Mizoram farmers demand land reforms

Newmai News Network Aizawl | September 28 Hundreds of farmers under the aegis of All Mizoram Farmers' Union (AMFU), the lone farmer organisation in Mizoram, took their anger to streets in Aizawl on Friday demanding land reforms and regulated market system for sustainable development of farmers, who constituted about 70% of the state's total population of over 11 lakh.   During the protest rally held between Chanmari point and Vanapa Hall, the farmers shouted slogans and carried placards that reads, “We don’t want the government that fails to frame regulation for development of farmers,” “We want land reform and regulated market for sustainable development of farmers.” The farmers also demanded that Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2017 be implemented immediately.   Addressing the rally in front of Vanapa Hall, AMFU president, Joseph H Thanzuala blamed the state government for failing to introduce land reform and regulated market system in the state "due to which farmers faced inconvenience in selling their produces". Further accusing the government of "shedding crocodile tears" before the farmers, Thanzuala said that the state government did not have any love and sympathy for the farmers "but want us to live under poor living condition". He then claimed that the farmers' body had evolved green revolution and economic policy for economic development of the state in 2014 "but the state government remained hesitant to implement the policy".   General Secretary of the union, Zion Lalremruata said that farmers could not sell their produces due to absence of market. He alleged that many beneficiaries under the state government flagship programme, New Land Use Policy (NLUP), who were made to choose broom and ginger cultivation by the state government faced enormous inconvenience "as the government failed to arrange market for their produces". Lalremruata further said that farmers across the state also faced market problems due to poor connectivity. "The farmers' union had made repeated appeals to the state government for land reform and introduction of agriculture marketing system, but to no avail", he rued. “We need land reform and regulated market to develop and improve the living condition of farmers,” he added. The farmers' union leader then urged the state government to construct and improve agricultural link roads across the state.   While accusing the government of misusing NLUP project for political gains, Lalremruata said that only Congress party workers were selected as beneficiaries under the flagship programme. He blamed the government for "acting in arbitrary manner" by choosing ruling Congress MLAs to select 400 each beneficiaries from 40 assembly constituencies and sidelining opposition legislators. “We don’t want political party oriented government. We want people’s government, which can evolve laws for development of farmers,” he added.