Declare drought in Manipur, demands farmers bodies
Imphal, Nov. 3 (EMN): Three farmers’ bodies — Manipur Loumee Marup affiliated to All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), Loumee Shinmi Apunba Lup (Lousal) and Farmers’ Joint Action Committee, Manipur – has jointly demanded declaration of drought in Manipur and compensation of INR 1 Lakh per hectare to farmers.
The demands were made by the representatives of the three farmers’ bodies after a team of peasant leaders led by Joint Secretary Dr. Vijoo Krishnan of AIKS visited Imphal East District and interacted with paddy farmers at Top Yaral Loukol region on Thursday.
Leaders of Samyukta Kisan Morcha; Farmer’s Joint Action Committee, Manipur; Loumee Shinmi Apunba Lup (Lousal) and Manipur Loumee Marup namely Kshetrimayum Santa Mutum Churamani and Sarat Salam were also present during the interaction.
The top Yaral Loukon area, having around 400 houses, has a population of about 2000 people with paddy cultivated fields measuring around 260 hectares. Even though the area is located close to the Iril River, the government has not set up any irrigation facilities, claimed Manipur Loumee Marup in a press release issued on Thursday.
Alleging that different governments have failed to provide irrigation facilities or to enhance productivity, the press release claimed that the farmers at Top Yaral gets 2.5 to 2.8 tonnes per hectare when the yield is good which is very low when compared with the production in Punjab (6.7 Tonnes per hectare), Andhra Pradesh (5.2 Tonnes per hectare) and Kerala (3 Tonnes per hectare).
Besides, there are no incentives or subsidies for the farmers, it alleged. Even the availability of fertiliser is an issue.
Since there is no procurement of the produce by government, the farmers are forced to sell their paddy at around INR 1300-1400 per quintal while centrally announced Minimum Support Price (MSP) is INR 2040 per quintal. The cost of production is around INR 40,000 per hectare, it alleged.
‘If 2.8 tonnes is taken as the production, then if procured at the MSP they should have got about INR 57,000 per hectare. But they are getting only as low as INR 36,000 to INR 39,000 which does not even meet the costs incurred. Paddy cultivation is totally unviable in such circumstances,’ the update further alleged.
The representatives of the farmers’ bodies also claimed that field trials of Manipur Black Rice (Chakhao) at ICAR, Pusa have achieved 4 Tonnes per hectare while local productivity is only about 800 kg per hectare.
A memorandum in this regard will be submitted to the concerned authorities within a few days in the interest of the Manipuri farming community besides organising a workshop in the next season involving scientists and agricultural experts, it stated.