Scores of farmers belonging to Mamu Kanjan area staged a demonstration on Monday against the Food Department over its announcement to stop issuance of gunny bags from May 30.
The protesters said that middlemen had obtained gunny bags in large numbers by bribing the patwaris and many wheat procurement centers had started refusing issuing gunny bags to the growers.
They also complained that the procurement and verification process were complicated.
“The verification of ownership of the crop from Revenue Department is a long and tiresome process.
The farmers have to wait in long queues to sell their produce at the Centers on government’s fixed rates,” Kamal Din, one of the protesters said, while talking to The Express Tribune.
He said wholesale dealers were purchasing wheat at lower rates than those set by the government.
“After the announcement to stop issuance of gunny bags from May 30, the middlemen and wholesale dealers will exploit wheat growers more easily by purchasing wheat at prices they set arbitrarily,” he said.
Another protester said the wheat rates had been reduced to Rs850 per 40 kilogram at the time when the farmers were already under a great stress due to the non availability of gunny bags. He said the farmers’ “hardwork” was being exploited.
The protesting farmers said they wanted the government to purchase all their wheat.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 29th, 2012.
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