Monday, 28 November 2011

Govt. is misleading the Nation on Farmer suicides: VJAS


 Govt. is misleading the Nation on Farmer suicides: VJAS

NAGPUR: November 30th 2011

The claim of Indian Govt. that farmers Suicide by farmers have dropped drastically in the current year due to government initiatives is misleading as country is under severe agrarian crisis due to crop failure in major state suicide prone states Maharashtra,Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka as there is severe cotton ,soybean  and paddy crop failure reported and farm suicide spiral has restarted  and ground situation very grim  as debt and distress are forcing innocent farmers kill themselves, ,Kishor Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti informed in press note today.

“We have been documenting farmers suicides reported in vidarbha since 1997 and The National Crime Records Bureau –NCRB officially published actual figures of farmers suicides and we have noted that NCRB figure is three times our recorded figure but Minister of State for Agriculture Harish Rawat said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha has completely contradicted NCRB own record of farmers suicides and mislead nation this is very rubbish and unfortunate’ Tiwari added..

Here is official link of NCRB which gives official figure
http://www.thehindu.com/multimedia/archive/00820/Farm_Suicides__All__820598a.pdf







STATE
2010
2004
MAHARASHTRA
NCRB figure is 3141 Agri.Mimistry fig. 454
NCRB figure is 4147 Agri.Mimistry fig. 347
ANDHRA PRADESH
NCRB figure is 2525
Agri.Mimistry fig. 152
NCRB figure is 2666
Agri.Mimistry fig.1181
KARNATAKA
NCRB figure is 2585
Agri.Mimistry fig.138
NCRB figure is 1963
Agri.Mimistry fig. 114

It's official. The country has seen over a quarter of a million farmers’ suicides between 1995 and 2010. The National Crime Records Bureau’s latest report on ‘Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India’ places the number for 2010 at 15,964 even after Govt. informs  Indian parliament that in India during 2010, 657 farmers had taken their lives on this count, while in 2004 the toll was as high as .Agrarian at it’s peak and NCRB exposes that  brings the cumulative 16-year total from 1995 — when the NCRB started recording farm suicide data — to 2,56,913, the worst-ever recorded wave of suicides of this kind in human history.,
As Andhra Pradesh Govt. is also misleading when they report that  42 farmers’ suicide in 2011 in comparison to 1,181 in 2004 and 152 in 2010,in fact In Andhra Pradesh, 95 farmers committed suicides in just six districts in one month during Oct – Nov 2011, as per compilation of news reports by Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA). ASHA conducted fact-finding visits to 20 families and found that all of them were due to agricultural reasons. “It is highly objectionable that the Government classifies suicides as ‘genuine’ and ‘not genuine’! In 2010, while Crime Records Bureau shows 2525 suicides of farmers, the AP Government has classified only 158 as “genuine”! When it comes to implementing the relief package meant for families of suicides victims, the Government machinery is geared towards ignoring or not supporting the families with designated ex-gratia, under political compulsions , Kiran Vissa of Association for India’s Development  added from Hyderabad (Kiran Vissa, AID: 09701705743)
“Farm suicide is only figure that indicates serious agrarian crisis needs long term solution as it is apparent that the existing model of agriculture cannot continue. The current high-external-input model of farming has been one of the root causes for the increasing burden on farmers, given its unviable economics with spiraling costs, unmatched by adequate returns. This model of farming has also resulted in erosion and degradation of the natural resource base on which production has to rest for all time to come! The Government has to promote sustainable agriculture that will reduce costs of cultivation for farmers and reduce risks through diversity-based, agro-ecological approaches. A programmatic thrust along with appropriate and adequate support systems is required to spread sustainable agriculture like the CMSA programme in Andhra Pradesh is required immediately. In this context, the importance of grassroots farmers’ institutions, to make farming a collective enterprise in many ways, cannot be over-emphasized”, Kavitha Kuruganti, Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture (ASHA) informed from Bangalore .

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कापसाला मदत देण्यासाठी आचारसंहितेचा अडसर-किशोर तिवारींची निवडणूक आयोगाकडे धाव





कापसाला मदत देण्यासाठी आचारसंहितेचा अडसर

किशोर तिवारींची निवडणूक आयोगाकडे धाव
नगर वार्ताहर
स्रोत: TarunBharat - Marathi      तारीख: 11/28/2011 10:57:33 PM नागपूर, २८ नोव्हेंबर
कापूस उत्पादकांना मदत देण्यासाठी निवडणूक आचारसंहितेचा बाऊ करणार्‍या राज्य सरकारला तसे निर्देश देण्यासाठी विदर्भ जनआंदोलन समितीने राज्य निवडणूक आयोगाकडे धाव घेतली आहे. तशा आशयाची याचिका निवडणूक आयोगाकडे दाखल करण्यात आली आहे.
राज्य निवडणूक आयोगाच्या मुख्य निवडणूक अधिकारी डॉ. नीला सत्यनारायण यांच्याकडे संविधानाच्या कलम २४३ के आणि २४३ झेड ए अनुसार, ही याचिका दाखल करण्यात आली असून त्यात शेतकर्‍यांना मदत देण्यासाठी आदर्श आचारसंहितेत सूट देण्यात यावी, अशी मागणी करण्यात आली आहे. शेतकर्‍यांना २० हजार रूपये प्रतिहेक्टर इतकी मदत देता यावी, यासाठी आचारसंहितेत ही सूट देण्यात यावी आणि तसे निर्देश सरकारला देण्यात यावे, अशी मागणी या याचिकेतून करण्यात आली आहे.
राज्यात सुमारे एक हजार शेतकर्‍यांनी आत्महत्या केल्या आहेत. कापूस पिकाचे मोठ्या प्रमाणात नुकसान झालेले आहे. यासंदर्भात गेल्या सहा वर्षांत सरकारला अनेक अहवाल सादर करण्यात आले आहेत. असे असताना राज्य सरकारची मदत देण्याची तयारी आहे. पण, नगरपालिका निवडणुकीची आचारसंहिता असल्याने अशी मदत आताच जाहीर करता येणार नाही, असे सरकारकडून सांगितले जात आहे, असे या अर्जात म्हटले आहे. आम्ही महाराष्ट्र सरकारला निवेदने दिली. त्याला त्यांनी उत्तरही दिले आणि आचारसंहितेमुळे आम्ही हे पॅकेज तयार केले असले तरी जाहीर करू शकत नाही, असे उत्तर दिले आहे. त्यामुळे आचारसंहितेत थोडी शिथिलता देत हे पॅकेज जाहीर करू द्यावे आणि अनेक शेतकर्‍यांचे प्राण वाचवावे, अशी मागणी या अर्जातून करण्यात आली आहे.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

शेतकऱ्यांच्या समस्या सोडविण्यासाठी सोनिया गांधींना घालणार साकडे-सकाळ वृत्तसेवा

शेतकऱ्यांच्या समस्या सोडविण्यासाठी सोनिया गांधींना घालणार साकडे-सकाळ वृत्तसेवा
Sunday, November 27, 2011 AT 03:30 AM (IST)
Tags: farmers,   sonia gandhi,   vidarbha,  
यवतमाळ - शेतकऱ्यांच्या व्यथा मांडण्यासाठी विदर्भ जनआंदोलन समितीचे नेते किशोर तिवारी 25 नोव्हेंबरपासून शेतकऱ्यांसह दिल्लीत ठाण मांडून असून; वारंवार प्रयत्न करूनही त्यांची सं.पु.आ.च्या अध्यक्ष सोनिया गांधी यांची सुरक्षेच्या कारणावरून भेट नाकारण्यात आली. आता पुढील आठवड्यात सोमवार किंवा मंगळवारला सोनिया गांधी शेतकऱ्यांच्या व्यथा ऐकतील, अशी अपेक्षा आहे. शेतकरी तोपर्यंत दिल्लीतच ठाण मांडून असतील, अशी माहिती विदर्भ जनआंदोलन समितीचे नेते किशोर तिवारी यांनी दिली.

25 नोव्हेंबरला वर्धा येथील खासदार दत्ता मेघे यांच्या "81, लोधीस्टेट' निवासस्थानी किशोर तिवारी यांनी भेट घेऊन त्यांना या सर्व परिस्थितीची जाणीव करून दिली. खासदार दत्ता मेघे यांनीही या विषयावर गंभीरपणे संसदेत आवाज उठविला तसेच पंतप्रधान व कृषिमंत्र्यांच्या भेटीसाठी प्रयत्न केला. तथापि, कृषिमंत्री शरद पवार मुंबईत असून; पंतप्रधानांच्या कार्यालयातून अजूनही वेळ मिळालेला नाही. पुढील आठवड्यात विदर्भाचे सर्वपक्षीय खासदार मतभेद विसरून शेतकऱ्यांसाठी केंद्र सरकारला भरीव मदत करावी यासाठी प्रयत्न करणार असल्याची माहिती दत्ता मेघे यांनी दिली.

किशोर तिवारी यांनी भारतीय जनता पक्षाचे खासदार प्रकाश जावडेकर, हंसराज अहीर व संजय धोत्रे यांच्याशी संपर्क साधून; राज्य शासनाने प्रचंड नापिकीवर केंद्राच्या मदतीचा साधा प्रस्तावही सादर केलेला नाही, महाराष्ट्राची नोकरशाही शेतकऱ्यांच्या प्रश्‍नावर उदासीन असल्याची माहिती दिली. त्यांनीही सोमवारी दोन्हीही सदनांमध्ये विशेष अधिकारांतर्गत या विषयावर सरकारला बोलते करण्याची तयारी सुरू केली.

"टीम अण्णा'ची तिवारींशी चर्चा
टीम अण्णाचे प्रमुख सहकारी अरविंद केजरीवाल व त्यांच्या सहकाऱ्यांनी किशोर तिवारी यांची हेली रोड कस्तुरबा गांधी मार्ग येथे भेट घेऊन महाराष्ट्राच्या कृषीसमस्येला व कृषी संकटासाठी राज्य सरकारने केलेल्या भ्रष्टाचाराची माहिती जाणून घेतली. कृषिक्षेत्रात राज्यकर्ते, नोकरशहा आणि वैज्ञानिकांनी आपल्या पदाचा दुरुपयोग करून शेतकऱ्यांना महागडी शेती करावयास लावली आणि आत्महत्येच्या दारावर उभे केले, याचे सत्य जाणून घेतले. अरविंद केजरीवाल यांनी, "आम्ही भ्रष्टाचाराविरुद्धची लढाई आता सामाजिक न्यायासाठी रेटणार असून, शेतकऱ्यांच्या समस्येवर व त्यांच्या आत्महत्या रोखण्यासाठी कायदेशीर तरतूद करण्यासाठी तसेच शेतकऱ्यांचे अधिकार अबाधित राहावे व कृषिक्षेत्रात बहुराष्ट्रीय कंपन्यांनी आणलेली गुलामगिरी नष्ट करण्यासाठी कटिबद्ध आहोत', असे आश्‍वासन दिले. पुढील महिन्यात विदर्भाच्या आत्महत्याग्रस्त क्षेत्राचा दौरा करणार असल्याचीही माहिती त्यांनी दिली.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Vidarbha farm activist lobbying at delhi-failed to get appointment of UPA convener smt.sonia Gandhi


Vidarbha farm activist lobbying at delhi-failed to get appointment of UPA convener smt.sonia Gandhi
New Delhi-26th November 2011
Vidarbha farmers who has dashed new delhi to update the pathetic situation of  cotton soyaben farmers failed to get appointment of smt.sonia Gandhi as she was busy in parliaments and sources informed  VJAS activist Kishor Tiwari that they will get official appointment by next week only  forcing them to stay at capital.
Farm activist met with wardha M.P. Dutta meghe at his 81 lodhi estate residence and brief him the demands of vidarbha farmers and urgent need of redressal.he also tried to get appointment with  hon,ble prime minister and union agriculture minister  but  as Dr.Manmohansingh is busy in preoccupied schedule and Sharad  Pawar  is out of station  failed to get time for meeting and he also suggested that next all vidarbha M.P. will joined take up issue for requisite bailout package for Maharashtra  farmers,Tiwari said.
Kishor Tiwari while briefing media alleged  official policies for the increasing number of farmer suicides across the country, farm activists have demanded immediate government intervention to support farmers. State policies on agriculture are often equally absurd forcing farmers to commit suicide. “The policies promote wrong cultivation practices in rain-fed areas such as encouraging crops dependant on rain,”
“We can’t term them suicides; they’re policy-driven victims of the state. We want policies which let the farmers live,” he added. Parliament and civil society groups  urged for setting up Parliamentarians Forum on Agrarian Crisis immediately to voice the distress of farmers at the highest possible level’’Tiwari  said
“Vidarbha farmers are in urgent need of help because of crop failure and the government should provide relief without delay. Now there is no question of raising MSP at this stage as small and needy farmers have already sold 50% of produce. So a cash subsidy of Rs 20,000 per hectare for cotton and Rs15, 000 for soya be paid to farmers to compensate for 40% loss of crop this year," he said

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Kalawati, KBC fame farm widow stages dharna on cotton issue-Hindustan Times


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Pradip Kumar Maitra , Hindustan Times
Nagpur, November 24, 2011
The Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti, a farmers’ pressure group, led by farm widows Kalawati Bandurkar and Aparna Malikar on Thursday blocked the Varanasi-Kanyakumari national highway at Pandharkawda in Yavatmal district in support of better price for raw cotton. Kalawati made it to the headlines after Rahul Gandhi’s visit to her humble home while Aparna Malikar featured on KBC recently.
The vehicular traffic on the highway was paralysed for over two hours. Addressing a farmers’ rally there, Kishore Tiwari, the convenor of the samiti that is at the forefront to demand for a better deal for cotton growers, said that a delegation of farm widows would be reaching New Delhi soon and would camp there for two days and try to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi in order to communicate to her the need for providing urgent relief to cotton growers. Hundreds of widows gathered at a protest rally organized by the Samiti today.
Tiwari said, “‘Maharashtra chief minister on Wednesday said the election code of conduct stopped him from announcing a bailout package for cotton farmers. But farmers and victims of the suicide crisis in the region are not convinced by his argument and see it as dithering to take a favourable decision. They see it as no more than a lame excuse," said Tiwari. Chavan had said that the government would do the needful but only next month when the legislature’s winter session would be held in Nagpur.
“Vidarbha farmers are in urgent need of help because of crop failure and the government should provide relief without delay. Now there is no question of raising MSP at this stage as small and needy farmers have already sold 50% of produce. So a cash subsidy of Rs 20,000 per hectare for cotton and Rs15, 000 for soya be paid to farmers to compensate for 40% loss of crop this year," he said. Kalawati and Malikar also addressed the gathering.
Former MPCC chief Ranjit Deshmukh on Thursday met Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi. He impressed upon her the need for urgent relief to cotton, soyabean and paddy growers of Vidarbha.
Deshmukh said, "I briefed her about the precarious situation of the farmers in the region who are facing bleak prospects of a poor crop because of adverse weather conditions, rising production costs and non-remunerative support prices fixed the for cotton and other crops. She heard me for 15 minutes and assured to look into the matter.”
The senior Congress leader said he found the reason of code of conduct proffered by the chief minister as ridiculous. "I urged Soniaji to intervene in the matter and help take an early decision to announce a relief package for farmers," said Deshmukh. He also warned her that the party would fare badly in the coming civic council elections if timely help was not extended to farmers in Vidarbha.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar made it clear that finance would not be a problem while taking a decision on giving relief to cotton, paddy and soyabean growers in the state and particularly in Vidarbha.
Pawar who was here on Friday for an official programme said the state government has almost decided to give per hectare financial aid to the cotton growers in distress. Similarly, the state government very well understood the fact that the minimum support price (MSP) of maximum upto Rs 3,300 per quintal given to the cotton growers is not enough and should be increased.
“But we are not in a position to declare the actual financial aid per hectare due to the election code of conduct, presently in force in view of the municipal council elections in the state,” he said. Centre will be moved for financial assistance, if need be,” he pointed out.
The deputy chief minister also appealed to the agitating leaders and farmers to call off their agitation, saying that the state government very well understood the plight of the farmers. But at this point of time, the state government is helpless in announcing any relief in view of the code of conduct. Once the election code of conduct is lifted, the state would take the decision immediately.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

All eyes on cotton meet called by CM today-TIMES OF INDIA



Printed from

Farm activist and Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti president Kishore Tiwari has already met the chief minister on Sunday and suggested that a subsidy of Rs20,000 per hectare for cotton and Rs15,000 for soya be paid to farmers to compensate for 40% loss of crop this year.
"Crop damage has burdened farmers who have already spent 40% more on inputs this season, including labour costs and fertilizer," said Tiwari. "But I am sceptical about any package. I am told the bureaucrats are asking the CM to announce a paltry relief of Rs1,000 per acre. This will be too little, too late and only fuel the farmer suicide crisis in Vidarbha," warned Tiwari.

NAGPUR: As the clamour for higher support price for cotton reaches a crescendo, chief ministerPrithviraj Chavan has called an all-party meeting on Wednesday to discuss the issue.
He will be clearly under pressure to come out with a relief package, since even ruling party leaders are in favour of hike in MSP. The main argument is that cotton production cost this year was much higher that the minimum support price offered by the government.
"How long can farmers go on with a losing proposition as his occupation," asked BJP state president Sudhir Mungantiwar. Talking to TOI before leaving for the Mumbai meeting, he said, "There is no scope for play of words. The state government has no alternative but to provide succour to farmers dying by the hundreds every month because of economic stress. The state's Krishi Mulya Nirdhar Samiti has given Rs4,200 as cost of production per quintal of cotton, how can the state announced MSP of Rs3,300," he asked.
He said that besides cotton his party would also seek a higher remunerative price for paddy (Rs2,500 a quintal) and soyabean (Rs3,000).
State cotton federation chairman and NCP leader NP Hirani has been vehemently demanding Rs6,000 as MSP. "I will be attending the meeting as a farmer's representative and seek a remunerative price," the leader from cotton belt of Pusad told TOI.
The government has no choice now but to compensate losses suffered by cotton cultivators, he added. "There is no question of raising MSP at this stage, because small and needy farmers have already sold around 20 lakh quintals of produce. They will be the losers now."
"Moreover, if they announce MSP higher than current market price of Rs4,300 to 4,500, it will be suicidal for the government as farmers and traders from neighbouring states will also flood procurement centres here. So, the best way out would be a blanket relief package for all cotton growers at a rate of say Rs6,000 a quintal per acre. Moreover, farmers will also need to be protected from any further collapse in open market rates in the coming days. Traders are known to manipulate the situation to their advantage and government should protect interests of farmers," said Hirani.
Farmers from other states, say in Gujarat or Punjab, are not seeking higher price because cotton yields there are much higher. Though Maharashtra has the highest crop area in the country under cotton its yield is lowest. As compared to Gujarat's high of 20 quintals a hectare, it's as low as 10 in state.
Farm activist and Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti president Kishore Tiwari has already met the chief minister on Sunday and suggested that a subsidy of Rs20,000 per hectare for cotton and Rs15,000 for soya be paid to farmers to compensate for 40% loss of crop this year.
"Crop damage has burdened farmers who have already spent 40% more on inputs this season, including labour costs and fertilizer," said Tiwari. "But I am sceptical about any package. I am told the bureaucrats are asking the CM to announce a paltry relief of Rs1,000 per acre. This will be too little, too late and only fuel the farmer suicide crisis in Vidarbha," warned Tiwari.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

GOVERNMENTS INDESICIVENESS HURTING FARMERS-FREE PRESS JOUNRAL

GOVERNMENTS INDESICIVENESS HURTING FARMERS
  • India
  • Nov 21, 2011
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CHAITANYA MARPAKWAR One man who has been single handedly fighting for the cause of Vidarbhas cotton farmers for nearly two decades is KISHORE TIWARI, leader of the farmers'advocacy group Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti ( VJAS). Widely acknowledged as the man who brought the plight of the Vidarbha farmers into the medias attention and transformed into an international issue, Tiwari is now regarded as the most 'authentic expert'on farmer suicides. Be it the media, experts or even politicians, if its about farmer suicides, Tiwaris opinion is most sought after and his is the final word. Considered an encyclopedia on the issue, Tiwaris outreach and network among the farmers remains unmatched. At a time when cotton farmers are up in arms after the government for setting a Minimum Support Price ( MSP) lower than market rates, Tiwari speaks his mind on the real issues concerning the farmers.
He blames the governments faulty policies for letting the farmers die a silent death and points a finger at an 'indecisive'Chief Minister. Stating that the agitations are plain political drama that won't achieve much, he urges policy makers to look for long term solutions and not just bail- out packages.
Excerpts: Q. Farmer suicides are continuing despite so many packages from the government. And now this issue of the MSP led to agitations. What is the real issue with the cotton farmers of Vidarbha? A. The real issue is the cost of production, which is far higher than what the growers are paid for their cotton. The inputs costs per quintal have gone up considerably but the procurement prices have remained the same. And this time, when the crop has failed, the farmers are left with no option. The already stressed farm community has responded in despair, leading to more suicides. The situation is very grave and it is part of the larger agrarian crisis that the state is facing.
When market prices are volatile, farmers are given protection all over the world, even in America but here in India, they are left to die. Its the government that encouraged farmers to produces cash crops like cotton instead of food crops, now they aren't giving even the basic prices for it. Farmers are not farmers anymore, they have become laborers.
Q. Has the government failed to address the issue of farmer suicides? Has the government blunder in initiating a long term policy to address the issue? A. The government has a very casual approach to the issue and is not serious about the dying farmers.
The situation has become so grave that its almost like an 'agrarian emergency'. The government is acting like a puppet in the hands of vested interests. All this is being done to protect the textile lobby and farmers are being killed mercilessly. The government has no policy to tackle the issue. The continuing suicides are nothing but a consequence of wrong policies of the government. The suicides are a symptom of the larger agrarian crisis facing the nation.
Q. The government has announced several packages but the suicides continue, what should the government do then? A. The government should get a bailout package for immediate relief and then think of a long term solution. Farmers should have social security network that will help them in the long run. A stability fund should be created to protect them against volatile prices, on the lines of a stability fund of petroleum companies have. So when the prices collapse, the farmers will have something to fall back on. Also there is a need for a credit policy regulator, so that farmers get organised loans and are not exploited.
Most importantly the crop pattern needs to change. Farmers need to switch back to food crops from cash crops. But if they are forced to grow cash crops, then they should be compensated in times of a bad crop.
There should be strong social security measure in place. Even in America and China, the government gives cash subsidy to its cotton farmers but its only in India that the government leaves them to die. The government has to have a serious approach.
Announcing packages won't help.
What are the packages achieving? Nothing at all, they are turning farmers into beggars. We have been making repeated demands for a larger social security net, but the government has not paid any heed. The government should raise funds by creating a 'farmers saving service tax'on cloth and use that money for the stability fund.
Q. The opposition parties have also jumped in the fray now and are demanding a raise in the MSP. What do you make of the politicisation of the entire issue? A. Political parties take up the issue when it is convenient for them, just before elections but leave the farmers to die later.
They are just trying to play vote- bank politics and the protests are plain political drama. The farmers will not gain anything.
The government is in debt and doesn't have money to buy cotton at the demanded prices. Even the opposition doesn't know the ground realities and they don't have any long term solution. They have failed to put the government on the mat.
Q. The Chief Minister has approached the Prime Ministers Office ( PMO) and even held a high level meeting on the issue? Do you think he has failed in tacking the issue? A. Instead of taking a quick policy decision, the government is knocking at the doors of the PMO. We demand that Prithviraj Chavan declare an interim relief to resolve the dispute and later take it up with the PMO. Just queuing up at the PMO is not going to solve the problem; the PMO doesn't have time for the farmers of Vidarbha. The way I look at it, the CM is batting for the textile lobby that makes money even as farmers die. The Chief Minister is most indecisive on the issue and that has added to the mess.
The government has failed to tackle the issue is leaving the farmers to die.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Nine more vidarbha Farmers reported in 72 hours:Rahul,s Kalawati and KBC fame Aparna Malikar vidarbha farm to join stir from 24th November

Nine more vidarbha Farmers reported in 72 hours:Rahul,s Kalawati and KBC fame Aparna Malikar vidarbha farm to join stir from 24th  November
Nov.19,2011

vidarbha agrarian crisis  has further deepen as  Nine more farmer suicides reported in last 72 hours taking the toll 676 in 2011  in leading news papers in vidarbha identified as
1.Gajajan Kate of village Arni in Yavatmal.
2.Haridas Tikar of village salatwada in akola

3.Umesh Bhoyar of village amala in wardha
4.Yamunabai Rathode of village Khairgoan  in Yavatmal
5.Anant Korade of village of Khairi in amamravati
6.Dilip Bobate of village Kavirpeth in chnadrapur 
7.Sharvan Bokhade of Gramwakat in washim
8.Sanjay Kambale of Adegoan in wardha 
9.Tulsiram Madavi of Mangurada in Yavatmal
last 2010 indian Govt. offical informed that more 3300 farmers killed in maharashtra due to debt and distress and this on going spiral has triggered after standing crop of Bt.coton damaged in 50 lakh hector causing more than Rs.10,000 crore huge financial losses all parties are demanding bailout package to cotton farmers Maharashtra forcing them to killthemsekves,Kishore Tiwari Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti VJAS informed today.

"All cotton farmers genocide are due wrong policies of state  which are victims of free trade and promotion of MNCs hence we want cash subsidies to Indian cotton farmers likr US and chaina"Tiwari said

Rahul,s Kalawati and KBC fame Aparna Malikar vidarbha farm to join stir from 24th  November 

vidarbha farmers widows are laso joining cotton stir with all parties and activist   and  Rahul,s Kalawati will join indefinate fast on 24 November as informed by farm activist Nitin kkhadase of fhis village jalka and KBC fame farm widow Aparna malikar will lead stir at pandharkawada on 24th November demanding higher price for cotton and food security for widows ,mohan jadhav VJAS secretary infromed.



Thursday, 17 November 2011

CM's meet on cotton agitation inconclusive-TIMES OF INDIA

Printed from -TIMES OF INDIA
CM's meet on cotton agitation inconclusive
Prafulla Marpakwar, TNN | Nov 18, 2011, 03.40AM IST
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/CMs-meet-on-cotton-agitation-inconclusive/articleshow/10775104.cms
MUMBAI: Even as an agitation launched by cotton-growing farmers took a violent turn in several parts of the Vidarbha region, a high-level meeting convened by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan to resolve the dispute remained inconclusive.
"The CM discussed the situation arising out of the farmer massive agitation launched by the farmers, but no decision was taken. He has now convened a meeting of opposition members next week," a senior bureaucrat told TOI on Thursday.
On Monday, Chavan and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar had assured that they will take up the cause of the agitating farmers with prime minister Manmohan Singh; however, the meeting did not materialize since the PM had to leave on an official foreign tour.
Farmers leader Kishore Tiwari came down heavily on the Congress-NCP government, saying that at a juncture when farmers suicides have crossed the 700 mark in the current year, the government seems to be taking a casual approach in tackling the agrarian crisis. "We are shocked and surprised over the approach of the government.
Instead of taking a quick policy decision, the government was knocking at the doors of the PMO. We demand that Chavan declare an interim relief of Rs 10,000 per hectare to resolve the dispute and later take it up with the PMO," Tiwari said. He added that when an agitation was launched by the sugarcane growers from west Maharashtra, the government quickly swung into action and announced a package. "The CM and deputy CM should show the same urgency for cotton growers too," Tiwari said.
All political parties, barring Congress and NCP, and some NGOs have launched an indefinite agitation to press their demand for a price of Rs 6,000 per quintal of cotton as against the support price of Rs 3,000 per quintal announced by the centre.
Apparently, the state has taken the view that since it was the responsibility of the centre, particularly the cotton corporation of India, to procure cotton bales at support price, it has a little role to play in the entire deal. If the support price is hiked to Rs 4500 to Rs 5000 per quintal, then agitating farmers may be pacified to some extent,'' the bureaucrat said.
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Monday, 14 November 2011

VJAS flays Psychological Aid to stop Vidarbha Farmer’s Suicides


VJAS flays Psychological Aid to stop Vidarbha Farmer’s Suicides
NAGPUR-Monday , November 14, 2011:
Vidarbha Jan Andolan samiti has strongly flayed Maharashtra move to seek Psychological help from one Goa base NGO been hand-picked by Dorabjee Tata Trust to divert economic issues behind vidarbha agrarian crisis forcing cotton farmers to commit suicide due the wrong policies promoted state ,kishor tiwari farm activist of VJAS informed today .it is reported that in a bid to extricate debt-ridden farmers in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, an NGO has been hand-picked by Dorabjee Tata Trust for the ambitious project will work to bail out 3 million cotton framers who are in deep distress analyzing the families of the victim farmers, their body language, psychological behaviour and other aspects to provide solutions reach to these farmers in a scientific manner and address their Psychological issues and render moral support in the three sector including common mental health disorder, alcohol use disorder and child and adolescent emotional problem, The NGO informed and
I QUOTE

NGO comes to aid of Vidarbha farmers

PTI
Panaji: In a bid to extricate debt-ridden farmers in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, an NGO has come forward to bail them out of the agrarian crisis, a senior functionary has said.
The NGO, Sangath, operating from outside of Goa, has been hand-picked by Dorabjee Tata Trust for the ambitious project aiming to mitigate instances of suicides among Vidarbha peasants.
Sangath chairman Vishram Gupte said the pre-launch meeting for the project would be held in Nagpur in Maharashtra on November 30 to discuss about the implementation of the project.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau's statistics about 30,000 farmers have committed suicide in the last one decade. Gupte said lack of irrigation facilities, infertility of land and state government's failure are the reasons for aggravating crisis in the region. The NGO with professionals on board has decided to reach to these farmers in a scientific manner and address their basic issues and render moral support.
The four-year-long project will cover four districts from Vidarbha and eight blocks, Gupte said, adding Sangath is readying to set up its camp office in Nagpur.
Sangath officials said the experts would analyse the families of the victim farmers, their body language, psychological behaviour and other aspects.
"We will develop the intervention in three sectors, including common mental health disorder, alcohol use disorder and child and adolescent emotional problem," an expert associated with the project said.
UNQUOTE
‘This is brain child of Maharashtra Govt. to divert the attention of civil society and nation from basic issues involved in to mass genocide of farmers in India as last decade quarter million farmers mostly dry land farmers cultivating high risk highly price volatile crop like cotton are killing themselves because of free trade and wrong economic policies promoted by Indian Govt. as earlier too when vidarbha farmers issue Govt. called Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living Foundation ,Bhyuji Maharaj of indore and Ammaji from south and spent thousands of crore on physiological treatment economical ill debt ridden farmers but stopped it having got criticism from media and civil society now as once again administration is under severe fire as Maharashtra has reported maximum 3320 farm suicide in 2010 and daily 3 farmers killing in vidarbha they have smartly asked Dorabjee Tata Trust to do exercise which another hoax’ Tiwari added.
As the situation of cotton growers in west Vidarbha has worsened with the wrong policies of the state and particularly ban of cotton export time to time. The Bt cotton seeds promoted by the state have increased the economic pressure on farmers instead of resulting in higher yields of disease free crops. Already a low return and high risk livelihood, these policies that claim to reduce the risk have only increased the cost of farming. As a result, the cotton economy of the region has collapsed, resulting in mass suicide since 2001, he pointed out that when the rate of cotton lint gets a rate of $5.346 per kg in USA (around Rs 8,906 per quintal), the farmers of Vidarbha was getting a meager rate of Rs 4,000 per quintal.
VJAS that has been documenting the farmers' suicide in the region, said that most of the cotton farmers were distressed because of meagre rate of raw cotton in the market this season.

"There is a need for state government's intervention in this regard. The government should provide at least Rs 6,000 per quintal. The Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had promised that he would talk with the union government for better support price for the raw cotton. However, nothing has been done in this regard," Tiwari alleged.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Harvest of grief-THE WEEK





Harvest of grief
- By Niranjan Takle


Sat Nov 12 11:27:38 GMT 2011


Subhash Kharode did the best he could do to convince the authorities of the nature of his death—he wrote his suicide note on a 050 stamp paper. “I am not getting the right price for my crop because of the inconsistent policy of the government. I am depressed and committing suicide. A similar note to the district collector has been kept in my pocket,” said the note by the farmer.
Kharode hanged himself on a tree in his farm at Akot in Akola district of Vidarbha in Maharashtra. But even the stamp paper failed to do the job, as the police, after the inquest, called it an “accidental death”.
“This is a new ploy of the state government and the police department,” said social activist Kishor Tiwari, “to claim cases of suicide have gone down.” Cruelly, in cases where they record the death as suicide, they leave some loopholes and make the family ineligible for the compensation of Rs:1 lakh,” he said.
Farmers die by the dozen in Vidarbha every week. Till September, there had been 654 suicides in the region this year. That is, every 13 hours a farmer commits suicide. “This is the official number. The deaths not recorded as suicides by the police would be another 250-300,” said Prakash Pohare, an activist-journalist in Akola. After Kharode’s suicide, Pohare led a rally to the police station protesting the fudged inquest, but to no avail.
Everybody knows why farmers commit suicide: debt trap due to crop loss or poor crop prices. So why can’t the government fix it? Faulty and skewed policies, in fact, are at the bottom of the farmers’ suicide story.
Sangita Panchalenwar’s husband, Nilesh, killed himself with pesticide on September 10 last year. He had a loan of Rs:40,000 from Central Bank and had suffered heavy losses because of excess rainfall. “It has been a year but I have not received any compensation. I don’t even know what they wrote in the inquest,” Sangita says. She has given her five acres to a farmer neighbour on contract and gets Rs:1,000 a month. She has to work as a contract labourer on other farms to feed her two children, and has no idea how to repay the loan without getting any compensation.
Sangita’s village, Hivara Barsa in Yavatmal district, has 150 houses, and most of them are in the debt trap. The village has seen three suicides in the past nine months and the people fear more will happen. “I have a loan of Rs:9 lakh on my 28-acre farm. This year  the excess rainfall has destroyed my cotton and soybean. We can’t even afford to educate our children,” said Prakash Bolenwar, a farmer. “I think many suicides will happen in the months to come.” Yavatmal, which is considered to have the most fertile land in the region, has seen the most suicides in Vidarbha in the last decade.
“The government is not showing any will to address the real reasons. The promotion of chemical fertilisers and pesticides and modified seeds has really been the reason of this tragic state of agriculture in Vidarbha,” said Pohare. Farmers’ input costs have shot up and the returns seldom match them. “The input or production costs in cotton farming with chemical fertilisers, pesticides and Bt cotton have increased 10 times in the last 10 years but the returns are dropping every year,” said Gopal Shelke, a cotton farmer in Kanheri in Akola. In fact, all the farmers cultivating Bt cotton in his village are in the debt trap. Shelke’s friend Rajendra Sarap committed suicide two years ago.
Though the worst affected by the debt trap and suicides, Vidarbha is the least benefited from the government’s loan waiver. The properties of the joint families in the region are often in the name of all the family members (unlike elsewhere in the state where the family-owned land is divided in the names of individual members and every individual has the status of an independent farmer) making them ineligible for the loan waiver which requires a farmer to hold not more than five acres.
Take the case of Sunita Sarap, whose husband, Rajendra, committed suicide by taking pesticide. He had 12 acres and a loan of Rs:1 lakh. Sunita had to sell seven acres to pay back the loan after his death and to meet the expenses of her daughter’s marriage. Though she has a well for irrigation, her crops suffer from the long hours of load shedding. “We don’t get electricity for 14 hours a day. We get it late in the night when we can’t go to the field because of snakes and wild boars. It is as good as not allowing us to cultivate,” she said. She did not get any loan waiver because her husband had owned more than five acres.
Even for many of the farmers who got the loan waiver, the benefit was restricted to Rs:25,000 and the balance amounts were just rescheduled, said Tiwari. Since 2001, as per official data, six of eleven districts of Vidarbha—Amaravati, Akola, Yavatmal, Buldhana, Washim and Wardha—had more than 8,000 farmer suicides but only 2,497 of them have been “eligible for the compensation of Rs:1 lakh”.
“Every year the percentage of ineligible farmers is increasing because of the wrong and faulty panchanamas done by the police and this happens at the behest of the government,” said Tiwari.
Zaabaji Ramachandra Kale of Ganeshpur in Yavatmal committed suicide on September 6, 2011. “We didn’t get any benefit of the loan waiver,” said his wife, Taanebai. Zaabaji had submitted all the documents to the tehsildar for division of land in his and his sons’ names. “The officer asked for a bribe of Rs:10,000, which we couldn’t pay,” said the wife.
Zaabaji, who had a loan of Rs:1.5 lakh, cultivated 7.5 acres of the 15 acres his family owned. The delayed monsoon this year destroyed his cotton and soybean crops. “We had suffered similar loss last year also. Though the government announced a Rs:1,000 crore relief package, we didn’t get a penny. The agriculture officers didn’t even turn up to see the loss,” said Sachin, Zaabaji’s son.
In June 2005, chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh announced a package of Rs:1,075 crore. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Vidarbha and announced a package of Rs:3,750 crore in July 2006. Of this, Rs:712 crore was for writing off the overdue interests, Rs:1,296 crore for rescheduling of the credit and the rest for irrigation projects. “It was all treatment of symptoms and not the disease. The irrigation projects take years to commence and many more years to complete. The core problems like rising production costs, falling prices, reducing productivity, food security and efficient crop insurance remain to be addressed,” said Pohare. Obviously the measures are not working, as more than 5,000 farmers have committed suicide since 2006.
As it received many complaints, the state government asked the Vasantarao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission to study the implementation of these packages. B.V. Gopal Reddy of the mission visited the sites, held hearings and submitted his findings. He noted large-scale misappropriation. “There were many instances of an MLA’s wife or zilla parishad office bearer taking the cows and buffaloes posing as farmers in distress,” said Tiwari. The government suspended 50 officers and initiated a departmental inquiry against 405.
A forced departure from the traditional way of cultivation is one reason the farmers end up in the debt trap. The cost of production has gone up with the usage of hybrid seeds and chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Green chilli hybrid seeds cost Rs:30,000 a kilo, brinjal seeds Rs:8,000 and tomato seeds Rs:65,000. If the rains are not on time, the farmers have to repeat sowing, at times more than once.
Hybrid seeds are highly susceptible to diseases, and the plants require a profuse use of expensive fertilisers and pesticides. “Traders always indulge in black-marketing and almost everything is sold at double the price,” said Pohare. “The government gives a subsidy of Rs:1.4 lakh crore to fertiliser companies every year. If it really wants to stop farmer suicides and increase productivity, it should stop giving crores of rupees to fertiliser companies and use it to encourage farmers to opt for organic farming.”
Pesticides are widely used by farmers of Vidarbha to kill themselves. “The government should ban pesticides. This is like a poison at hand for farmers,” said Aparna Malikar, whose husband, Sanjay, took pesticide. He had taken a loan of Rs:2 lakh from Pusad Urban Coop Bank for his cotton and soybean cultivation. But excess rainfall destroyed his crop. After her husband’s death, Aparna started tilling her farm to feed her daughters, who are in class two and in kindergarten.
In October, Aparna participated in the Kaun Banega Crorepati television show on Sony and won Rs:6.40 lakh. Moved by her plight, actor Amitabh Bachchan, who hosts the show, gave her another Rs:1.5 lakh. But she was inconsolable. “I lost my husband for the fear of repaying Rs:2 lakh. Today even if I have this money, I can’t get my Sanjay back,” she said.
Activists have some suggestions to end what Tiwari calls “farmers genocide”. Through his Vidarbha Janaandolan Samiti, Tiwari has been working on the agrarian crisis in Vidarbha for long. “The most feasible solution to this problem is to immediately opt for organic farming. It is the most cost-effective way of increasing productivity in terms of number as well as nutrition quality,” he said. He suspects a conspiracy behind the government promoting hybrid seeds and chemical fertilisers which are harming farmers.
Pohare, who has been doing organic farming successfully on his 25-acre farm at Kanheri in Akola, uses cow dung and the waste generated in the field as vermi-compost fertilisers, and natural pesticides like neem seeds. “This keeps the input production cost negligible compared with the hybrid seeds and chemical fertilisers. One acre of organic soybean farming costs only a few hundred rupees for me, while thousands of rupees are needed otherwise,” he said.
Pohare is also doing organic cotton farming successfully. “Indian cotton has always been better than European cotton and these foreign companies promoted Bt cotton to kill our quality and the traditional knowledge of cultivation,” he said. Pohare has been trying to spread awareness about organic farming among farmers in Vidarbha. “This awareness has to reach every farmer and this can’t happen without the government’s support. It has to think of the true welfare of the farmer,” he said.
The agrarian crisis in Vidarbha has been studied by the Vasantarao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research and Dr Narendra Jadhav, former vice-chancellor of Pune University. All these studies have pointed out that only 3 per cent of the total farmers get the benefits of irrigation and the rest still depend on the rain.
The reports say the minimum support price that the dry-land farmers of Vidarbha get is only 55-65 per cent of the production cost. They also criticise the fall in the government’s spending on agriculture—from 20 per cent in 1990 to 6 per cent in 2000—and highlight the need for local water conservation projects rather than big irrigation projects.
About 90 per cent of the farmers in Vidarbha do not have access to institutional loans and go to private moneylenders, who charge 48 per cent to 60 per cent interest. “The home minister talks about acting against private moneylenders, but the state couldn’t make the institutional finance efficient and proactive,” said Tiwari. The state government, he said, was once even fined by the Supreme Court for the chief minister’s office stopping the police from acting against a politically powerful moneylender.
If the government is serious about helping the farmers of Vidarbha, experts say, it should get rid of the administrative negligence and take appropriate measures to plug the gaps in the system. It should proactively and empathetically look at their problems. Until then the number of widows in Vidarbha will keep rising.

पृथ्वीराज यांच्या एक वर्षाच्या कारकीर्दीत विदर्भात १०६५ शेतकर्‍यांच्या आत्महत्या

पृथ्वीराज यांच्या एक वर्षाच्या कारकीर्दीत विदर्भात १०६५ शेतकर्‍यांच्या आत्महत्या

पृथ्वीराज यांच्या एक वर्षाच्या कारकीर्दीत विदर्भात १०६५ शेतकर्‍यांच्या आत्महत्या
नागपूर, दि. ११ (प्रतिनिधी) - महाराष्ट्राचे मुख्यमंत्री पृथ्वीराज चव्हाण आपला १ वर्षाचा कार्यकाळ पूर्ण करण्याचा आनंद सोहळा आज साजरा करीत असतानाच पहिल्याच वर्षात विदर्भात १ हजार ६५ शेतकर्‍यांच्या आत्महत्या झाल्याचे सत्य सरकारी आकडेवारीवरून उघडकीस आले आहे. या आत्महत्या मुख्यमंत्र्यांच्या नाकर्तेपणामुळे घडल्या असून त्यांचा कारभार असाच चालला तर हजारो शेतकर्‍यांचे आत्महत्या येत्या वर्षात होण्याची भीती विदर्भ जन आंदोलन समितीचे नेते किशोर तिवारी यांनी व्यक्त केली आहे.
गेल्या वर्षी कापूस, धान, सोयाबीन उत्पादकांना सरकारने वार्‍यावर सोडल्यामुळे या आत्महत्या झाल्या असून याकरिता मुख्यमंत्री जबाबदार असल्याचा आरोप किशोर तिवारी यांनी केला आहे. गेल्या वर्षी विदर्भात २८ लाख हेक्टरमध्ये कापसाचे विक्रमी उत्पादन झाले. जगात कापसाची नापिकी झाल्यामुळे कापसाला ८ हजार रुपये प्रति क्विटंल भाव मिळाला होता. मात्र केंद्र सरकारने निर्यात बंदी केल्यामुळे विदर्भातील कापूस उत्पादक शेतकर्‍यांना अर्ध्या किमतीत कापूस विकावा लागला. मार्च महिन्यात तर कापसाचा भाव हमी भावापेक्षाही कमी झाल्यानंतर सरकारने पणन महासंघाला कापूस घेण्यास परवानगी दिली नाही. त्यामुळे शेतकर्‍याचे ४ हजार कोटींचे नुकसान झाले. याचा फटका विदर्भातील शेतकर्‍यांना बसला. त्यातूनच शेतकर्‍यांच्या आत्महत्या वाढल्या असा आरोपही त्यांनी केला आहे.
विदर्भाच्या ३० लाख शेतकर्‍यांवर अन्याय करीत असतानाच मुख्यमंत्र्यांनी ज्या १ हजार ६५ शेतकर्‍यांनी आत्महत्या केल्या आहे त्यांनाही मदत मिळणार नाही यासाठी सक्तीचे आदेश जिल्हाधिकार्‍यांना दिल्यामुळे संपूर्ण विदर्भात फक्त ४८ शेतकर्यांना सरकारने आर्थिक मदत दिली आहे असा आरोपही किशोर तिवारी यांनी केला. मुख्यमंत्र्यांच्या मंत्रीमंडळातील मंत्री कापसाला ६ हजार रुपये भाव द्यावा अशी मागणी करत असतानाच मुख्यमंत्र्यांनी कापसाचा हमी भाव वाढविला तर कापसाच्या गिरण्या बंद होतील असा युक्तीवाद केला. यामुळे शेतकरी संतप्त झाले आहेत. ५० गिरणी मालकांची दलाली करणार्‍या व ५० लाख कापूस उत्पादक शेतकर्‍यांच्या अन्नात विष कालविणार्‍या मुख्यमंत्र्यांची हकालपट्टी करण्याची मागणी किशोर तिवारी यांनी पत्रकाद्वारे केली आहे.
यवतमाळ १८८, अमरावती १५६, वाशिम १३२, अकोला १४७, बुलढाणा १४१, वर्धा १०२, नागपूर ५२, चंद्रपूर ४४, गोंदिया ३८, भंडारा ३६, गडचिरोली २८ गेल्या ११ महिने विदर्भात शेतकर्‍यांनी एकूण १०६५ आत्महत्या केल्या आहेत.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Record 1065 vidarbha farmers suicides reported in first year of Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan

Record 1065 vidarbha farmers suicides reported in first year of Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan: Hostile administration is Killing Innocent Farmers
Nagpur -11th November , 2011
When chief minister Prithviraj Chavan is celebrating his first year of holding office more 1065 vidarbha farm widows and her family members are struggling to get food for survival, mass genocide of cotton farmers triggered during last year due to wrong policies of Govt. which imposed restriction cotton export on cotton farmers then allowing seed, fertilizer and pesticide companies to increase their price without giving any consideration to minimum support price to Maharashtra main cash crop cotton forcing debt ridden cotton farmers to commit suicide since e assume office at rate of three farmers a day this is record number of farm suicides for CM who is so called most efficient and worked on PM vidarbha farmers relief package as MOS in PMO but farmers despair and distress trigger due it’s indecision attitude to handle crisis ,Kishor Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti informed in press note today.
‘‘Massive corruption from top to bottom and very hostile and failure of administration is killing innocent cotton farmers ,we have been demanding central Govt.intervention but noby is listing us our plea” tiwari urged. ASS
Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti has urged UPA convener Smt. Sonia Gandhiji to chage Maharashtra worst performing Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan as he is failed to protect cotton farmers of region having has ignored main demands of hike in Minimum Support Price-MSP of cotton, soybean and paddy and failed to resolve the issues of the procurement centers along with serious issue of power cut in rural vidarbha which is more than 18 hours and due to load-shedding, 50% cotton and paddy production of the region has suffered hence it was expected ,president Kishor Tiwari informed today.
“The recent announcement of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan yesterday that hiking the of Minimum Support Price-MSP of cotton will hit textile industry and lead to closing of mills has shocked the five million cotton farmers of Maharashtra as this is against the pending demand of congress and NCP party and It was expected that congress leaders of region will take up this serious issue of agrarian crisis with Maharashtra CM but nobody pushed the main demands and all were busy in welcoming him moreover. As Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has given hostile administration to state and administrative corruption is at peaks there is no coordination of ministers with chief minister resulting complete failure of state coalition Govt. hence we are demanding his removal to save dying cotton farmers of Maharashtra” Tiwari said.
Bt cotton seeds promoted by the state have increased the economic pressure on farmers instead of resulting in higher yields of disease free crops. Already a low return and high risk livelihood, these policies that claim to reduce the risk have only increased the cost of farming. As a result, the cotton economy of the region has collapsed, resulting in mass suicide since 2001, he pointed out that when the rate of cotton lint gets a rate of $5.346 per kg in USA (around Rs 8,906 per quintal), the farmers of Vidarbha was getting a meager rate of Rs 4,000 per quintal.
VJAS that has been documenting the farmers' suicide in the region, said that most of the cotton farmers were distressed because of meagre rate of raw cotton in the market this season.
"There is a need for state government's intervention in this regard. The government should provide at least Rs 6,000 per quintal. The chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had promised that he would talk with the union government for better support price for the raw cotton.However, nothing has been done in this regard,"Tiwari alleged.
Looking at prevailing situation internationally wheren cotton prices are likely to soar to Rs 7,000 a quintal this year too riding on the global scarcity on account of poor crops in the US, China and Pakistan, Indian cotton farmers can hedge these prices only if central Govt. manages to raise the minimum support price to Rs 6,000 level but The government has not responded favorably disappointing cotton farmer hence we urge for urgent intervention to save dying cotton farmers, Tiwari said.
"As the reports from allover the are showing world shortage of cotton production , the Indian farmer gets advantage this time as cotton is now placed under open general license (OGL) for exports. But the OGL status should be continued. Last year, the Centre put unnecessary restrictions on exports denying farmers an opportunity to make it big. In the process they lost a market worth Rs 30,000 crore," said Tiwari. Tiwari continued, "The government did not concede our demand of providing food security to desperate, distressed and marginal farmers even. The government needs to behave sensibly and responsibly to address farmers' woes and prevent the prevailing spate of suicide in the killing fields of Vidarbha." If the cotton growers do not get better price this season, the situation will assume drastic proportions, he cautioned.
VJAS has urged Govt. of India to send team of expert to assess the Bt. Cotton crop damage in maharashtra and west vidarbha in particular where cotton farmers are killing themselves .VJAS has been demanding hike in cotton MSP Rs.6000/- per quintal and relief package to dying cotton farmers of region, Tiwari added.
“At the national level Maharashtra is main state which is cultivating Bt.cotton in around 52 lakh hector which is around 40% of Indian cotton cultivation moreover agrarian economy of Maharashtra is completely based on cotton production and prices hence we demand urgent intervention from Govt.” Tiwari added.
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