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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Cut out the middle men who profit from Indian farmers

Readers discuss Modi, the West Bank shooting, investing in property and more

An Indian farmer with his produce waits to negotiate with traders at a wholesale vegetable market in Hyderabad. The Indian government is focusing on the agricultural sector in its annual budget. NOAH SEELAM / AFP
An Indian farmer with his produce waits to negotiate with traders at a wholesale vegetable market in Hyderabad. The Indian government is focusing on the agricultural sector in its annual budget. NOAH SEELAM / AFP

In reference to your article Modi unveils pre-election budget in bit to woo voters (February 1), in the Indian budget for 2018-2019 the minimum support price, at which the government purchases crops from farmers, has been raised to 150 per cent of the cost of producing the crops. This will hopefully improve the earnings of the farmers. Many Indian farmers have committed suicide since they are unable to repay the loans that they took during the sowing season. Many farmers have also been impoverished when their lands were appropriated for urban development, at below market prices. The government must also set up appropriate machinery to ensure that the benefits of the higher price actually go to the farming community. Currently middlemen and brokers take a hefty commission from the farmers by colluding with procurement officers.

The government has to crack down on such brokers and officials who make a mockery of government policies and drive the farmers to poverty and suicides.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

A sad state of affairs for Palestinians

I refer to your article Israel soldiers kill Palestinian teenager in West Bank arrest raid (February 4): that 19-year-old Ahmad Abu Obaid was fatally shot by Israeli soldiers during a raid in the West Bank is saddening. The teenager's death at the hands of the Israeli military is utterly condemnable. A very sad state of affairs.

K Ragavan, India

Support those who have to pray outside in the heat

In reference to your article Mussaffah's faithful appeal for more mosques as large numbers left praying in the sun (February 5), let's hope the authorities act on the situation. It is sad to see that there are not enough mosques for people who want to pray.

Mubashar Ahmad, Dubai

Buying property here is a dilemma for residents

I write in reference to your article Why every long-term expat should buy a property in the UAE (February 5). We would probably all invest and set down roots here if we had permanent residency but we never know when we are going to leave.

Phil Osborne, Dubai

It is a debatable decision and would depend on each individual’s conditions. In general, investing in property has proved to be the right choice over the years and the return on investment here is considered one of the highest in the world. But if you have better alternatives in your home country, it makes more sense to invest there. As for the people who say it doesn’t guarantee you residency here, that is true but it shouldn’t matter as you can still rent it or sell if its value is at the right level.

Firas Barqawi, Jordan

With such a high rental return on investment, combined with no capital gains tax, it does make a lot of sense if you can afford the deposit.

Adam McEwan, Dubai