Kochi: Farmers from different parts of the country gathered here on Thursday to share their success stories and raise the issues pertaining to their field during the Farmer-Scientist Interface session held at the 16th Agricultural Science Congress.
Their primary demand was to ensure fair pricing and a reliable market for their produce.
The farmers who took part came from Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Lakshadweep Islands attended the meet.
They emphasised the importance of considering the needs and challenges faced by small and medium-scale farmers when formulating agricultural development policies.
They stressed the need for these policies to address issues such as fair pricing, market access and financial support for the agricultural sector.
Moreover, the farmers stressed the significance of social dignity, especially when dealing with financial institutions and government offices.
They called for the development of local varieties of paddy and the provision of interest-free loans to farmer producer organisations (FPOs) as well as advocated for the inclusion of farmers’ produce in the public distribution system to enhance their market reach.
One pressing issue highlighted during the meeting was the crisis faced by coconut farmers, resulting from falling prices and disease outbreaks.
These concerns were shared by the farmers to emphasise the urgency of addressing the challenges faced by agricultural communities across the represented regions.
The meet felicitated five Padma awardees, namely Cheruvayal Raman, a tribal farmer from Wayanad; Sabarmatee Tiki and Batakrushna Sahoo, both from Odisha; Seth Pal Singh and Chandrasekhar Singh, both from Uttar Pradesh, were felicitated at the meet.
Hosted by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), the Agricultural Science Congress will conclude on Friday.