Jaya urges TN govt. to mitigate farmers' woes

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Chennai, Jun 13 (UNI) Claiming that farmers in Tamil Nadu were facing problems due to scarcity of seeds and fertilisers and non-availability of farm loans, opposition AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa today urged the DMK government to take immediate steps to address the grievances of the farmers.

In a statement here, she said when the government opened the Mettur dam yesterday for Kuruvai cultivation, farmers in the delta districts were agitated as they could not take up cultivation due to the non-availablility of seeds and fertilisers.

The delta farmers were complaining that the local cooperative societies either gave no stock reply or offered to give only one or two bags of DAP, against a requirement of three bags per acre of cultivable land.

This forced the farmers to buy DAP from private parties by paying Rs 800 per 50 kg bag, against the maximum price of Rs 486 per bag in cooperative societies. Urea and Potash were also being sold by private parties at higher price, she said.

The fertiliser scarcity was more in Villupuram and Cuddalore districts, she said. The farmers were also upset over the shortage of paddy seeds in government seed farms. They were not sure of the output, if they used the seeds sold in the open market.

She said farmers were also complaining about the stoppage of farm loans at many places. They wondered whether the DMK government after announcing waiving of farm loans, had banned grant of fresh farm loans, she said.

The AIADMK leader flayed the Centre for not fixing Rs 1000 as the minimum support price for paddy. After fixing the support price at Rs 850 per tonne of paddy, Union Finance Minsiter P Chidambaram had left the matter to the Economic Affairs Committee for the final decision, ignoring the pleas of the farmers in south.

Mr Chidambaram's argument that some states have demanded that the Centre must cut down the minimum support price deserved to be condemned, she said.

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