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Peasants’ body miffed over government ‘apathy’

FROM A CORRESPONDENT

SHILLONG, Feb 8:  Farmers of the state under the banner of Joint Action Committee (JAC) of All Meghalaya Farmers’ Union (JACAMFU) have expressed their discontentment against the state government’s step motherly attitude towards them.

The JACAMFU alleged that the government gave only assurances to uplift agriculture sector in the state but said that their actions do not match what they promised. The JACAMFU, an umbrella of farmer’s associations of the state, met to discuss the various issues concerning the farmers. Among the issues discussed at the meet was the non-availability of seeds in the market for the farmers and also the absence of a proper market for farmers to sell their produce without being exploited by businessmen. The farmer’s body alleged that at present the products of the farmers are bought at a cheap price by middle-men. “The Joint Action Committee of All Meghalaya Farmers’ Union demands that the government should provide seeds and also see to it that the prices are controlled,” the farmer’s body said. The JACAMFU also demanded that the government should provide potato seeds and also give subsidy to farmers when purchasing chemical fertilizers.   The government has stopped subsidy for chemical fertilizers to encourage the farmers to take up organic farming. The JACAMFU said that with the government stopping subsidy for chemical fertilizers farmers have to buy them at higher prices. The farmer’s body said that after the government’s decision to give subsidy for chemical fertilizers it was their duty to provide organic fertilizers. They pointed out that potato growers in the state are not getting organic fertilizers and are still using urea and said if it cannot provide the government should continue the subsidy for chemical fertilizers.