India: Thousands of protesting farmers converge in Mumbai.
Over 30,000 farmers have converged in India’s financial capital, Mumbai, after walking 167km (103 miles) from Nashik district to demand loan waivers and better prices for their produce.
The group, including children, women and elderly, says that the government hasn’t implemented the loan waivers it promised last year.
The Maharashtra state government says it’s open to talks to end the protest.
Farmers say the state has witnessed rapid growth but they’ve been left out.
The crowd of farmers walked six days from Nashik and timed it so that they reached Mumbai’s Azad Maidan (grounds) in the wee hours of Monday to avoid disrupting school exams and the daily commute of workers.
The farmers say that they are interested in being paid at least one-and-a-half times the cost of their crops.
In addition, they want tribal farmers, who mainly cultivate in forests, to be allowed to own land.
They are planning to camp on the grounds until the government agrees to meet their demands.
Farmer leader Vijay Javandhia told BBC Marathi that “agricultural income has swiftly declined in the country”.
“Income in cotton, grains and pulses is declining day by day. That’s why the rural economy is gradually running out of money,” he said.