Farmers in Maharashtra’s Puntamba launch agitation


Protestors from other taluks of Ahmednagar and Nashik join to seek subsidy for sugarcane, onion crop

Protestors from other taluks of Ahmednagar and Nashik join to seek subsidy for sugarcane, onion crop

Farmers from Maharashtra’s Puntamba village in Ahmednagar district launched an agitation on Wednesday seeking government subsidy for sugarcane and onion crops besides other issues related to agriculture.

The agitation, which started near Puntamba’s gram panchayat office, will continue till June 5 and intensify beyond that date if the State Government did not take notice of the farmers’ demands, said Puntamba village head Dhananjay Dhanwate.

The protestors were also joined from other taluks of Ahmednagar as well as neighbouring Nashik district.

Puntamba was the nerve centre of a major farmers’ protest in 2017. Last month, a meeting was held at the gram panchayat, following which they decided to put forth 16 demands before the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. Chief among them is the demand for government assistance of up to ₹2 lakh per hectare to farmers whose sugarcane was still in the fields.

“Sugarcane yields have been higher than usual given the excess rains last year, but sugar factories are not picking up the crop. As a result, farmers are burning the crop or even committing suicide,” Mr. Dhanwate said.

Other demands include aid of ₹500 per quintal for onion farmers given that onion rates had come down drastically owing to surplus production.

The farmers have also demanded waiver of electricity bills.

“We held a rally in the village in the morning and then started the agitation. We will hold the protest till June 5 and we expect the government to talk to the agitating farmers over their demands. If discussions are not held, we will intensify our agitation,” Mr. Dhanwate said.



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