Jatiya Krishak Samity, a platform of national-level farmers, formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club yesterday demanding fair price of paddy this season. -Jahidul Islam
Farmers, teachers and students have taken to the streets in protest against the low prices of paddy this harvesting season and urged the government to take steps to ensure 'fair price' of the produce.
They staged two separate human chain programs in the capital on Thursday following reports of low prices of paddy and crisis of agriculture laborers that led a Tangail farmer to set his paddy field on fire.
Farmers from across the country joined the human chain program Jatiya Krishak Samity, a platform of peasants, organized in front of the National Press Club to protest the low paddy prices. They demanded immediate government steps to ensure that farmers get fair prices of their produce and that food security is not at stake.
Teachers and students of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University formed the other human chain in front of the university gate at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the city.
Their demands also include reining in paddy and rice trade syndicates, offering financial assistance to the farmers who suffer losses, giving maximum subsidy for agricultural produce and providing soft loans to farmers.
Speaking at the program, Chairman of the Medicine and Public Health Department of the university Dr KBM Saiful Islam said the government should extend maximum subsidy to the agriculture sector to help farmers survive.
'The incumbent agriculture minister is an agriculturist. We expect a better solution to the problems in the farming sector from him. Farmers should get cash incentives from the government,' he said.
Students who spoke at the human chain program urged the agriculture minister to take an appropriate decision immediately to ensure fair prices of rice and other agricultural products. 'If it's not done immediately, our food security will be at stake,' said Humayun Kabir, a master's student of the university.
According to media reports, farmer Abdul Malek Shikder of Bankina village under Kalahati upazila of Tangail had set his paddy filed on fire protesting low prices of paddy and crisis of agriculture laborers.
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