Peasants demand compensation for crops loss by flood

Hyderabad: Peasants of Jamshoro district demanded the government to compensate the flood affected people of kacha areas, as they have lost their shelters and crops standing on hundreds of acre land.

They were speaking at a peasants’ seminar on ‘Land Reforms and Sustainable Agriculture’, organized by Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum PFF at Baradi Shoro village, Jamshoro district. The event attracted hundreds of peasant women and growers, hailing from different villages of the district to attend the event to show the unity. Several families came from the floodaffected areas.

PFF chairperson Mohammed Ali Shah addressing the farmers asked them to adopt traditional methodology of cultivation to increase crop product and save the soil fertility, which is under threats due to excess utilization of genetically modified seeds, pesticides and fertilizers.

“It is the time to realise that multinational companies are inducing landlords to adopt harmful practices, which are hazardous to health, destructive for soil fertility and affect the ecology,” Shah said.

He asked the peasants to strengthen their campaign for rights to get proper share of their crop product. He said besides showing unity against oppressor landlords, it is also the responsibility of farmers to protect environment and natural resources through adopting best practices in the agriculture sector.

“Your enemy feudal is powerful, enjoying political support, hence bridge unity and fight together for safeguarding the rights,” he said, adding that the land reforms claiming successive political governments is nothing but benefitting their well wishers.

Mustafa Meerani, Mir Mohammed Pirzado, Suhail Siddiqi, a community elder Baradi Shoro, Mohammed Mallah, Mohammed Mithal Zardari, Mir Hassan Mari, Azad Meerwahi and others also spoke on the occasion.

Shah said the farmers should respect the law of nature and should not bow down before the multinational companies, who want to destroy the natural resources all over the world, specially the developing nations.

Natural resources could not be property of any specific group, community or any political party and country. It is the common asset and the combined property, he said.

PFF wants farmers to have pieces of their own land to live sustainable life.

We have to launch struggle to stop utilizing the poisonous pesticides, which are not only affecting the soil fertility, but also destroying the natural resources, poisoning water and environment.

We have to follow the rule of nature, like Sufi Shah Enayat, who declared long ago that those cultivate the land should own that piece of land.” This philosophy should be adopted by the farmers of Sindh to have their own pieces of land.

Mir Mohammed Pirzado, former agriculture officer, depicting the sustainable agriculture and causes of the soil infertility, advised farmers to approach agriculture laboratories available in all the districts to check the soil for suitable crops.

He said farmers should know about the natural seed, avoid chemical fertilizer and adulterated pesticides.

Local farmer Zawar Faiz Mohammed said the flood 2010 had affected hundreds of people, who have not been compensated, so far, after passage of three year period.

“We have given votes to PPP candidates but at the difficult time they always leave voters farmers at the mercy of disasters. Like past, when this year flood 2013 hit the wide area and farmers were crying for help, nobody came for their rescue,” he said.

He said forest land has been encroached upon by certain political influential persons, who have cleaned the tree cover for utilizing the land for cultivation. He said the depletion of forest is main cause of these floods, destruction and displacement. He opposed dams’ construction and said haris are facing acute poverty and impacts of price hike.

Baradi Shoro, the community leader addressing the gathering complained that managements of educational institutes in Jamshoro are threatening villagers to leave their ancestral abodes.

He justified that they have been here long before the universities established in Jamshoro, saying his elders donated the land for promoting education but in result we are facing threats to vacate our abodes.

Mustafa Meerani said haris are not against landlords or destroying the agriculture when they demand for their rights. Haris cultivate the land through painstaking work and they should be given their share of product.

The speakers said land reforms through distribution of state land among the landless peasant families in transparent manner is key to sustainable agriculture.

Young artiste Dayal Sehrai and Wajid Siddiqi performed songs to motivate the farmers.

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