Farmers in South Karnataka face cost discrimination

Karnataka Politics State

BKS raises issue of sugar price difference between zones.

Farmers in South Karnataka want prices for their sugarcane produce to be on a par with prices in North Karnataka.

At a press conference today, leaders of the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) raised the issue of transportation charges being deducted from the profits of farmers in South Karnataka.

Bhartiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) at Press Club Bangalore

“There is a significant variation in the earnings of farmers in south Karnataka as compared to the farmers in North Karnataka,” said Pampanna, Bangalore city president of BKS.

Satish, treasurer of BKS, said: “Companies demanding sugarcane bear the transportation charges in North Karnataka. On the other hand, farmers in South Karnataka have to pay the transportation charges. Why is there such discrimination in the same state? Farmers in both regions should be paid equally.”

In 2014, a case was filed against the government for setting two different prices for two different regions of Karnataka. Pampanna said that this is causing a variation of Rs 500-1,000 per tonne. And that is why BKS is asking the government to raise the price from Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,000 per tonne without differentiating between the North and South.”

Rupasekar, a women’s leader of BKS, said: “The government is not fixing fair prices. As north Karnataka farmers are earning more, they are much stronger and raise their voices against any injustice by the government. But South Karnataka farmers do not earn much, so they should raise their voices against the government.”

Beliyappa, a farmer in South Karnataka, said: “The companies charge us for transportation when they shouldn’t. We have been waiting for the government to fix the prices equally for both zones in the state.” The BKS’s demand is valid.

Satish said, “Almost 50 percent of the farmers in South Karnataka are affected by the deduction of transportation charges. It is both mentally and economically suppressing. The whole family of the farmer suffers due to it.”

Pampanna said other states have higher prices for sugarcane than Karnataka. “That is why we are demanding the government raise the price to Rs 4,000 per tonne.”