Karnataka, India: Support prices sought by KRRS to bail out farmers

Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) and the Green Brigade have urged the Union government to announce minimum support price for arecanut, coconut, copra and rubber.

Briefing mediapersons here on Monday, KRRS General Secretary Badagalapura Nagendra said the sudden slump in the price of arecanut, coconut, copra and rubber has left the farmers in dire straits. The government should come to the rescue of the farmers by procuring them at the support price, he demanded.

The KRRS and the Green Brigade have sought a minimum support price of Rs 35,000 per quintal for arecanut, Rs 25,000 per quintal for coconut, Rs 15,000 per quintal for copra and Rs 16,000 per quintal for rubber.

“Our demands on minimum support price has been placed before a Cabinet Sub-committee. We will wait for two weeks for the government to respond. If it fails, a protest will be organised across the State,” Nagendra said.

Nagendra said both the Union and the state governments have failed to protect the interest of the farmers. More than 1,300 farmers have committed suicide in the last one year, he claimed.

He said the farmers growing horticultural and food crops are under the mercy of the price fixed by agents and continue to languish in poverty in the absence of a solid support price policy.

Nagendra objected to the move by the government to invoke the provisions of Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act to recover loan lent to farmers.

He said that bankers have already started invoking the Act to recover loans given by nationalised banks for farmers.

He also said that notices have been issued to a couple of farmers in Tumakuru, Bengaluru and Kodagu.

“How can the government invoke the provisions of SARFAESI Act at a time when farmers are in deep crisis?” Nagendra questioned.

(This is an abridged version of the news article published on Deccan Herald on July 26. To read the full article, click here)