AMSU, DESAM, KSA and AIMS trashed the state government’s policy of issuing fertilizers (urea) only to farmers with patta. The policy has denied tenant farmers their shares and the surplus urea finds its way into the grey market which sells them at unreasonable prices, they said
Welcoming the Agriculture Minister’s promise to ensure adequate and timely availability of urea to farmers, four major student organizations in Manipur on Tuesday expressed their confidence that the state government will keep the minister’s word and help bring some relief to farmers who are facing drought-like situations in the state.
AMSU, DESAM, KSA and AIMS issued a press statement in this regard saying that farmers in Manipur are not getting the fertilizers timely at an affordable rate. They alleged that unavailability of urea at the time of requirement becomes common problems faced by farmers every year. If available, it is in the grey market at exorbitant rate, it added.
On the state government’s policy of issuing fertilizers (urea) only to farmers with patta, the student bodies said the policy has denied tenant farmers their shares and the surplus urea finds its way into the grey market where urea is sold at unreasonable prices. They urged the state government to issue farmer cards to every farmer to end this discrepancy and address problems faced by poor farmers.
Further, the organisations pleaded with the government to open a helpline number of the agriculture department for farmers so that they could raise their issues directly with the agriculture minister and higher officials of the department. Through this helpline, the farmers should be allowed to register complaints if they couldn’t get the appropriate amount of urea or if they found urea being sold at a higher price in the grey market.
The statement also said that the farmers who are reeling under drought-like situations are facing hardships due to high diesel prices in pumping water to irrigate the fields. The student bodies sought the attention of the government to set up a coordinating committee of the three key departments –agriculture department, minor irrigation department and water resource department— to chalk out a strategy so that seed sowing could be started by farmers at the earliest and to frame a long term policy.