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Himachal Pradesh: Farmers to Encircle State Assembly on April 3

The main demand of the farmers -- stop targeting farmers in the name of eviction and distribute land to the farmers.
Himachal Pradesh

Amidst slogans of protesting farmers are echoing in different regions across the country, the Himachal Pradesh fraction of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) has given a call to encircle the state assembly in Shimla on April 3. The protest call came after successive protests in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

The main demand of the farmers are -- stops targeting farmers in the name of eviction and distribute land to the farmers. In Himachal Pradesh, 65% of the population is into farming. But the farming land consists only 11% of the total land. Thus many small and marginal farmers have been cultivating their produces on the forest land. And since the farmers are using the forest land for agricultural purposes, the government and authorities have been evicting the farmers for encroaching the forest land. 

“We are demanding that the government should distribute five acres of land to small and marginal farmers,” said Onkar Shad, former state secretary of AIKS.

Apart from these demands, the farmers have urged the government to take measures to protect the crops from stray and wild animals and waive off the debts of farmers.

“The monkeys are spoiling the crops and we were demanding that these monkeys should be exported to inner forests”, Shad told Newsclick. Earlier, the government had decided to sterilize the monkeys. But that plan was never put into action and millions of rupees were wasted in it, he added.

The farmers are also demanding minimum support price for milk, proper implementation of MGNREGA and the Swaminathan Commission recommendations.

"In Himachal Pradesh, the MGNREGA workers were given only 36-days work instead of 100 days and even the workers are not getting proper salaries,” Shad explained.

In the case of milk, the dairy farmers are getting only Rs 15 per liter. Whereas the market value of milk is much higher than this amount. So the dairy farmers should get minimum Rs 30 as the minimum support price for milk, said Shad as he further explained the demands of the farmers in the state.

The farmers and agricultural workers across the country have been protesting for their rights for a long, especially under the Modi regime which has been implementing anti-farmer policies. The production costs are increasing day by day, while the farmers are getting only a meagre amount for their agricultural produces. Though the ruling BJP government in Centre had promised a minimum support price (MSP) as per Swaminathan Commission report for each produces during the 2014 election campaign, the promises have are yet to be implemented.

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