Waiting for four days to sell his harvest, farmer dies
Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh), May 19 A 65-year-old farmer collapsed and died at an agricultural market in Madhya Pradesh after waiting in the scorching heat for four days for his crop to be weighed up and sold.
Opposition Congress lambasted the BJP government over the incident which took place at Krishi Upaj Mandi (loosely translated as Agriculture Produce Market), Lateri in Vidisha district two days ago.
The deceased farmer was identified as Moolchand Maina, resident of Bijukhedi village in the district.
“My father had come to the Mandi to sell chana (gram) four days earlier and was waiting for the produce to be weighed and sold. He collapsed on Thursday morning while still waiting for his turn,” said Narmada Prasad, his son.’
Sub Divisional Magistrate Ashok Manjhi said the situation arose as several farmers reached the Mandi at the same time, and await their turn.
“Moolchand was registered with the Mandi and he had received an SMS, asking him to bring the crop for weighing.
But many farmers arrived at the same time, so they had to wait,” Manjhi said.
A compensation of Rs four lakh would be provided to Maina’s family, he said.
Sub-inspector Banwari Lal Sharma of Lateri police station said that Maina collapsed due to the heat and strain, and died of a heart attack.
Senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia targeted chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the incident.
“This is the situation of farmers in my state, where they have to keep waiting for weighing up their harvest. Why the food providers have to die every day. @ChouhanShivraj ji, don’t do politics and perform Rajadharma otherwise history will never forgive you,” Scindia tweeted.
ये हाल है मेरे प्रदेश में अन्नदाताओं के, जहां उनको अपनी फसल तुलाई के इंतजार में दम तोड़ना पड़ रहा है| आखिर क्यों हर दिन अन्नदाताओं को अपनी जान देनी पड़ रही है – @ChouhanShivraj जी, राजनीति छोड़िए और राजधर्म निभाइये अन्यथा इतिहास आपको कभी माफ नही करेगा।https://t.co/y40AbOVePY
— Jyotiraditya M. Scindia (@JM_Scindia) May 17, 2018
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Ajay Singh claimed that farmers have to wait for four or five days to sell their produce at Mandis across the state.
Mandis are governed by the Madhya Pradesh Mandi Board, a state agency.
Why the delays in mandis?
As per reports, there are only eight weighing systems in operation at the Krishi Upaj Mandi, Lateri. For the past four days, more than 400 farmers and 100 tractors are camped out awaiting their turn.
If the mandi gives them a token for a couple of days later, then the farmers have to wait and sleep in makeshift structures on nature’s mercy, while protecting their harvest. If the produce is spoiled, the farmer will get less money but due to the long wait, he has to pay a lot for the rented tractor.
The mandis, state-owned or private, are plagued with problems across the country. Lack of essential services like no streamlined scheduling, less number of weighing systems, lack of electricity and cold storage availability and presence of parasitic intermediaries add to the plight of Indian farmers.