A bitter harvest: farmers reap what politicians sow -Jayaraj Sivan
-The Times of India
Farmer unrest in Tamil Nadu is a much-debated subject on the eve of the Lok Sabha polls. However, the widespread agrarian distress has been in the making for decades as successive governments have had little understanding of the sector’s problems.
Now that elections are here, farmers, who are an influential group in most of the constituencies, are again the focus of political campaigners. “Both the Congress and the BJP have ditched Tamil Nadu farmers time and again. They have no right to seek votes from farmers and farm labourers. Both the parties have been talking about inter-linking of rivers for ages. Nothing is happening on the ground,” said Cauvery Farmers’ Protection Association general secretary S Dhanapalan.
“The minimum support price fixed by the government for paddy is ?10 per kg less than our cost of production. The crop insurance scheme serves only to secure farm loans extended by banks. It does not protect farmers’ hard work in the fields. Similarly, fertilizer subsidy helps only fertilizer manufacturers, not farmers,” said Dhanapalan.
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The Times of India, 2 April, 2019, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/a-bitter-harvest-farmers-reap-what-politicians-sow/articleshow/68682047.cms