Ahead of Madhya Pradesh assembly elections, farmers of Malwa region, who are struggling through various issues, have become a center of debate ahead of the electoral battle of the state. Farmers’ distress, debt relief and uncertainty over Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana are some of the issues of agrarian community in Madhya Pradesh especially in Malwa region, where ‘Garlic’ the main cash crop has witnessed a massive price drop in last two years.
According to sources, things changed hugely after demonetisation in November 2016, prices of all crops crashed.
Garlic was one of them and never really recovered till now. Congress has made the farmers killing a massive agenda in poll campaigning of Madhya Pradesh and Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi is also very vocal on the issue and earlier in June, he visited the site after one year of incident and attacked the BJP government.
Talking about the prices of garlic in May 2018, Farmers told media that “Farmers were selling garlic at Rs 2,000 per quintal (Rs 20 per kilogram) and later at Rs 100 per quintal (Re 1 per kilogram)”.
Garlic was considered as Golden Crop of the Malwa and Hadoti region in Rajasthan, these regions account for about 45% of India’s total Garlic production.
In June 2017, Mandsaur district of Malwa region became an epicenter of politics, when a farmers’ protest, asking for higher crop prices and debt relief, turned violent after police opened fire, killing five farmers.
The resentments among the farming community does not seem to have declined since June 2017, with several blaming the BJP government for adopting callous attitude towards farmers. Results of upcoming polls will be considered as referendum of farmers against the backdrop of farmers killing of Mandsaur.