Activities of the year
1.Multi cultivation is being promoted
In different Districts class were given for the famers to initiate multi cultivation.
2.Ensure that farmers’ essential needs are met at a reasonable rate.
3.Attended the issues of coconut producers
INFAM has formed "Coconut Producer's Society" in three Districts of Kerala. Through this Society we could avail the help of Coconut Development Board. Combining 20 such Societies it could also form a number of Coconut Federations. Calling Government's attention to the crucial problems of' coconut producers INFAM arranged protest rally and strikes at various places in Kannur, Kasargod and Kozhikode Districts.
4. Protest against the price fall of Rubber.
12 lakhs of Rubber farmers and 5 lakhs of Rubber tapping workers are affected by the price fall of rubber sheet. So livelihood of these people is challenged and questioned. Other people in the community are also affected by the price fall of rubber. Hence INFAM made many protests and agitations against this issue. The Patron of INFAM Bishop Mar. Mathew Arackal, Bishop of Kanjirappally Diocese and INFAM leaders submitted memorandum to the Central Agricultural and Industrial Ministers and also to the Chief Minister of Kerala.
INFAM along with other farmers’ groups protested against the price fall of rubber. Thousands of people participated in the Rally and Dharana which was held in front of Kannur Collectrate. Arch Bishop Mar. George Njaralakkattu, Arch Diocese of Talassery inaugurated the Dharna and Rt. Rev. Dr. Alex Vadakethala, Diocese of Kannur and Mar. Joseph Pandarassery, Auxiliary Bishop, Diocese of Kottyayam addressed the audience.
5. Protection of farmers from the attack of wild animals
Kerala farmers in the Malabar belt are always under the threat of attacks from wild animals. There is threat for their life and also destruction of crops. Representation was submitted to Government for the protection of the farmers. INFAM always pay attention to these crucial issues and protest rallies and agitations are being organized in such situations in different places of the Districts.
6. Protest against Wild life sanctuary in Wayanad District
Government's plan to acquire land for Tiger Sanctuary in Wayanad District would upset the life of many poor farmers. INFAM raised its voice in its full vigor through strikes and rally against such merciless schemes.
7. Agitations against Madhav Gadgil Commission.
INFAM always comes to the fore front to protest against any action from any source which is against the good will of the poor farmers and rural population. Public meeting was organized to protest the execution of Madhav Gadgil Commission as such.
This year under the leadership of Bishop Mar. Remegius Enchananiyil, Thamarassery Diocese, people protested against Kasturirangan Report, in Kozhikhode. Protest against the same cause was organized in certain places like Arlam, Kelam, Kottiyoor Panchayats in Kannur. A Memorandum was submitted to Chief Minister of Kerala in this regard.
8. Protested against the Price Hike of daily use articles
INFAM has come forward very strongly to bring the price hike back and to bring the same to the notice of the Government through massive Demonstrations in different centers.
9. With the people to fight against eviction.
INFAM stood with the people who are under the threat of irrational Government schemes of eviction time and again for different projects.
10. With the farmers’ Protest against the price fall of agricultural products.
INFAM is always watchful and doing the level best to help the farmers who face recurring price drop of agricultural produce. Such situations are brought to the notice of the Government and demands immediate remedial measures to restrict price falls and allow maximum possible price to the products.
11.Provided vegetable seeds to the farmers and arranged training.
INFAM always take interest to foster farming, especially home vegetable cultivation. Families in the Parish as well as the Village groups were given vegetable seeds towards this. Awareness classes and guidance programs were arranged for the coconut farmers. INFAM encourage the farmers to launch organic farming. Special initiatives were taken in Kannur, Kasaragod and Moovattupuzha in this regard..
12.Requested the Government for Farmer's Pension.
INFAM has repeatedly requested the Government to arrange Pension and other benefits for farmers just as that for any other employed persons in the country.
- In every Diocese INAFM is being initiated
- In the month of October a Convention was arranged in Thamarassery for the different Diocese of Malabar.
- A convention was conducted in Palai for the representatives of INFAM from five Dioceses
- A meeting was conducted at POC on 14th September under the leadership of Mar. Mathew Arackal, Bishop of Kanjirappilly Diocese. Directors and leaders from 12 Dioceses attended the meeting and the group planned the possibilities of expansion and functions of INFAM.
- INFAM finds it difficult to stand on its feet as the Diocese does not provide sufficient support.
- It is a tedious job for INFAM to bring together the farmers who are widespread in far off villages.
- Since INFAM is a Church initiated movement it has less access to farmers of other faith.
- Though INFAM has committed personnel to work for this noble cause of supporting farmers it is running short of funds.
- We can only care for the most critical issues and are unable to attend the daily problems of the poor famers. This is due to the very poor infrastructure and lack of due support from the Diocese.
Our movement can find it success only if the farmers are orientated properly. The Kerala Church is greatly indebted to the farmers for its growth. So Church has a great responsibility to safeguard the farmers and their genuine rights. It is my proud privilege to express, on behalf of INFAM, heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the National patron of INFAM His Excellency Mar. Mathew Arackal, Bishop of Kanjrappilly . His timely guidance and advice has helped us to read the signs of the time and to respond to it with priority. We are grateful to all the Bishops of Kerala for the support and encouragements.
I humbly implore your blessings and look forward to your whole hearted co operation and guidance in the coming years.
Rev. Fr. Joseph Ottaplackal National Chairman, INFAM.