The state Bharatiya Janata Party is going to launch a farmers’ movement across West Bengal, demanding compensation for damaged crops, following the recent hailstorms. BJP’s state secretary Sayantan Basu said that BJP activists along with farmers will hem the offices of all district magistrates and block land revenue officers after 20 April to demand compensation for the crops.
“For the past few days, farmers are incurring huge losses as recent hailstorms has damaged their agricultural produce. Many farmers are working on other owners’ fields, and they are harvesting on a contractual basis. So, they are facing severe losses. government must compensate them,” Basu said.
Basu added that with rising farmers’ suicide in the state, there had also been a trend among farmers of abandoning agricultural activities as they are facing severe crisis and distress. This could endanger the food security of the state.
“Farmers are also not receiving crop insurance money. The state government is also depriving them facilities. Farmers have to use agricultural instruments to supply water to the fields and have to pay high electricity bills,” Basu said. Basu emphasised that the BJP would demand that electricity should be provided to farmers at Rs 2 per unit.
“We also demand soil testing to be set up in Bengal, so that farmers can test their land’s fertility,” he said. Basu said that the government had announced several projects for farmers, but denounced them as an eyewash before the civic polls.
He alleged that the project’s funds were siphoned off by TMC leaders, who were the beneficiaries. The state government had earlier announced two new schemes for farmers, where they would receive Rs 5,000 per acre annually and a grant of Rs 2 lakhs to the family the farmer dies between the age of 18 and 60 years.