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Bihar maize farmers' distress: CM asked to intervene, as cost outstrips market price

Kosi Nav Nirman Manch satyagraha
By Our Representative
The National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), an all-India coalition of social movements, in a letter to Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, writing in solidarity of North Bihar farmers, has demanded that the purchase of maize at the minimum support price (MSP) be urgently initiated to stop farmers’ distress sale of the commodity.
Pointing out that the Kosi Nav Nirman Manch (KNNM) even organised a four-day satyagraha after which the local administration assured KNNM that it would forward the demands of farmers to the chief minister, NAPM regretted, despite this, “The sale hasn’t yet begun and the farmers have been left with no choice but to continue and intensify the struggle.”
Stating that maize farming has become a lifeline for farmers in many districts of North Bihar, including Kosi and Seemanchal, NAPM said, “But sadly, the government is not purchasing maize at MSP, despite thePrime Minister's Annadata Aay Suraksha Abhiyan (PM-AASA) promises purchase of all coarse grains including wheat, paddy and cotton.”
“The Covid-19-induced lockdown has resulted in the fall of maize-based industries and additional imports of maize have also led to a low market price for maize”, NAPM said, adding, “According to the Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices (CACP), the minimum cost to produce one quintal of maize is Rs 1,213”, though its while the present market price “a mere Rs 900 to 1,100.”
NAMP said, “This year, the farmers’ distress has doubled; firstly, the Covid induced lockdown hit even before the crop was ready. Secondly, the lack of storage facilities forced farmers to sell their crop at nearly quarter of the price.” It added, the crisis, has further intensified because of “the continued import of maize.”

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