(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
October 23, 2011
Peasants in Crisis
From Our Special
Correspondent in Kolkata
THE jute and paddy
The paddy growers are also threatened by similar disastrous situation. Already the price of Aman variety has declined by nearly Rs 500 per quintal. At same period last year, per quintal paddy of this variety could fetch Rs 1150 to Rs 1200. This has now come down to Rs 750. The Aush variety is almost ready to be harvested.
Earlier, the Left Front government had added Rs 50 per quintal to declared central minimum support price. It used to prepare procurement infrastructure by September and apart from FCI, self help groups were activated to procure paddy from fields so that the peasants did not fall victim to market volatilities. There is no sign of this preparation apart from issuing formal bureaucratic circulars to district administrations.
With the cost of production increasing dramatically, the prices of fertilisers and pesticides shot up by many times. Black marketeering of fertilisers has become commonplace.
The Left peasant organisations have already submitted deputation to the state government demanding immediate intervention. A delegation of Left Front legislators, led by leader of opposition, Surya Kanta Misra met the agriculture minister and urged him to declare minimum support price following the recommendations of Farmersí Commission. The peasantsí organisations are preparing for a wider movement in the near future.