The issue of wild animals straying into plantations and destroying crops dominated the Farmers’ Mela at Kalsai, Dabal on Saturday.
PWD Minister Deepak Pauskar, director of directorate of agriculture Nevil Alphonso, ZAO Nagesh Komarpanth and others had to face the wrath of the angry farmers. At some point of the function, one by one, the farmers started raising the issue of destruction of crops by the wild animals, and condemned the failure on the part of the government machinery to check the menace.
Sunil Khanolkar said, “We don’t want any facilities from the government’s side if the government authorities only stop the wild animals from destroying our crops. Whole of our labour and expenditure go waste every year. We are suffering losses and nothing is being done from the government’s side.”
Another farmer Rajendra Naik complained that “on one hand the government says that we should take up agriculture but nobody caters to our needs. There is already shortage of labourers and due to COVID-19 epidemic, labourers are demanding wages of Rs 600. From where should we arrange the labourers and the money to carry on with agriculture?”
Advocate Sanjit Dessai suggested some dos and don’ts for the government in order to encourage the farmers to take up agriculture. Few others complained about the harassment meted out by forest officials on one hand and destruction of crops by wild animals on the other hand.
It was seen that most of the farmers were agitated over the failure of the authorities to check the wild animal menace.
While pacifying the agitated farmers, the PWD Minister assured them that within next ten days a special meeting will be held at the same place and will be attended by the Agriculture Minister, deputy collector, officials of agriculture and forest departments besides Collector to discuss and finalise the issue of wild animal menace.