Hundreds of dissatisfied farmers, led by Abdul Waheed Leghari, Akhtiar Chandio and Dil Murad Mochi, among others, protested outside the district food controller’s office in Ghotki on Saturday. They burnt tyres and staged a sit in for more than three hours, during which they chanted slogans against food officials.
While talking to journalists, the farmers accused food inspectors of Dad Leghari and Mirpur Mathelo of nepotism, as they provide bags, used for transporting wheat from the fields to the wheat procurement centres, to middlemen and others. Due to a delay in provision of these bags, farmers are often forced to sell their yield of wheat to middlemen for Rs900 to Rs950 per 40 kilograms, below the government price of Rs1,050.
When contacted, Ghotki’s district food controller Sarfaraz Ayaz Kamangar expressed his ignorance about the protest outside his office and said that he was in Sukkur to attend a meeting. He, however, refuted the farmers’ allegations and said that according to his knowledge everything was alright.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2012.