The day on which International cotton prices hit a record high on the back of higher demand and fear of production decline in some major producing countries and The New York Cotton Market increased by 5 cents to hit a record high of $1.25 per pound while in Asian market the deals matured above Rs 5,500 per quintal, but this is not fate of 3 million cotton farmers of major cotton producing state of India maharashtra internationally known for farmers suicide zone as thousands Farmers from Vidarbha and Marathwada regions gathered to hold Maharashtra's first 'Kapus Parishad' (Cotton Conclave) where they passed unanimous resolution to march towards the official residence of maharashtra Ashok chavan in Nagpur on the first day of ‘Nagpur assembly session’ and will start indefinite fast undo death agitation scheduled to start second week of next month if there demand of higher prices for cotton and relaxation in export policy are not fulfilled , an activist said here Sunday. The resolution of moved by one of the farm widow Arpana Malikar and supported by thousands of wet drought hit dying cotton farmers of vidarbha the region where more than 8000 cotton farmers committed suicides due on going agrarian crisis, informed Kishor Tiwari, president of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), organizer of Maharashtra's first 'Kapus Parishad' (Cotton Conclave) demanding the urgent intervention of the government's intervention in increasing the prices of raw cotton from the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs.3,000 per quintal to Rs.4,500 per quintal.
'Cotton is the biggest cash crop grown in Vidarbha region and some parts of Marathwada and Khandesh. The crop's price virtually decides the fate of three million families in Maharashtra, the biggest cotton producing state, this right time to give policy boost up by increasing minimum support price and giving export incentive so that more than 3 million distressed farmers can grt rid of despair and sad saga of farmers suicides will come to end ' said Kishor Tiwari, president of VJAS while opening the Maharashtra's first 'Kapus Parishad' (Cotton Conclave) .
Tiwari said the central and the state governments have indicated that they would not be in a position to pay over Rs.3,000 a quintal as the minimum procurement price, a rate fixed two years ago this is unfair as input costs have gone up in the last two years and so is the inflation., open market prices are already ruling all time high at over Rs.5,000 a quintal,' he said.
'It has to be essentially understood that if the farmers will not to able to pay back the debt, there will be more farmer suicides,' he added.
The Maharashtra's first 'Kapus Parishad' (Cotton Conclave) presided by veteran farm activist Vijay Jawandhia and high lighted the plights of the cotton farmers and said that 'While there are clear indications that prices may firm up in international market mainly because crops in Pakistan and China have been ruined due to floods, the farmers here could take advantage of the situation and export cotton to the countries like China and Bangladesh, where there is high demand for short staple cotton that we produce,
Demanding that the MSP be hiked to Rs.4,500, he said such a step could improve the state's economy too.
The conference was attended by thousands of farm widows of farmers from Vidarbha and Marathwada regions is first signal to Indian Govt. that farmers unrest will get more fuel if their demands are not addressed in near future ,Tiwari said.