Sunday, May 1, 2011

Vidarbha Farmers on ‘Hunger strike’ to lift Cotton Export Ban :DMK Union Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran blamed for Cotton Growers Crisis

Vidarbha Farmers on ‘Hunger strike’ to lift Cotton Export Ban :DMK Union Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran blamed for Cotton Growers Crisis

Pandharkawada – 1st may 2011

Hundreds cotton farmers today joined one day hunger strike organized by vidarbha based Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, (VJAS) demanding the lifting of ban on cotton export and procurement of pluses by state @ Rs.3500/- as announced earlier as cotton and pluses (TUR) prices slashed by 50% in last month due anti-farmer export and import policies of Indian Govt.,Kishor Tiwari, president of Nagpur-based Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, (VJAS), in a Press release informed that leading farm activist Kashinath Milmile,Dr.Ravindra Demapure,Rajendra Chawardol, Suvidhi Surana ,Jagmohan Bojoria,Vijay Kondawar,Mohan Jadhav,Letuji Jughare,Chandrakant Patil, Tukaram Meshram, Mohan Mamiddwar, Moreshwar Watile participated in the hunger strike on 1st May.

‘The present ban on cotton export is to protect the textile lobby of the south which is very close to UPA Ministers and union Textile minister Dayanidhi Maran is responsible vidarbha growers cotton crisis as cotton lobby has paid huge election fund to DMK-Congress alliance that has resulted in recent cotton price slash in domestic market ’ Tiwari alleged while addressing before the protesting farmers and farm activist today.

VJAS has in letter to chief minister has strongly objected the recent announcement of Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma that there is no immediate proposal to allow raise cotton bales exports quota which has shattered the hopes of dying vidarbha getting a good price for their produce remained short-lived for cotton growers. Prices plummeted to below Rs 4,500 a quintal during last fortnight after touching a high of Rs 7,000,has been flayed by vidarbha cotton farmer’s activist group vidarbha Jannadolan Samiti (VJAS) and demand to raise cotton bales export quota 1.5million from existing 55 lakhs ,Kishore Tiwari informed in the protest rally’ .Tiwari added.

The government had put a quantitative cap of 5.5 million bales (170 kg each) on cotton exports for the year ending September this year and earlier promised raise the limit up to 1.50 million bales as India’s is estimated to have harvested 33.9 million bales crop this year (2010-11) as against 24.22 million bales in the previous year as per recent announcement of Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar .

Earlier in the month of February Committee of Secretaries (CoS) in decided to keep the cap on cotton exports at 55 lakh bales and reject Maharashtra state's request to increase it to 75 lakh bales has come as a shock for farm activists and cotton experts in the state now commerce minister has disappointed dying vidarbha farmers were expecting to make good money and wipe out old losses in once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But the exports restriction would mean the domestic prices would come down," lamented Kishore Tiwari.

Slamming the Union government decision, VJAS alleged that the bureaucrats were influenced by strong lobbying by textile mill owners who want cheap raw material to increase their profit margins.

"This decision is shocking. Why put a restriction when there is good demand in global market and benefits of good price can be passed on to cotton farmers who have suffered for over a decade because of unremunerative prices, cotton growers may not get another such chance of high open market prices domestically and globally " asked Tiwari .

"Floods hit crop in China and Pakistan while crop area was cut down in the US, the other major producer. So it's a rare chance that Indian farmer got this time as cotton crop in India was exceptionally good. Moreover, when 83 lakh bales were exported last year, why should the Centre scale it down in a good crop year hence we are demanding the lift all quantitative restriction on cotton export," Tiwari demanded.


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