Imphal: A social activist resorted to hunger strike in Manipur’s Imphal West district in protest against “non-availability” of fertilizer (urea).
Despite the repeated assurances given by the state government, particularly Agriculture minister Th Bishwajit Singh, the farmers across the state are facing non-availability of the fertilizer.
Irked over the non-availability of the fertilizers at government run outlets, recently a group of farmers had even indulged in vandalism at Agriculture office in Imphal West district.
Failure to address the plights of the farmers, social activists Elangbam Bormani who is also a journalist working as senior correspondent of local daily Naharolgi Thoudang commenced his indefinite hunger strike today.
He is staging the stir at Hiyanglam Bazar in Imphal West district with the key demand “Loumisingda Matam Chana Ureas Har Fanghallu (Ensure availability of urea fertilizer to the farmers on time).
He further demanded a policy for the farmers while urging MLAs and ministers to stop indulging in politics with the fertilizer and to ensure availability of urea directly to the farmers.
Talking to reporters, the hunger striker alleged that indulging in politics with the fertilizer is behind the non-availability of fertilizer to the farmers.
“The state government must stop supplying the fertilizer to the farmers through the MLAs and ministers. Make available the fertilizer, which is controlled by the government, to the farmers through the concerned Agricultural department. The state government should check interferences by MLAs and ministers in the distribution of urea to the farmers”, he demanded.
He also drew the attention of the chief minister to address the problems of non-availability of fertilizer if he is sincerely concerned for the farmers and committed to the efforts of making Manipur self-sufficient in rice production.
The hunger striker further demanded that the present mode of urea distribution through local MLAs and ministers should be immediately stopped while alleging that the MLAs and ministers made available the fertilizer only to their workers and supporters.
“Without fertilizer, the government policy to increase farmers’ income double will reduce to zero income”, he also said.