Friday, December 24, 2010

Vidarbha cotton farmers to start protest from December 29 -VJAS

Vidarbha cotton farmers to start protest from December 29

Narendra Ch

Fri, Dec 24, 2010 14:44:35 IST

RECENTLY ANNOUNCED Rs 1000-crore farm relief package by Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan for drough-hit farmers excluded all most all 80 percent drought-hit Vidarbha farmers even after local administration confirmed the crop failure as per ‘Panchnama’ or spot verification.
The outdated ‘Anewari System’ has disappointed more than three million debt-trapped cotton and soybean growers in suicide-prone west Vidarbha as announced relief is peanuts as compared to their losses.
In view of new and aggressive farming methods and unusual jump in cultivation cost this year all drought hit cotton farmers will start protest stir from December 29, 2010, demanding the extension of relief package to all drought-hit Vidarbha farmers. Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJAS), the main advocacy organisation of west Vidarbha cotton growers has urged Maharashtra government to arrange special economic relief to compensate cotton farmers losses, Kishor Tiwari of VJAS informed.
”We will start agitation followed by road blocks and indefinite fast as last resort to get the relief for dying farmers of west Vidarbha who are committing suicides, three in a day, since June
2005 taking toll to more than 8000,” Tiwari said.
The excessive and untimely rain in all cotton growing area has not only damaged most of BT cotton crop but increased the cultivation cost to double. Expected yield is likely to reduce to 50 percent resulting in more than Rs 5,000 crore huge financial losses to Maharashtra cotton growers.
“Actual losses are not truly reflected in the recent Government survey and crop damage area is much higher than the figure shown by administration,” Tiwari informed.
These serious issues are being ignored by Maharashtra administration hence we have written to CM so that the corrective action to bail out more than 5 million farmers can be taken VJAS said.

“Though the market prices are above Rs 4000 per quintal much above the minimum support price of the state, still farmers are losing Rs 12,000 per hectare thanks to the exploitation of private traders and non-intervention of Maharashtra cotton federation when international prices are above Rs 500 per quintal,” Tiwari said.
“The cotton crop failure in Maharashtra is a very serious issue but in the recent announcement on Maharashtra agrarian crisis and Rs 1000 crore bail out package have not covered all farmers hence we have approached CM, who is keen to bring Maharashtra agrarian economy on track and want to stop cotton farmers’ suicides. VJAS has promised all constructive help to the Maharashtra CM if he is really serious to address the mass genocide of farming community as cotton farmers economic crisis is policy driven not the nature driven,” Tiwari assured.

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