Chandigarh, June 26 (PTI) The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Friday asked Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to help maize farmers who were forced to sell their crop below minimum support price.
SAD Kisan wing chief Sikander Singh Maluka suggested that the state government should direct Markfed and state procurement agencies to buy maize from beleaguered farmers.
In a statement here, former minister Maluka said farmers in the Doaba region were forced to sell their maize crop at rates between Rs 700 and 800 per quintal even though the MSP for maize had been fixed at Rs 1,850 per quintal.
"This is leading farmers into a debt trap with growers who sowed maize in 20,000 hectares of land being affected," said Maluka adding that the Doaba farmers had suffered a double whammy as their sunflower crop yield had also gone down severely due to unseasonal rains.
SAD leader said marketing cooperative federation Markfed as well as other procurement agencies should enter the market and purchase the produce to bolster its rates.
The government could also involve market committees and send a list of names of farmers who were forced to sell their produce at lesser rates so that the difference could be paid to them as per the Price Support Scheme (PSS) of the central government.
Maluka said the Centre had kept an allocation of Rs 15,000 crore for the Price Support Scheme and it was unfortunate that the Congress government was not taking advantage of it to help distressed farmers.
He pointed out that the Madhya Pradesh and Haryana governments had already taken advantage of the PSS and ensured their farmers who sold their produce including maize, mustard and bajra were compensated as per the MSP. PTI CHS VSD MKJ