Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Let farmers live to ensure nation's Food security: Lok Satta tells Brinda

The Lok Satta Party today asserted that there could be no food security for the country if there is no livelihood security for the farmer.

Reacting to CPM Politburo member and Member of Parliament Brinda Karat’s contention that export of rice and other food grains endnagered the nation’s food security, Lok Satta Party leaders Bhisetty Babji and G. Raja Reddy maintained that agriculture would sink into a deeper crisis if farmers are not ensured remunerative prices through export promotion.

Manufactures of all varieties of goods can market their produce anywhere in the world and stand to gain. Governments, however, have been preventing the farmer, from exercising such freedom and harming him, they pointed out.

Farmers, they said, should be assured of not a minimum support price but a remunerative price for their produce.

Underlining that the per capita of 65 percent of people engaged in farming is a mere Rs.15000, one-seventh of those engaged in non-farming occupations, the Lok Satta leaders said the disparities will widen if the farmer is not enabled to get remunerative prices for his produce. Lakhs of farmers have committed suicide after unremunerative farming landed them in a a debt trap whereas not a single person has ended his or her life because of a rise in the price of food grains.

The Lok Satta leaders conceded there are sections of people who deserve free or subsidized food grains. It, however, does not provide an excuse to the Government to deny freedom to the farmer to market his produce wherever he wants. It is high time the Govermet unschackled agriculture from the license-permit raj, they added.

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