Vegetable prices have soared across the country, in major Indian cities, since farmers are on a four-day strike, which has led to a curtailed supply.
The producers’ 10-day long protest began on Friday. This is obviously to press their demands of farm loan waivers and higher prices for their products such as cereals, oilseeds and milk.
The situation has culminated in soaring of prices of a number of vegetables like tomatoes and other green veggies because of lower supplies. People are experiencing the effect.
The agitating farmers say that they are committing to the distributing milk and vegetables to the poor and needy, but have decided not to sell. Their purpose is to highlight the plight of farmers who are being overlooked by the successive governments, says a representative of these farmers, based in Punjab.
Prices for many vegetables have fallen much, whereas the rates of fuels needed for irrigation and other purposes in the farming have gone up tremendously, giving troubles to mostly small-scale farmers.
It is reported that last year alone six farmers were killed in similar farmer protests that turned violent in Madhya Pradesh. In recent days, farmers have resorted to blocking of highways in some places and have poured milk onto roads. Though the farmer agitations have been peaceful so far, there are plans to increase the intensity in next days.
The farmers are disappointed over the response of the government, which hasn’t fulfilled promises it had agreed to. They say they have no option but to intensify protests, said A Nawale, general secretary, Kisan Sabha, which is known as one of the main farmers’ unions participating in the strike.
It may be recalled that two-thirds of India’s 1.3 billion people depend directly or indirectly on farming for their livelihood. At the same time, farm incomes only account for a meagre 14 per cent GDP. It reflects a huge gap between the countryside and affluent cities.
Housewives in metro cities are keeping stocks for weeks, who fear that the agitation may last longer, as it was last time too.