We Are in Distress, Say Mathura Farmers But ‘Will Vote For Modi’

We Are in Distress, Say Mathura Farmers But ‘Will Vote For Modi’

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What are the problems faced by farmers? Do they get a fair price for crops? Who will they vote for in the Lok Sabha elections of 2019? Bearing these questions in mind, The Quint spoke to farmers in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, in order to get a sense of the pulse among the country’s agrarian warriors.

From crop failure to non-payment of insurance money, farmers in Mathura say that they have been left in the lurch. When asked about the biggest problem faced by farmers in the region, Arvind Kumar Sharma says that most farmers in his village had lost their paddy crop to an insect, that had become resistant to pesticide.

(Photo: The Quint)
“The produce from paddy was negligible.The crop had been infested with insects, which had completely spoiled the paddy. Farmers didn’t get any help or compensation from the government.” 
Arvind Kumar Sharma, Farmer

When crops failed, farmers of Mathura thought they would get compensation from the government. Farmers claim they had even registered their names with the relevant department, but failed to get any compensation.

“We had registered our names and numbers with them (government). But they never show up when we go their offices. Farmers are not able to meet them as they are simple people who are just turned away.”
Kanhaiya Lal Baghel, Farmer

Not just compensation in the form of insurance money, farmers claim they don’t get fair price for their crops, as there is no way to sell their produce directly to the government. KL Dangar alleges that they are forced to sell crops to middlemen, who buy it at a price lesser than the minimum support price, fixed by the government.

“The Minimum Support Price for wheat is Rs 1,945. But middlemen here purchase it at Rs 1,400 or 1,600. Even for paddy, the government hasn’t set up the process of buying paddy.”
KL Dangar

Just not fair prices and loan waivers, farmers in Mathura claim jobs, too, are elusive in this region. “There are no private companies here. If not in government, we should be able to get jobs in the private sector. Factories and companies should come up here or some other source of income should open up,” says Dangar.

But despite all hardships, a majority of farmers claim that they will vote for the BJP in 2019. When asked why, Krishan Kant Mishra says PM Modi is the only Indian leader of global repute. “Even if farmers suffer, PM Modi is ensuring that the country progresses,” he adds.

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