The Gujarat chapter of the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-affiliated farmers’ outfit, on Tuesday slammed the state government over its “poor” data collection on cultivation and the subsequent crop loss the farmers faced in Gujarat. It said that the farmers in the state are “Ram Bharose” (left to their fate).
At a press event organised in Ahmedabad on Tuesday, BKS Gujarat president Vitthal Dudhatra said, “They (government) have a good system in place but unfortunately failed in its implementation. There is a system under which the Talati is supposed to keep track of which kind of crop is cultivated in each farmland under their jurisdiction. But for the past 10 years, there is no record of this data. When the government doesn’t have the data on cultivation, how is it expected to have data on crop loss,” said Dudhatra.
The BKS state president alleged that the state government was busy creating an “illusion of numbers” in order to assist the traders of the state, but not the farmers.
“The government’s system has failed and it has no control over its own officials. The cultivation of groundnut and cotton is purposely shown higher in order to provide less money to the farmers. All this is being done as per a planning to ensure that the entire system benefits the traders and not the farmers. An illusion of numbers is being created in order to build up demand in the market and farmers are ‘Ram Bharose’,” said Dudhatra.
Gujarat experienced poor weather from November 1 owing to cyclone Maha, as dipping temperature and high-speed winds brought unseasonal rainfall. The state government has suspended all procurement from farmers till November 15, including groundnut crop which was being procured at Minimum Support Price (MSP).
Dudhatra also said that unseasonal rainfall had a severe impact on the harvest in Gujarat. Farmers have borne heavy losses due to the effects of cyclone Kyarr and Maha and have been demanding proper surveys to be conducted for due compensation.
“Initially, when it had rained in Gujarat, we had thought that this year no farmer will need crop insurance. However, in the past one month, unseasonal rainfall during harvest season has had serious impact, be it on paddy in South Gujarat or groundnut and cotton in Saurashtra belt. Now, crop insurance companies are conducting surveys and we are hopeful it will be completed in time and farmers can get some benefit,” said Dudhatra.
The Congress, too, has launched an attack on the state government over the survey conducted by insurance companies on crop loss due to unseasonal rainfall. “Around 49 lakh farmers in Gujarat have been affected in the past three years due to unseasonal rainfall in the state. The state government has recently given contract worth crores to two companies — Amnex Info Technology and Hitachi India - for creating a databank on crop harvest quality and failure. The BJP government is making a fool out of the farmers while the insurance companies charge heavy premium from the farmers in the name of insurance,” said Manish Doshi, spokesperson, Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee.
Meanwhile, Gujarat governor Acharya Devvrat is expected to address a ceremony to celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of Dattopant Thengadi, the founder father of BKS, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, Swadeshi Jagran Manch and one of the founding members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), in Gandhinagar Sunday.