Farmers demand compensation, block Maha Agri Minister`s convoy

Hundreds of farmers today blocked Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil`s convoy on Mumbai-Agra national highway demanding compensation following heavy damage to their crops caused by untimely rains.

Updated: Nov 29, 2010, 19:58 PM IST

Nashik: Hundreds of farmers today blocked
Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil`s
convoy on Mumbai-Agra national highway demanding compensation
following heavy damage to their crops caused by untimely
rains.

The blockade at Pimpalgaon Baswant near here lasted only
for about 15 minutes as the minister stepped out of his car to
meet the farmers` representatives and promised to look into
their demands, police said.

Farmers led by local MLA Anil Kadam told the minister who
was on tour to see the damage caused to the agricultural
fields, that they lost crops like onion, grape, cotton, paddy
due to untimely rains that lashed Nashik district early this
month.

Besides demanding financial assistance of Rs 50,000 per
hectare, farmers have also asked for waiver of loans and
facility of crop-insurance.

The minister told the agitating farmers that the
government was aware of the situation and would offer them
help.

The blockade was lifted subsequently and vehicular
traffic resumed on the highway, police said, adding that no
arrests were made.

PTI