Different political parties and famers’ rights bodies continued their protests in Dhaka and across the county on Sunday in demand of fair prices of paddy for famers.
Left Democratic Alliance and Jatiya Krishak Jote, the farmers’ front of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal-Jasad, held separate rallies in front of the Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka in demand of the solution to the low prices of paddy which put farmers and paddy growers at financial risks.
LDA coordinator Bazlur Rashid Firoj demanded resignation of food minster Sadhan Chandra Sarker and agriculture minister Mohammad Abdur Razzaque as they failed to address the crisis of the farmers in time.
He also criticised the government decision to export rice calling the decision ‘suicidal’. He said the export would threaten the country’s food safety.
Saiful Huq, general secretary of the Revolutionary Workers Party and also leader of the alliance, demanded that the government should reduce the prices of the agricultural inputs to reduce production costs of the agricultural crops.
Chaired by Bazlur Rashid Firoj, leaders of the combine Kazi Shazzad Zahir, Mosharraf Hossain Nannu, AKM Jahirul Islam, Hamidul Haque and others spoke at the rally.
The rally was followed by a protest procession that paraded different city roads.
Moreover, JSD president Hasanul Haq Inu demanded at Jatiya Krishak Jote human chain that government must buy paddy from the famers directly at the government fixed price Tk 1040 a maund.
He also called on the government to take stern actions against the millers and the businessmen, who played role of middlemen in paddy purchasing by the government.
The farmers were selling their paddy in open markets at Tk 500 to Tk 600 per maund and facing loss, he claimed.
Ratan Sarker, organising secretary of Krishak Jote, presided over the rally and human chain and JSD general secretary Shirin Akhter, executive president Robiul Islam, central leaders Shafi Uddin Mollah, Saifuzaman Badsha and others spoke at the programme.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Krishak Sangram Samiti called on the government to immediately purchase un-husked rice directly from the farmers to ensure the fair price of paddy.
The farmers’ organisation also called for fixing the prices of paddy and other crops after calculating production costs.
In a press release, the organisation demanded that a maund of jute should be sold at Tk 3,000.
Besides, it also demanded fair price for potato, onion, vegetables and other major crops.
The organisation urged the government to provide agricultural inputs including fertiliser, seed, pesticide to the growers at free of cost.
Bangladesh Agricultural University students formed another human chain in front of the university’s Bangladesh Krishi Bank at about 1:00pm on Sunday demanding enhanced price of paddy.
They also demanded steps to ensure fair prices of crops, to set up more rice purchase centres to buy paddy directly from the farmers, to increase subsidy in farming and growing, and to provide agricultural loans with easy conditions and without interest.
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