Farmers at Sikar, north of Jaipur in Rajasthan are protesting against the government since September 1 saying they are distressed by debt, government policies and poor rains.

Their major demands include debt waiver for farmers, fair price for produce and implementation of the Swaminathan Commission Report.

They also demand withdrawal of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017, a solution to menace of stray cattle, free electricity to farmers, and Rs 5000 as monthly pension to farmers over 60.

The farmers say the region hasn’t received good rains since 2013-14, while the prices of their produce such as onion have fallen drastically to below production costs.

“The situation created from poor rains in past few years was aggravated due to demonetisation and implementation of GST,” Amra Ram, a leader of the protest and a four-term CPI(M) MLA told The Indian Express.

Protesters point out that new taxes on manure, seeds and agri-instruments, motors, pump-set, spray machines, electric cables, tractors have increased the costs.

They say new government policies on cattle sale has also made it difficult for them to sell cattle to traders in state such as Uttar Pradesh.

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