Thousands of farmers from across western Odisha assembled in the town on Wednesday to protest the ‘anti-farmer’ policy of the state government. The farmers, under the banner of Western Odisha Farmers Associations’ Coordination Samiti (WOFACS), demonstrated in front of RDC office and submitted a memorandum addressed to the chief minister.
They also warned the government of severe law and order problems in the days to come if the government continues to neglect the farmers and farming. Farmer leaders asked the government to take immediate step to increase the price of paddy to Rs 1,500 a quintal from the present Rs 1050. “While price of fertilizers, diesel and labour cost have already gone up, how will a farmer manage farming if the price of paddy remains unchanged?” WOFACS convener Lingaraj said.
Farmer leaders from Balangir, Kalahandi, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Deogarh, Sonepur, Boudh, Nuapara and Sambalpur highlighted issues related to industrialization and environment pollution which according them will indirectly affect farmers. “Earlier people of Balangir district were migrating for a specific period. But now they have started migrating round the year as farming cannot be sustained because of irrigation problems,” Arun Mishra of Balangir said.