Farmers' organisations call for highway bandh on September 2

Organisations of farmers have given a call for a State-wide highway bandh on September 2 demanding waiver of farm loans and steps to save standing sugarcane crops.

Addressing mediapersons here on Saturday, Vice-president of Karnataka Rajya Prantha Raitha Sangha G C Bayyareddy said all highways in the State will be blocked from 6 am to 5 pm on September 2.

Claiming that Rajya Raitha Sangha, Hasiru Sene and Krushi Koolikarara Sangha have extended support to the protest, he said the State government should take steps to repay private loans of the farmers from its coffers and pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the families of farmers who have committed suicide due to mounting debts.

“To avert further suicide of farmers, the loans availed by farmers from all types of banks — nationalised, private and cooperative — should be waived. The governments are following anti-farmer policies and have been importing sugar under the pressure from multinational companies. So, sugar imports should be stopped immediately,” Reddy said.

Pointing out that M S Swaminathan Committee has recommended payment of the cost of production plus 50 per cent of the cost as support price for all agriculture produce, he demanded Rs 3,500 per tonne of sugar cane for the current year.

“The profits earned by the sugar factories from the by-products of sugar should be shared with sugar cane growers. The market for sugar should be expanded. Production of ethanol should be increased. Power should be provided for at least 10 hours everyday for irrigation pump sets,” he demanded.

As the price of milk has been reduced, diary farmers too are suffering. Besides, sericulturists are also at the receiving end as the price of silk cocoons has crashed, he said and urged the government to bail them out.

N L Bharathraj, Yashwanth, Javaregowda, Ravi Chandagalu and Appaji were present at the media conference.

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