ALAPPUZHA: “The agriculture packages announced by both the Centre and the state are not a panacea for the crisis being faced by the farmers in the state,” said CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan. He was speaking after inaugurating a convention of farmers organized by the Kerala Karshaka Sangham (KKS) at Mankom in Kuttanad.
“The centre and state governments should find a permanent solution that will ensure protection for farmers. The Centre has destroyed the public distribution system and the government does not have a proper mechanism for procuring crops. This situation is forcing farmers to commit suicide,” he said.
Vijayan blamed the government for the rising prices of food, fuel, fertilizer and electricity. This, he said, is only making the farmers life difficult. “Trade liberalisation and globalisation policies of the UPA “government is forcing traditional farmers to quit farming. This should be changed.”
He claimed that the previous LDF government had implemented many developmental activities aimed at the welfare of farmers. “We executed only farmer friendly programmes and had also constituted the Kerala State Farmers’ Debit Relief Commission. We wrote off the loans of farmers who had defaulted.
We also gave them handsome procurement prices for their crops which was a great relief for them. So there were no cases of suicide by the farmers during the LDF rule.” After the function, Vijayan also visited paddy fields in Kuttanad and interacted with farmers.
The KKS state president and MLA, E P Jayarajan, who presided over the function, said that the Kuttanad package should be for the benefit of the farmers and not for serving the vested interests of certain officials.
“The package should be executed in tune with the needs of the farmers and their participation is a must for the fruitful implementation of the package.”