Gujarat cotton farmer Suicide Time for PM to address Indian Agrarian crisis on Policy Front
Dated-19 December , 2014
A 21-year-old cotton growing farmer Arvind Koli of Rajkot district in Gujarat who committed suicide by setting himself in a local marketing yard where he had gone to sell on Wednesday is part of one symbolic protest against low minimum support price (MSP) whereas Gujarat is one of the largest cotton producing states in the country. This year also, the state had witnessed robust production but due to lack of international demand, cotton prices have crashed, causing distress among farmers has exposed the toll claim of Gujarat Govt. that Agrarian community in the state are not affected with Indian agrarian crisis in which more than 3 lacs farmers committed suicide since 1997 as per official record of Indian administration mostly dry land farmers involved in cash crops like cotton which are subjected to volatility free global market economy and introduction of modern methods of agronomy and cultivation using high doses of chemicals and fertilizers, is first single and right time for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiative of NDA Govt. policy front as Indian Agrarian crisis is result of neo-globalization and withdrawal of subsidies with opening global market and unregulated MNC’s chemicals and disputed technologies , Kishor Tiwari convener of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJAS) farm activist group working in Vidarbha known as suicide capital of India urged today in an press release .
Tiwari has drawn attention of Indian prime minister of recent act on December 15, the Gujarat government announcing a Rs. 1,100-crore relief package for farmers as giving packages to distressed debt rapped cannot be solution to agrarian crisis which is result of policy shift adopted by the Indian Govt. since 1997 ,the reforms under GATT and allowing free trade and lifting of quantitative restrictions of import and export on agriculture commodities has made life of innocent farmers venerable and resulted in mass genocide .
Since 2006 onward last UPA Govt. has given packages amounting more than Rs.30,000 crore and mega farm loan waiver in 2008 but spiral of cotton farmers suicides in vidarbha has not stopped as all packages where never targeted to the core issues of agrarian crisis which is revolving around input and output cost and market sustainability of agrarian profession, Gujarat was given example to us that cotton farmers in happy due to higher productivity and sustainable agriculture but recent RSS-backed farmers' body, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh’s ongoing protest of higher minimum support price (MSP), reintroduction of direct fertilizer and seed subsidies and granting crop loan waiver has exposed ground reality of Indian agrarian crisis ,Tiwari added.
VJAS recalled promise of PM Modiji of introducing the renowned farm scientist M S Swaminathan's formula for fixation of MSP which provides for cost plus 50 per cent remuneration to the farmers as the basis of fixation of MSP for agricultural crops should be looked into during the process of finalization of Union Budget for 2014-15 that is only way to make agriculture far more sustainable besides ensuring no farmer was compelled to either leave this occupation or commit suicide.
As most of distressed Small and marginal farmers who committing suicide are debt trapped hence complete loan waiver and Fresh interest free short term crop loans whereas other farmers should be given crop loans at 2 per cent, urging for one time debt relief package should be provided for all farmers, Tiwari added.