Sugarcane farmers of Tamil Nadu have demanded that the state government procure sugarcane directly from the farmers and distribute it through ration shops during Pongal.
They said that the government had distributed sugarcane through ration shops during the previous years and if it is distributed this season, it would be of huge benefit to the farmers.
The farmers have announced to stage a major protest in front of the secretariat on December 27 to press for their demand.
Notably, Pongal, the biggest harvest festival of the state, is being held between January 15 and 18.
R. Shanmugasundaram, President, Tamil Nadu Farmers Protection Association told media persons that the government procured sugarcane in bulk quantity during the previous year for distribution through ration shops for the Pongal festival.
He said that this has helped the farmers much as the livelihood of the farmers was safeguarded.
The government, he added, is yet to announce whether the sugarcane would be procured for distribution through Pongal gift packets this year.
The farmer association leader said that farmers have spent around Rs 2 lakh per acre to raise cane and that if the government was not procuring it would put the farmers in a bad state of affairs as debts would start mounting.
The sugarcane farmers also demanded the state government procure the product from across the state and not confine it to certain areas only as it would benefit farmers in that area only.