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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Bhoirymbong farmers allege violation of KHADC order by traders

The farmers voiced out their grievances to the leaders of the Hills Farmers’ Union (HFU) Mawlai circle, who took up the matter with the Chief Executive Member (CEM) of KHADC Titosstarwell Chyne on May 24. 

SHILLONG:

Farmers of Bhoirymbong in Ri Bhoi district have alleged that the system of deducting the weight on agricultural produce by traders is ongoing in the area despite the issuance of a notification by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District council (KHADC) on May 15 prohibiting weight deduction in markets located within the jurisdiction of the council.

The farmers voiced out their grievances to the leaders of the Hills Farmers’ Union (HFU) Mawlai circle, who took up the matter with the Chief Executive Member (CEM) of KHADC Titosstarwell Chyne on May 24.

Addressing the media, president of the HFU Mawlai circle, Comingstar Kharumlong said they lodged the complaint with the KHADC on this issue, after which a meeting was called by the CEM to discuss the matter.

Kharumlong said that during the meeting, the CEM assured to take up the matter and said that another meeting will be held with leaders of the Traders’ union to chalk out a plan of action, to ensure that both sides benefit.

“The fact that these farmers are coming forward to voice their concerns only showed the level of understanding and that we, the farmers, are no longer illiterate. We are more aware and informed about our rights,” the Farmers’ Union president said.

When apprised about the justification given by the traders that weight deduction was carried because most of the time, farmers randomly pack everything – the good and the rotten produce, without cross-checking, Kharumlong admitted that there were times when good and bad produce can be found in one whole sack but clarified that that many of the farmers were forced to resort to that because even if they select, the same system of weight deduction was being followed.

“Because of this, many farmers felt it was a waste to be thorough and select the goods before selling them to the traders. But yes, this is wrong,” he said.

Asserting that weight deduction has been deemed illegal in other states, Kharumlong asked why farmers in Meghalaya have to fight against it. “Isn’t it already an illegal system? This is surprising indeed,” he said.

Meanwhile, general secretary of the HFU Central body Alfond Kharsyntiew urged the traders to legally and morally abide by the notification issued by the KHADC.

“Don’t you think they (traders) know that this illegal?” he asked.

“I also send a message to all the farmers across Khasi-Jaintia to be aware of their rights and if ever, they come across instances like these, don’t hesitate to come to us because you should that this is an illegal system of trade,” Kharsyntiew said.

Furthermore, he said that in the coming days, the union will seek an appointment with Agriculture Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh to discuss this issue and to asked for the special cabinet session to be held on this issue and to bring out a law prohibiting weight deduction.

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