The government may have permitted farmers to withdraw up to Rs.25,000 a week, but with the banks running dry, farmers here are not very hopeful. The cash crunch, meanwhile, has already hit supply of vegetables and milk in Delhi-NCR, which receives its stock from western UP, Bengaluru, Gujarat, Nashik, and Punjab.
This is the situation, say farmers, despite Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav recently directing district magistrates to arrange for cash in rural areas.
On Thursday, the Centre had announced that farmers could withdraw up to Rs. 25,000 per week from the payment they receive for their produce. Further, the government has decided to give farmers 15 days more to pay the crop insurance premium.
At their wit’s end
“Seeding for Rabi crop is at its peak, but we don’t have the new currency to purchase fertilizers from private distributors, who refuse to accept the old notes,” Tikam Singh, a Bulandshahr-based farmer told The Hindu .
“Farmers like me are unable to get the new notes as banks in Khanpur, Siyana, Lakhaoti, Garhmukteshwar and other areas don’t have enough currency,” Mr. Singh said.
For instance, on Thursday the Punjab National Bank branch in Khanpur, Siyana and Lakhaoti didn’t receive cash till 3 p.m. People had been waiting since 4 a.m.
Cooperative societies that provide fertilizers have also refused to accept old notes.
C. B. Singh, a farmer from Nagla in Khanpur, said, “When the old notes were banned, we thought of buying fertilizers from government-owned district cooperative units. But they refuse to accept them.”
“If we do not sow seeds by November 22, it will be too late,” said Udaiveer Bhati, another farmer from Hapur.
(The writer is a freelance journalist)