Bhubaneswar: The demonetisation of higher values by the union government has increased the suffering of farmers while giving more bargaining power to the middlemen.
The farming community, which is heavily reliant on cash transactions, is facing a tough time in managing the currency crisis. Taking the advantage of demonetization, the middlemen have started exploiting them.
Farmers from across the state who were in Bhubaneswar on Saturday for the All India Khet Mazdoor Kisan Sabha (AIKMKS) meeting claimed ignorance about the reasons behind demonetization of notes.
“We do not have black money. The unexpected decision has aggravated our sufferings and nobody is ready to give us money for buying fertilizers and seeds. The government should understand that we are struggling to survive,” said Trinath Maharana, a farmer from Puri.
Some farmer admitted that if the situation does not improve soon, they will be forced to take drastic steps.
“Banking formalities often creates confusion and lack of trust for illiterate people like us. This compels us to depend on private money lenders. Currently, they are not giving us enough money since they are facing currency crunch. I contemplated selling my land but it if hard to find any buyer now. I may take any step,” said Kuber Biswal, a farmer from Brahmagiri, Puri.
Although the government has allowed farmers to withdraw Rs 25,000 a week with Kisan cards, many of them do not even have the cards.
“Only 20 to 30 percent farmers are getting the benefit of Kisan card. We need more support of the government. The increasing rate of farmers’ suicides raises concern and the government should come up with an immediate measure to help us,” said AIKMKS executive member Shambu Mahato.