Potatoes are Held Up in Cold Storage

Farmers in Tajpur block have prepared their fields and are waiting to sow the potato crop but the Anurag cold storage is not willing to release the potatoes before 22 November. The deadlock between the farmers and the cold storage management continues. Farmer leader Kusheshwar Sharma said that the farmers readied their fields and went on 5 November to Anurag cold storage to complete the paper work for release of their potatoes, but the management flatly refused their request and said the potatoes would be released after 22 November; whereas Sharma and other farmers as well as traders themselves said that potatoes for traders are being released rapidly and without obstruction. One farmer said, on condition of anonymity, that farmers' potatoes are being withheld and traders' potatoes are being released is a conspiracy to give traders a monopoly. Many cold storage managements in the Block as well as District are resorting to this practice.

The All India Kisan Mahasabha have come out in support of the farmers and the issue seems set to shape into a movement. Farmer leader Brahmadev Prasad Singh said that farmers are suffering blows from all sides but nobody heeds their problems. Farmers' lives and needs are being played with; they are facing shortage of fertilizers, seeds and water, problems in selling their crops, and now the release of their potatoes is being blocked. Farmers will come out on the streets against this. CPIML Block Secretary Surendra Prasad Singh announced that the BDO should conduct an enquiry and get the farmers' potatoes released without delay; otherwise CPIML will join the farmers in organizing a road blockade movement.