Farmers demand lifting of curbs on black jaggery

Farmers demand lifting of curbs on black jaggery
Highlights

Farmers cultivating black jaggery are facing hardships in the Nizamabad district due to the State government’s decision to impose unofficial restrictions on the sale and purchase of black jaggery through the State government’s subsidiary MARKFED. Due to these restrictions, farmers finding it difficult to sell their jaggery openly. 

Nizamabad: Farmers cultivating black jaggery are facing hardships in the Nizamabad district due to the State government’s decision to impose unofficial restrictions on the sale and purchase of black jaggery through the State government’s subsidiary MARKFED. Due to these restrictions, farmers finding it difficult to sell their jaggery openly.

Taking advantage, the brokers and middlemen were exploiting the situation by buying it from the farmers at cheap rates and selling them by making huge profits. As a result, they are demanding the lifting of restricts. Thousands of sugarcane farmers cultivate black jaggery in the Kamareddy and they have been producing black jaggery for several decades.

But earlier, TDP government lead by N. Chandra Babu Naidu banned the cultivation of the black jaggery in 2001, as it was being used in large quantities to make arrack. As a result of the ban, thousands of farmers started agitation, staged protests and burnt down buses. Bowing to the demands of the farmers, the TDP government headed by Chandrababu Naidu lifted the ban on black jaggery officially, but continued with the unofficial ban on the purchase and sales.

From the year 2001 year onwards, farmers who were producing jaggery were harassed by the police and the excise department officials who kept conducting raids on their units. Later, the then Congress government headed by the late Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy decided to purchases black jaggery from the farmers through MARKFED.

However, every year, farmers started staging protests and took part in agitations to sell their crop as they were not happy with restrictions imposed through MARKFED. During the Telangana movement, the present Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao demanded the government to purchase black jaggery without imposing any restrictions.

He assured the farmers of Kamareddy who produce black jaggery that after the formation of the Telangana State, they would purchase black jaggery through MARKFED without imposing any restrictions. Now after the formation of the Telangana State, the TRS came to power, but problems of the black jaggery farmers remain unresolved.

Now the farmers have once again started staging protests to sell their crop. Recently, farmers from Bhiknoor, Domakonda, Machareddy, Tadwai and Kamareddy mandals staged protest demonstaration on the National Highway No,44 at Bhiknoor, against State government indifference to the plight of the farmers growing black jaggery.

Speaking to The Hans India here on Tuesday, Rajaiah, a farmer from Arepally said that the K Chandrashekar Rao promised them at the time of Telangana movement to encourage black jaggery production in Kamareddy area and lift the restrictions on jaggery sales after formation of Telangana state and put it in TRS election manifesto. But now they went back on their promise, he lamented.

Raji Reddy, Jaggery Farmer of Bhiknoor Mandal said that they were unable to make profits by selling jaggery as the middlemen were asking them to sell jaggery at Rs1800 per quintal only, because of seeing restrictions. He said if the sell it forRs1800 per quintal, they would incur losses.

He demanded the government to immediately lift the unofficial restrictions on jaggery sales, purchase the black jaggery through government subsidiary MARKFED and fix the price of a quintal of black jaggery at Rs 3500 per quintal. Hanumanlu, another jaggery farmer of Machareddy Mandal demanded the government to take immediate action on the sale and purchase of jaggery Otherwise, the farmers would strengthen the movement and fight against government policies, he warned.

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