Government must procure foodgrains from farmers at minimum support prices!

On 30 April 2020, farmers led by Lok Raj Sangathan in Ramgarh, Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan submitted a memorandum to the District Collector through the Naib Tehsildar. They demanded that the state government should purchase grains from farmers of Ramgarh sub tehsil at the minimum support price.

A secondary market has been established in Ramgarh. But the government has still not begun purchasing food grains at the support price. Farmers have harvested the wheat, gram and mustard crops and they lie spoiling in the fields. Farmers are forced to sell their harvest at a price far lower than the Minimum Support Price because the government is not purchasing the crops from them and they are being fleeced by local traders. Farmers are selling wheat at 100 rupees less per quintal (100 kgs), mustard at 500 rupees less per quintal and gram by 800 rupees less per quintal than the support price.

As Ramgarh is just eight kilometres away from the Rajasthan-Haryana border, local traders illegally send their goods to the mandis of Haryana.

Ramgarh as a sub tehsil has dozens of villages under its jurisdiction. Grains cannot be stored in the fields and a combination of fear of rain and bad weather, poverty and destitution pushes farmers to sell their crops for next to nothing.

The Nohar Agricultural Produce Market is located 25 kms from Ramgarh. During lockdown, as per social distancing rules, farmers are unable to transport their grains so far. Therefore, Lok Raj Sangathan has raised the demand through the Naib Tehsildar that the District Collector should purchase grains from farmers at the support price in the secondary market.

Hanuman Prasad Sharma, Vice President of Lok Raj Sangathan, Dr. Krishan Nokhwal, Chairman of Sub Tehsil Committee of Lok Raj Sangathan, Ramgarh, Maniram Laksar, Rohtas Thori, Balwant Singh Bhambu, Kanhaiya Lal Jain, Sonu Bhargava, Haroon Khan, Sokin Khan and Mrs. Savitri Sharma submitted the memorandum to the Naib Tehsildar while maintaining social distancing. They warned that if the government does not soon start buying food grains from the farmers at the Minimum Support Price, Lok Raj Sangathan will start a movement.

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