed by the Centre to protect farmers' interests.

Samiti president Kishore Tiwari has said that in neighbouring Marathwada region, the district collector has issued a notice that cotton should be bought at Rs 3,000 per quintal at all the procurement centres of the State Cotton Federation which is buying this year on behalf of the National agriculture marketing federation (Nafed). Anyone found underpaying will be liable for legal action, the notice has warned.

Tiwari has cited the notice issued by sugar commissioner in Uttar Pradesh to the sugar mills there that payment to cane growers at less than the minimum support price fixed by the government would be illegal.

"But in Vidarbha, far from giving any protection to farmers, cotton and soyabean is being procured by the federation at around Rs 2,850 per quintal. The police and the local authorities have failed to take any action and even as farmers are being denied their due prices," said Tiwari.

At several places the procurement agencies and the traders paying less are being shielded by the police, he alleged. The Samiti is contemplating taking up the matter in the high court here. It has demanded that the difference amount be paid to the farmers along with cheques for the purchases.

The Samiti will raise the issue at a 'dharna' it is organising at Azad Maidan in Mumbai in which widows of farmers who committed suicide will be present, said Tiwari.

The north Indians living in Mumbai have promised financial assistance to the distressed farmers of Vidarbha.

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