Himachal Tonite

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Jaypee University of Information Technology

Key Decisions Taken at Joint Farmer Forum Meeting in Shimla

A significant meeting of the Joint Farmer Forum was convened in Shimla today, addressing crucial issues pertinent to farmers and horticulturists across the region. The gathering saw the participation of leaders representing various farmer and horticulturist organizations, including Harish Chauhan, Sanjay Chauhan, Sohan Thakur, Ashutosh Chauhan, Deepak Singha, Kuldeep Singh Tanwar, Rajinder Chauhan, Pratap Chauhan, Jay Singh Jehata, Harish Ghamta, Rajpratap, Pawan Singh, among others.

Deliberations during the meeting focused on the multifaceted challenges faced by farmers and horticulturists in the state, emphasizing the need for urgent measures to safeguard the livelihoods of millions of families dependent on agriculture and horticulture. It was unanimously agreed upon that amidst the ongoing elections, it is imperative to address the escalating crises in agriculture and horticulture sectors and seek resolutions for the issues confronting farmers and horticulturists.

The discussion underscored the detrimental impact of government policies on agricultural and horticultural production and productivity, resulting in continuous decline despite substantial input costs. Farmers and horticulturists lamented the lack of fair prices for their produce in markets, exacerbating their economic hardships.

The recent reduction in subsidies on fertilizers and other essential inputs, coupled with Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with various countries and the recent reduction in import duty on American apples from 70% to 50%, have inflicted significant losses on apple producers and traders, despite low yields this year. The far-reaching consequences are anticipated to affect the upcoming harvest season as well.

The meeting highlighted that, due to government policies, farmers and horticulturists are burdened with increasing debts. While the government has written off loans worth approximately ₹15 lakh crores for large corporate houses over the past decade, the demands for debt waivers for farmers and horticulturists have fallen on deaf ears.

Several resolutions were passed during the meeting to address these issues effectively:
1. Implement C2+50% MSP as per the Swaminathan Commission for all crops.
2. Reduce import duty on apples and other fruits to a minimum of 100%.
3. Reinstate the budget for Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) by the central government.
4. Ensure prompt payment of dues to farmers and horticulturists.
5. Discontinue subsidies on fertilizers, seeds, pesticides, fungicides, agricultural equipment, and other input costs.
6. Repeal GST on all agricultural inputs and packaging materials.
7. Provide debt relief to farmers and horticulturists.

It was decided that the Joint Farmer Forum would print pamphlets outlining these demands and distribute them among farmers and horticulturists. Organized efforts will be made at the block and tehsil levels to push for the implementation of these demands.

The Joint Farmer Forum urges all farmers and horticulturist organizations to unite and mobilize around these demands for the collective welfare of the farming community.

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