Agriculture affected by wrong policies: AIADMK

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Puducherry, Jun 14 (UNI) AIADMK state secretary A Anbazhagan, MLA, today alleged that agriculture in the country had taken a back seat due to the ''wrong agricultural policies'' of the Central and State Governments.

Addressing a press conference here, he alleged that the Centre, without any concern for the farmers in the South, had enhanced the minimum support price (MSP) for wheat and the Puducherry administration had also spoiled agriculture with its ''anti-farmer'' policies.

He claimed that the cultivable area had now shrinked to 21,000 hectares from 40,000 hectares some years ago. Paddy was cultivated only in 16,000 hectares of land, he said, adding that the farmers were facing scarcity of fertilisers and the government had also failed to provide subsidy and inputs in time.

Mr Anbazhagan said though the Government owned PASIC was supposed to sell fertilisers at a subsidised price to the farmers, it failed to procure fertilisers and private agencies were selling it for higher price. ''When fertilisers are available to private agencies, why not to PASIC,'' he wondered.

Agriculture Minister V Vaithilingam and the Government had deceived the farmers to the maximum extent, he alleged, and added that the Ministers, shuttling between Puducherry and New Delhi to remove the Chief Minister from power, failed to take up the problems faced by the farmers with the Centre.

Mr Anbazhagan said if the Government failed in fixing Rs 1,200 as MSP for rice per quintal and remove the scarcity of fertiliser, the party would organise agitations after obtaining permission from party supremo J Jayalalithaa.

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