The Panjab Farmers’ Union (PPA) is an organization that represents the interests of the smallholders of the cotton industry in the state of Punjab. This union has about sixty members. Most of them are either self-employed or belong to small-scale cooperatives. They have traditionally been associated with rural development work. But Panjab Farmers Union, which was formed in 2020, has emerged as a political party in the state.
The main aim of the Panjab Farmers’ Union is to improve the living conditions of the farmers in the state and improve the productivity of the agricultural produce. The PPA has demanded for the liberalization of the textile market, for an increase in the production quota, for a fair price for the farmers, for setting up of co-operative farms, for the demarcation of land and for better consultation with the farmers on different issues pertaining to agriculture in the state. Although, it is very clear that the demand of the farmers from the urban areas is so much higher than their demands from the rural areas, the PPA insists on setting the economic conditions for the farmers. In fact, according to a report published by the Central Research Council, it has been observed that at present, around 39% of the cotton production is produced within the boundaries of the state, which indicates that the farmers are well economically able to meet the requirements of the consumers.
According to a farmer from Panjab, Saleem,” Farmers do not have proper means of survival. We are told that if we do not pay the price for our products, then there will be no left in our families. That is why the farmers are demanding money from the manufacturers and demanding that the prices of their products should be lower. Since the government is doing nothing to help the farmers, the crisis is there will be more disasters.”
However, the panjab government has made some radical changes in the agricultural policies so as to provide help to the rural development of panjab and make it self-sufficient soon. Some changes in the policy and the agricultural policies have actually helped the farmers to increase their income and have their source of livelihood secured. The policy has been revised in such a manner that the farmers of pandas will now be paid the indemnity fee after their crops are sold in the open market.
This way of compensating the arthiyas has been very successful and has actually made it easier for the farmer of pandas to get his due share of the income from the fruits of his own labor. Earlier the farmers of panjab were paid only when the crops were sold. But this is not the case anymore, the pay off is given after the crop is sold. It has been noticed that the price of the commodities has gone up and it is difficult for the farmers to manage their finances to buy these commodities. The increase in the prices has been mainly attributed to the rise in the export of the raw material.
The inflation of the prices has actually affected the profits of the farmers of Punjab. But the good thing is that the prices have been brought down by the government through its farm policy and the federal trade commission. Farmers have also been benefitted in a great deal because they were able to save some of their earnings through the various concession and grants offered by the federal and state government. The policy of compensating the arthiyas through the farmers’ loans has been a very successful policy. There are many other policies that have been implemented by the state government to help the farmers of Punjab.