‘We are happy farming’

Print edition : September 06, 2013

Manilal Patel. Photo: Anupama Katakam

“WE have been writing letters but there has been no response. The biggest let-down is that these are the people we voted for. Now look what they have done to us,” says Manilal Patel, a farmer in Vanod village. Manilal sows onion, wheat and cumin on five acres of land. He gets a produce of 2.6 tonnes of onion in three months on this land. At Rs.10 a kg, he says it covers his cost and gives him just enough to take care of his needs. Cumin is the real money-spinner (it is sown in rotation), and he earns close to Rs.2 lakh annually. Manilal’s land comes under the special investment region (SIR) and he will lose it entirely if the project comes up.

“They say they will give us work. We are six people in the family. We only know how to be farmers and we are very happy farming. What kind of work will the SIR give us?” Manilal, like his fellow villagers, is adamant that the project should not come up. Hopefully, he won’t be fighting a losing battle.