As soon as the farmers’ grievances redressal meet commenced, a section of farmers, led by P Viswanathan, stepped out of the hall and staged a protest against the hike in fertilisers price. According to them, while samba cultivation has commenced in the delta region, price of fertilisers has been hiked without any announcement.
Viswanathan added that, fertiliser dealers were selling the inputs at least 20 per cent to 40 per cent more than the MRP. “Even, the government run fertiliser centres were indulging in such a practice,” he regretted.
Meanwhile, farmers demanded the Centre to withdraw the order allowing the fertiliser companies themselves to fix the price. They added that, the price hike has affected a large number of farmers, who were in a quandary whether to continue cultivating or not.
‘Give crop loans for land documents and not for jewels’
Farmers, who participated in the monthly grievance redressal meeting in Thanjavur on Friday, insisted that the cooperative banks should disburse pure crop loans based on land documents instead of demanding them to pledge jewels for loans.
V Jeevakumar of Rayamundanpatti, the first farmer who spoke at the Friday meeting, said that most of the primary agricultural cooperative societies (PACS) disbursed only jewel loans when farmers go to them for crop loans. Many farmers, who do not have jewels, were not able to avail these loans. Hence, the banks should be instructed to disburse pure crop loans based on land documents.
Jeevakumar also wanted the notices regarding auction of jewels pledged by the farmers to be withdrawn. VK Chinnadurai of Tiruvonam area also raised a similar issue.
Meanwhile, S Vimalnathan of Swamimalai pointed out that, since farmers do not have money to repay the loan, the auction should be deferred at least till the commencement of the harvest of samba paddy.
Referring to the cooperative department officials’ claim that jewels pledged are 8-10 years ago were only being auctioned, but, he alleged that even jewels pledged one-and-a-half year ago were being auctioned.
P Ekambaram, joint registrar of cooperative societies said that Rs 252 crore has been earmarked for crop loans in the district and, so far, Rs 124 crore has been disbursed. He added that the societies would be instructed to disburse the loan as per the scale of finance fixed by the committee.