Inter-ministerial committee to discuss issues of farmers holds second meeting

Bhubaneswar: The second meeting of the inter-ministerial committee to discuss issues pertaining to farmers was convened in Bhubaneswar today.

The meeting was attended by Finance minister Shashi Bhusan Behera, who is the chairperson, Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy and Cooperation Minister Surya Narayan Patro along with various departmental officials.

Among the representatives of 34 farmer organisations invited, members of 26 organisations were present at the meeting. Many agriculture experts, leading farmers and social activists were also present at the meeting, sources said.

According to sources, various issues pertaining to non-availability of farm loans, shortage of godowns, pests attacks, duplicate seeds, MSP (Minimum Support Price), crop insurance and food and drinking water facilities at mandis, among others were discussed at the meeting.

On the other hand, Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan chief Akshay Kumar boycotted the meeting protesting exclusion of farmers’ pension in the agenda of the meeting.

Akshay Kumar is on a hunger strike for the last 6 days demanding social security allowance for farmers of the state.

“We boycotted the meeting as farmers’ pension was not included in the terms of reference. We have written to the government to clarify whether it will consider paying pension to farmers or not,” Akshay Kumar said.

Cooperative minister Surya Narayan Patro said “We discussed the percentage for farm loan waiver and issues pertaining to sharecroppers among others. Various organisations attending the meet presented their views.”