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Nagpur: Farmers in western Vidarbha will observe `swarajya andolan' on Independence Day (August 15) to protest against the artificial shortage of fertilsers, failure of the financial institutions to disburse crop loans in time and against the pittance said to farmers in the name of crop insurance. The agitation will be held under the aegis of the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti.
"Already we have witnessed an instance of a farmer commiting suicide in a Yavatmal village as he was perturbed afer failing to get fertliser even after running from pillar to post," said Mohan Jadhav of VJAS. He said farmers had to spend hours standing in ques but in Pandharkawda they were told that due to shortae it will be rationed to three bags per farmer.
"This is too small an amount with farmers needing six to eight bags per acre in the second round of application of chemical fertilisers," said Jadhav. He said a premium of Rs 200 on a urea bag costing Rs 270 was being demanded by unscrupulous traders. The traders were hand in glove with the agriculture officials who looked to the other way while the blackmarteking of urea and other chemical fertlisers was on, he alleged.
VJAS president Kishore Tiwaqri said it was matter of grave concern that fertliser demand had jumped to double of last years's 4000 metric tonnes in Yavatmal district. The farmers have a tendency to use more than required quantity of chemical fertliser in the hope of a better crop. But often extra foliage and faster vegetative growth invited insects and pests causing crop damage, he noted. "Farmers are quesing up to get more fertlisers but supplies are less in some districts. On the other hand its easily available at places like Dhamangaon and Pulgaon in Wardha district and farmers from here are rushign there to buy it," said Tiwari. Unloading of fertilsers from railway rakes is done at Dhamangaon and traders there are getting more supply, he pointed out.
Citing cases of crop insurance claims of last year's soyabean losses, Jadhav said some farmers who lost crop in acres of land were paid as low as Rs 20 as claim, far less than the premium they paid. Similarly, Tiwari alleged that despite the collector's instructions to disburse crop loans of Rs 960 crore in Yavatmal district, less than half the target was acheived by banks. Farmers had tough time raising resources for the the kharif season.=============================================