MARGAO: Alleging that the State government has failed to solve various issues of farmers, former Agriculture Minister Ramesh Tawadkar under the banner of 'Zagrut Xetkar' will hold a State-wide awareness programme on January 26 from Canacona.
He was speaking to reporters along with Upaso Gaonkar, Ganesh Gaonkar and Pandurang Gaonkar at Margao on Thursday.
He further alleged that there is mafia working in to destroy and loot the farming community of Goa. He mentioned of different issues which include rate of cashew nuts and paddy, sugarcane farming, eco-sensitive zones, reserve forest, forest rights act and tribal sub-plan.
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As claimed by him the above issues will surely affect the forthcoming Zilla Panchayat (ZP) elections in Goa, as a farming community is very much upset with the government's functioning.
He said, "for the last two years rate of cashew nuts have been decreasing tremendously. Earlier, the rate was Rs 180 per kilogramme but now it rate has gone down to Rs 80. There are mafias working to cheat and loot the farmers in Goa. To date, we did not know who is supposed to fix the rate of casew nuts. Is it the government or the Goa State Agriculture Marketing Board?", he questioned.
Tawadkar also said that the rate of paddy remained the same since 2007. "On the one hand, the government appealing to boost farming activities and on the other hand farmers are being looted", he stated.
"Because of sugarcane factory issue, almost two thousand farmers have left sugarcane farming. The government has stated that they will start a new sugarcane factory in Goa, but by the time the factory comes to see the light of the day there will be no farmers to do the sugarcane cultivation. The situation is so bad that it may lead to doing suicide by farmers", he claimed.
Tawadkar also said that the eco-sensitive zone has created confusion and fear amongst the Adivasi community.
According to Tawadkar, reserve forest issue is still pending and Kumeri cultivation issue is not yet settled by the government. "Tribal sub-plan utilisation is also pending for a very long time. Under this plan, only a 15 per cent fund is been utilised. It looks like no one is sensitive with regard to all the above issues. And hence we have decided to do a State-wide awareness on the issues pertaining to farmers and Adivasi community", he added.
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