Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU, Ugrahan) on Thursday demanded that the Punjab government pay a compensation of ₹10,000 per acre to farmers who opt for DSR (direct seeded rice) method of paddy cultivation during the upcoming rabi season.
As per a schedule announced by the state government, paddy sowing by DSR method will begin from May 20 and is expected to continue till May 31. For paddy sowing by transplant method, the state has been divided into four zones – to ensure that the power demand does not surge abruptly — and the process will be carried out in a staggered manner from June 18 to June 24.
‘Farmers not taken into confidence’
“Farmers and farm bodies were not taken into confidence before adopting the new system,” said Joginder Singh Ugrahan who heads BKU Ugrahan, the farm body having the highest number of members from agrarian community in the state.
“Also the compensation of ₹1,500 per acre offered to farmers adopting DSR method is too less, it should be increased to ₹10,000 per acre,” he said.
He asked the government to organise a meeting with farm body leaders so as to find an amicable solution.
‘MSP for maize, other crops’
He further said the government was not serious about crop diversification as there was no promise of minimum support price (MSP) on maize and other crops that break the wheat-paddy cycle. He also sought MSP on crop as per the Swaminathan formula.
He added that farmers who fall in the cluster of paddy transplantation by June 24, fear that the yield will fall and procurement agencies will not procure their produce.
BKU general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, “If the government fails to accept our demands, we will announce the further course of action.”
Referring to a meeting with Punjab chief minister Bhagwat Mann on April 17, he said all issues were discussed and the state government sent a draft of decisions to be implemented to which a reply was sent two days later. But none of our suggestions were taken into consideration, he added.
“The new government should not behave like the previous governments that never fulfilled their promises. Farmers want a guarantee,” added Kokrikalan while addressing the media.