Lift ban on maize export, Nitish Kumar urges PM

July 30th, 2008 - 7:30 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Patna, July 30 (IANS) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to lift the ban on maize export. “I would be grateful if the ban on export of maize is lifted so that the poor farmers are not adversely affected by the fall in maize prices and the general price-rise in agricultural inputs and other commodities in the economy,” Kumar said Tuesday in a letter to the prime minister.

He said that the ban imposed on maize export seriously affected farmers, mainly small farmers. ”The recent ban on exports has lead to depressed market conditions and fall in maize prices.”

He said that Bihar produces 1.7 million tonnes of maize and accounts for 10 percent of the country’s total maize production. For some farmers in the state, growing maize is the only source of livelihood.

Maize is not a major contributor to the wholesale price index (WPI), and the price of maize has not risen as compared to other commodities, yet its export has been banned, Kumar said.

“The fallout of the ban is that the price of maize has now crashed to Rs.500 to Rs.600 per quintal. The procurement of maize by buyers has come down drastically. It has affected the poor farmers cultivating maize.”

The chief minister said the agriculture road map of the state envisages an increase in production of maize. “Ban of exports would only slow down our efforts to improve agricultural productivity, which would finally affect the country’s food security.”

Bihar Agriculture Minister Nagmani said in the state legislative council that an all-party delegation would soon meet the prime minister and request him to lift the ban on the export of maize.

Nagmani said the maize growers in Bihar were affected by the ban obn maize export.

Posted in Business |