The Agriculture Department will be issuing green passes to facilitate the movement of farmers in the State.
After a meeting with representatives of farmers’ associations in Mysuru on Saturday, Agriculture Minister B.C. Patil told reporters the passes will be issued by the taluk-level officials of the Agriculture Department primarily to facilitate the movement of farmers from one place to another to continue their agricultural practices.
“We have heard that several farmers stay in taluk headquarters and are prevented from going to their fields in the villages. Agriculture Department officials have been instructed to identify such farmers and issue them a green pass so that they can move around”, he said.
The meeting also discussed the difficulties farmers were facing in procuring fertilizers from different places and the obstruction placed on their movement by the police. He appealed to the police to ensure that unnecessary hurdles are not created for the farmers.
Several farmers had complained that they were not able to find mechanics to repair their broken-down tractors. The government will make efforts to transport mechanics from the towns to the villages to repair them.
The Minister said the government was aware of the problems faced by floriculture farmers. There is absolutely no demand for flowers ever since the temples closed and the jatras were cancelled. Hence, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa had asked for a survey of loss suffered by the floriculture farmers so that appropriate compensation can be paid after the lockdown ends.
Farmers’ leader Kurubur Shanthakumar, who participated in the meeting attended among others by Mr. Patil and Cooperation Minister S.T. Somashekar, who was recently appointed as the new Minister in charge of Mysuru district, argued for compensating the losses suffered by the farmers on account of supply chain disruption during the lockdown. Unable to find a proper market, a large number of farmers had dumped huge quantities of fruits and vegetables. The government should identify such farmers.
He also urged the government to come to the rescue of farmers by directly purchasing fruits, vegetables and grains from them through organisations such as HOPCOMS and NAFED and make arrangements for their distribution and sale through the public distribution system (PDS) and through stores in urban areas. The government should issue directions for renewal of all agriculture loans, he added.