A section of farmers’ representatives from Tiruchi district have urged the State government to withdraw the law on contract farming. Tamil Nadu was the first state to enact the law, which officials say would benefit farmers in getting remunerative prices for farmers. Raising the issue at the farmers grievance day meeting here on Friday, Ayilai Sivasuriyan, district secretary, Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, affiliated to the Communist Party of India, maintained that the Agricultural Produce and Livestock Contract Farming and Services (Promotion and Facilitation) Act would only benefit corporate companies and not farmers. “Tamil Nadu is the only State to enact the law. Farmers will not benefit from as they will not be able fix the prices,” Mr.Sivasuriyan maintained.Echoing his views, M.P.Chinnadurai, district president, Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam, said the system of fixing the price even before cultivation under the contract farming system will not acceptable to farmers. “The law will destroy agriculture in the state,” he charged and questioned the Tamil Nadu government move to enact the law when no other state had done so.
However, N.Veerasekaran, Ayyan Vaical Pasanatharar Sangam, welcomed the Act but insisted that farmers should have the right to fix the price of their produce.Earlier, a section of farmers representatives urged the district officials to ensure availability of adequate stocks of urea and potash for the samba paddy season.R.Subramanian, deputy secretary, Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association, and Puliyur A.Nagarajan, president, Farmers Wing of Tamil Maanilla Congress, complained of scarcity of urea and potash in some parts of the districts. Mr.Nagarajan alleged that the scarcity was being created artificially.
However, an Agriculture Department note circulated at the meeting said that there was adequate stock of fertilizers, including 3,598 tonnes of urea, 8,065 tonnes of DAP, 2,104 tonnes of potash and 12,129 tonnes of complex fertilizers, with the cooperative societies and private dealers in the district. Banana export zone Mr.Sivasariyan urged the district officials to move adequate stocks of fertilizers to cooperative societies and private dealers as the demand would be high during this month. He also urged the State government to press the Centre to declare Tiruchi as banana export zone.Mr.Nagarajan urged the district officials to supply hand held harvest machines and cono weeders to farmers free of cost.P. Viswanathan of the Tamizhaga Eri Mattrum Attru Pasana Vivasayigal Sangam complained that though funds were allotted for desilting about 300 irrigation tanks in Lalgudi, Pullampadi, Manachanallur, Thuraiyur, Uppilliyapuram, Tiruverumbur and Manapparai areas, the works have not been executed properly ahead of the monsoon. This has resulted in poor storage in the tanks even though most parts of the district had received good rainfall.
(source : The Hindu)