Ban on maize export anti-farmer: Nitish Kumar

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Patna, Jul 30 (UNI) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has strongly criticised the Centre's decision to ban the export of maize and sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention for revoking the ban.

In an open letter to the Prime Minister today, the copies of which were made available to the media here, the Chief Minister pointed out that the drastic fall in the prices of maize, coupled with 'depressed market condition', had already affected the farmers to a great extent and the ban on its export would put additional financial burden on them.

The Centre's decision to ban the export of maize would adversely affect thousands of small-scale farmers across the country, including Bihar, Mr Kumar pointed out and said the ban on export would also slow down all efforts to improve agricultural productivity and affect the country's food security.

Expressing concern on the drastic fall in prices of maize in the open market, the Chief Minister said, ''Bihar, with its annual production of about 1.7 million tonnes, accounts for at least 10 per cent of the country's total production of maize.'' He also expressed concern on the unabated rise in prices of all agricultural inputs, including diesel for irrigation pumps, and sought the Prime Minister's intervention to alleviate the problems at the earliest.

Earlier this month, the Union Commerce and Industry Ministry, in a unilateral decision, imposed a blanket ban on export of maize.

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