Congress to get 1 mn signatures on memo of Kerala farmers' problems

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress on Sunday said it will get one million signatures on a memorandum to be sent to the state and central governments, demanding immediate relief on "15 burning issues" faced by farmers in Kerala. Congress state President M.M. Hassan told reporters that the party will organise a series of "Farmers Get Togethers" across the state with the inaugural function to be held at Palakkad on Tuesday. Congress Working Committee member A.K. Antony will inaugurate the Palakkad event, and similar programmes would be held in other districts during September and October, he said. "Along with these, separate meetings of farmers engaged in paddy, rubber, arecanut, coconut, tea and animal husbandry would be also held." Hassan said the respective governments during their election campaign had promised the sky to the farmers and the agrarian sector, but everything remains on paper. "We demand that all agriculture loans up to Rs 2 lakh be written off. The need of the hour today is that the government should come to the aid of the farmers engaged in animal husbandry activities by providing 50 per cent subsidy on cattle feed." "The promise of providing minimum support prices to crops has also fallen flat and the state government should immediately set up the Agriculture Prices Commission besides pay the outstanding dues to paddy farmers to the tune of Rs 193.16 crore and to see that the minimum price of rubber be fixed at Rs 200 per kg," he said. IANS