Farmers call for greater support for Sindh agriculture

Bureau Report DAWN, Monday, 07 Sep, 2009

Both the Sindh Abadgar Board and Sindh Chamber of Agriculture have demanded that support price of Irri-6 paddy be raised to Rs 850 per kg from the current Rs 600 per 40kg. - Photo by APP

Both the Sindh Abadgar Board and Sindh Chamber of Agriculture have demanded that support price of Irri-6 paddy be raised to Rs 850 per kg from the current Rs 600 per 40kg. - Photo by APP

HYDERABAD: The Sindh Abadgar Board has welcomed Ecnec’s decision to allocate Rs23.44 billion for restoration of the channels of Khanki Barrage built 1872 on the Chanab river.

A meeting of the board held here on Saturday evening regretted that only Rs1.87 billion had been allocated for the expansion and improvement of Rohri, Nara, Khairpur East and Khairpur West canals of Sukkur Barrage and demanded an increase in the allocation.

It rejected the support price of Rs600 per 40kg for Irri-6 paddy and demanded that in view of 25 per cent increase in prices of fertilisers, diesel, pesticides and agricultural machinery, the support price be increased to Rs850 per 40 kg. Similarly, it demanded that the support price of Basmati and other varieties of rice be increased by 25 per cent.

The meeting urged the government to announce the official price of cotton. It said that due to a deduction of 1 to 2 kg on every 40kg of cotton by the ginning factories, the growers of Sindh had suffered a loss of Rs1.6 billion.

The meeting demanded that the SCARP tube-wells be made functional.
Expressing concern over acute shortage of water, low prices of crops and deteriorating law and order situation in the province, the meeting called upon the government to take effective measures to save the agriculture sector.

It urged the government to take notice of growers’ protests against water shortage throughout Sindh.

It said that political and administrative interference and irregularities in the distribution of irrigation water were destroying the agriculture sector in the province.

The meeting expressed surprise over the continuation of water rotation programme (in parts of lower Sindh) at a time when enough water was there at Kotri Barrage.

It asked the chief minister and irrigation minister of Sindh to disclose how many direct outlets had been allowed from Rohri and Nara canals since 1970 and under which law.

The illegal practice should be stopped forthwith, the meeting said.

It pointed out that deteriorating law and order situation was destroying the agrarian economy of Sindh and 56 per cent of people were living below poverty line.

It demanded regular campaigns to recover illicit arms in both the rural and urban areas of Sindh and effective measures to curb arms smugglings. It demanded action against private armed forces and effective measures to settle tribal disputes.

The meeting said that the number of policemen on protocol duty for ministers and advisers should be reduced and more personnel should be deployed curb street crime and highway robberies.

The meeting was presided over by Abdul Majeed Nizamani and attended by a large number of growers’ representatives from all over Sindh.

SCA

The Sindh Chamber of Agriculture at a meeting here on Sunday protested against the announcement of Rs102 per 40 kg support price of sugarcane and demanded its increase to Rs110 per 40 kg.

The senior vice-president of the chamber, Mir Murad Ali Khan Talpur, presided over the meeting.

It demanded that the price of Irri-6 rice be increased to Rs850 per 40 kg and that of Basmati rice be fixed in line with the prices in the international market.

It demanded that the support price of cotton should be fixed at Rs2,200 per 40 kg.

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