LUDHIANA: Cotton farmers of the state who have recently started receiving compensation through cheques for damage to their crop due to whitefly attack are highly dissatisfied with the very less amount being offered to them by the state department of agriculture and revenue department.
The latest example comes from Chughe Kalan village in Bathinda, where farmer Ranjeet Singh was offered just `11 through a cheque. He shared with HT that he would get this cheque farmed to show the world that how was the state government helping farmers. He is not the only one who was shocked with this very low compensation there are many across the state.
These farmers lamented that why the government was making them feel ashamed by giving them such low amount. The government should have rather not announced any compensation.
“Majority of cotton farmers despite their 100% crop loss have been compensated in two digits. It is so unfortunate for us. According to the government policy, the compensation for 100% loss for each acre of cotton field is Rs 8,000, but we are being paid peanuts,” said a group of farmers during their visit to Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on Monday.
They said, “It seems state government has enough money for organising state-level functions and World Kabaddi Cup on which crores are spent each year, but it has turned a blind eye to farmers’ concerns.
During the recently culminated two-day kisan mela at PAU, Muktsar-based farmers Mangal Singh and Jeevan Singh said, “Though PAU and state department of agriculture woke up late to help farmers, state government did not even hesitate to pay us so less. Besides this, pesticides recommended by state department of agriculture officials for whitefly were also ineffective. These officials were later slapped with corruption charges for purchasing cheap pesticides for whitefly. Wasn’t this enough that the state government before giving us peanuts?”
Meanwhile, netizens are sharing jokes on this two-digit compensation on various social networking platforms and they have candidly stated that Punjab government should be ashamed of itself for always ignoring the farmers.
It is also pertinent to mention here that many farmers have not accepted these cheques and termed these cheques as ‘cruel jokes’.
Students from both PAU and Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) say that it is a shame for the status of Punjab’s farming sector.
Minister of agriculture Tota Singh could not be contacted and several experts from PAU refused to comment on this issue. They rather advised to contact state department of agriculture officials directly.