'All parties treat farmers like beggars': Punjab's agriculture workers have no hope from elections -Manu Moudgil
Recent farm loan waivers and income support schemes have had little impact amid growing agrarian distress.
In January, farmers across the state of Punjab took to the roads in protest. In 12 districts of the state, they were protesting against banks that filed cases against loan defaulting farmers. Also part of their demands from the government was compensation of Rs 10 lakh each for families of farmers that had committed suicides, as well as minimum support price (price at which government purchases crops from the farmers) for all vegetables and fruits.
During the same time, sugarcane growers in the state were blocking highway traffic in protest. Sugar mill owners had not released their dues that amounted to Rs 396 crore. To make matters worse, unexpected winter rains damaged the potato crop across the state, dashing any hope of recovery in the three-year downslide plaguing the spud market.
This is a snapshot of Punjab’s farm crisis. Declining production, market volatility, ecological loss, and unpredictable weather have all been contributing to farmers’ heavy debt burden, harassment and suicides.
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