Farmers to stage rasta roko in Karnataka

Farmers under the aegis of Samyukta Kisan Morcha will stage a rasta roko across the State and block traffic on the State and National Highways on Friday.

This was stated by Kurubur Shanthakumar of the Federation of Farmers’ Associations here on Thursday. As a result, road transportation may be affected as the morcha members in different parts of the State would take part in the agitation.

Blocking of highways

The blocking of highways is part of a nation-wide agitation by farmers pressing for immediate enactment of a law to ensure statutory guarantee to the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for agricultural produce. Though the plan is to hold a dawn to dusk agitation, the farmers are still not clear as to how it will pan out across the State.

In addition to a law guaranteeing MSP, the farmers in Karnataka also want the land reforms Act and the APMC (amendment) Act to be revoked. Mr.Shanthakumar said these two laws were inimical to farmers and the concept of food security as it would encourage corporatization of agriculture. Farmers with small and medium-sized land holdings would be the worst affected and could end up selling their land and abandoning agriculture, he added.

The land reforms Act in the State has eased the purchase of agricultural land and has lifted the restriction on its purchase and use for non-agricultural purpose by any individual. Earlier, only farmers could purchase agricultural land and even the conversion of land for non-agricultural purpose was a tedious process.

The opposition to the amendment to the APMC Act stems from the fear that it will ensure the entry of multinational companies and corporates to the agricultural sector and they could dictate the cropping pattern and in the long run, even the pricing pattern, according to Mr. Shanthakumar.

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