Kochi: Expressing solidarity with farmers agitating at the borders of Delhi against the new farm laws, a farmers association in Kerala has sent 16 tonnes of pineapples by truck to the national capital for free distribution.
The cost of the fruit, as well as the expenditure on transport, will be borne by the Pineapple Farmers Association, its leader James Thottumaryil said here on Sunday.
The consignment from Vazhakulam, known as "pineapple city," was flagged off by Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar on Thursday night.
It is expected to reach Delhi on Monday evening, Thottumariyil said.
MPs from Kerala, Dean Kuriakose and K K Ragesh, along with Harbajan Singh of Delhi Gurudwara, will coordinate with the protest leaders for the distribution, Thottumariyil said.
"The agitation by farmers against these laws is the largest of its kind in the nation's history.... it is our duty to express our solidarity with them as they are fighting for our cause," he said
The minister alleged that retail trade in the country was already under the control of corporates and if something similar were to happen to the farming sector, consumer states like Kerala would suffer.
Thousands of farmers have been camping at three Delhi border points – Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur – for nearly a month, demanding the repeal of the three new farm laws,enacted in September, and a legal guarantee on Minimum Support Price.
While the government has presented these laws as major reforms aimed at helping farmers, protesting farmer unions have maintained these acts will leave them at the mercy of big corporates by weakening the mandi and MSP systems.
(With PTI inputs)