Sunday, April 28, 2013

Two more Yavatmal Cotton Farmer Suicide on the Eve of Prez. Visit to Vidarbha

Two more Yavatmal Cotton Farmer Suicide on the Eve of Prez. Visit to Vidarbha

Nagpur-28th April 2013

Two more debt trapped cotton farmer worst hit Yavatmal district of Maharashtra's west Vidarbha region committed suicide on the eve of Indian President Pranab Mukharji first visit to Vidrabha today, Vidrabha region   which has reported 176 farmer suicides in the first three months of this year given serious signal that agrarian crisis of Vidarbha is home to two-thirds of the state's mineral resources and three-quarters of its forest resources but poverty and malnutrition and endemic is being ignored by state and center  Kishor Tiwari,  president of the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, a farmer advocacy group informed today .

1.Ramkrishnna Pandurang kathale from village Sarangpur in Ner taluka of Yavatmal district consumed pesticide  and he was rushed Govt. Medical College  Yavatmal but died after three hours .Ramkrishnna has 5 acre of dry land and was cultivating Bt.cotton with his wife, two kids and old age father but crop failure for three consecutive years ahs taken his crop loan taken from DCCB Yavatmal  which was  Rs.40 thousand in 2009 raised  to Rs. 1 lakh 20 thousand adding equal amount debt from private seed traders who are involved in money lending too .
2.Prashant Rajubhau Sidhewar is young 25 age progressive cotton farmers from village Chalbardi in Kelapur taluka of Yavatmal district   also consumed pesticide in his own field but died  on the spot without getting any medical help and his dead body is lying in rural hospital Pandharkawda .as per Rajubhau  his father that he is only son cultivating 10 acre land but in recent year debt on land has raised to more Rs.8 lakhs as he has taken agri. Loan from SBI ,Pantanbori coupled existing crop loan  from DCCB Yavatmal  more over he was given to  buy cab which was matter dispute among family members and force recovery of huge debt has killed by son, father informed while awaiting postmortem , Tiwari added.

"Modern Technology coupled market forces controlling the cost has ben major cause  of agrarian crisis of the region, not to mention the apathy of the administration," he added.

Tiwari said that while rising costs of cultivation and falling returns were the core reasons pushing farmers to suicide, there were other factors too.

There is also an ecological crisis as farming practices have tended towards maximising output of a narrow range, leading to monoculture of crops.

"The deep economic crisis has reduced income of farmers, resulted in stagnant yield and increased cultivation cost. And reduced institutional credit adds to the misery," Tiwari said.

"All policy support, be it from the government of from institutes, are skewed towards large farmers, large farms, few cash crops and high external input-based production systems," he said.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), one farmer kills himself every 37 minutes in India.

About 14,000 farmers committed suicide in Maharashtra 2011 alone.

A NCRB report stated that in the 17 years from 1995 to 2011, 270,940 farmers committed suicide in the country.

Of these, nearly 20 percent were only from Maharashtra, where 53,818 suicides were reported.

Political experts and agriculturists point out that the 11 districts of Vidarbha, though rich in minerals, coal, forests and mountains, continue to remain underdeveloped because of the dominance by political leadership from the other parts of the state, especially western Maharashtra.

According to another report by NCRB, in 2006, Maharashtra, with 4,453 farmer suicides, accounted for over a quarter of the all-India total farm suicides of 17,060.

Yet another report from the Bureau said that while the number of farm suicides rose since 2001, the number of farmers has fallen, as thousands, in distress, turn their back to agriculture.

Till around 1970, Vidarbha farmers cultivated cotton using seeds from their own plants. With the start of hybrid seeds, the yields increased significantly but so did the need for costly fertiliser and insecticide.

Agriculturists have also blamed the restrictions and royalties placed on Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) seeds by Monsanto for the spurt in suicides.

In 2002, genetically modified BT cotton seeds arrived.

Like the hybrid variety, they are non-renewable terminator seeds, and must be re-purchased every year. Today they dominate the market.

It has been pointed out by several agriculturists that these new methods caused farmers to suffer losses leading to debt, pushing them to suicide.

In August 2012, technical experts appointed by the Supreme Court recommended a 10-year moratorium on all field trials of GM food, as well as the termination of all current trials of transgenic crops.

"Also, the government has never kept their word on the minimum support price of cotton. Last year, cotton farmers had to take to the streets after Cotton Corp of India fixed the minimum support price for cotton at Rs.3,300, far below the market rate of Rs.4,800 per quintal," Tiwari said.

Farmers had then demanded that the the minimum support price of cotton be raised from Rs.3,300 to Rs.6,000 per quintal to cover increases in production costs.

"It is tragic to note that Maharashtra produces 50 percent of the country's cotton, but its cotton-producing regions are infamous for farmer suicide," Tiwari said.

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