Another ‘Black Diwali’ for five million Maharashtra Cotton Farmers due to Crop Failure and Non-Procurement from The Govt.
NAGPUR: October 21, 2011
In Maharashtra alone cotton is cultivated over 52 lakh hectare and the lion's share of it is in the rain fed region of Vidarbha and Marathwada where Bt.cotton crop has been failed due to long dry spell in September severely effecting the net yield of cotton by 50% resulting another Black Diwali for Bt.cotton growers who are in rip of agrarian crisis and committing suicides since June 2005 .The rain sensitive Bt.cotton seed which has increased almost triple the cultivation cost and drop down the net average cotton production per hector coupled with international market volatility and Indian Govt. export restrictions are the main reasons of prevailing distress and despair in region forcing the cotton farmers to kill themselves which is matter of national shame but complete apathy of Govt. at the center and state are adding fuel to this on going farmers genocide, Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti president Kishor Tiwari informed today.
Since August party leaders who are in power are found busy in demanding MSP for cotton like public auction from Rs 5,000 or Rs 6000 per quintal and it is countered by the opposition leaders with the demand for Rs 7,000 or Rs 8,000 per quintal for the sake of political mileage making joke of the debt ridden farmers suffering as UPA Congress-NCP government has shamelessly hiked the cotton price from Rs 3,000 to Rs 3,300 a quintal in four years overlooking sky rocketing production cost which is allowing private traders to exploit the cotton farmers hence Maharashtra farmers are demanding state procurement at minimum Rs . 6000 per quintal in order to give bailout relief more than 5 million debt trapped cotton farmers of Maharashtra as there are valid reasons when The Maharashtra State Cooperative Cotton Growers Marketing Federation chairman Dr NP Hirani has demanded Rs 6,000 per quintal while MPCC president Manikrao Thakre urged Congress president Sonia Gandhi to ensure Rs 5,000 MSP followed by social justice minister Shivajirao Moghe took two MLAs along with him to New Delhi and they urged the Party President Smt.Sonia Gnadhiji to lift ban on cotton export permanently and hike the MSP to Rs 7,000 per quintal but in ground reality cotton farmers will another Black Diwali andthere are more chances of farm suicides due on going despair and distress, Tiwari added.
Looking at prevailing situation internationally wheren cotton prices are likely to soar to Rs 7,000 a quintal this year too riding on the global scarcity on account of poor crops in the US, China and Pakistan, Indian cotton farmers can hedge these prices only if central Govt. manages to raise the minimum support price to Rs 6,000 level but The government has not responded favorably disappointing cotton farmer hence we urge for urgent intervention to save dying cotton farmers, Tiwari said.
"As the reports from allover the are showing world shortage of cotton production , the Indian farmer gets advantage this time as cotton is now placed under open general license (OGL) for exports. But the OGL status should be continued. Last year, the Centre put unnecessary restrictions on exports denying farmers an opportunity to make it big. In the process they lost a market worth Rs 30,000 crore," said Tiwari.
“At the national level Maharashtra is main state which is cultivating Bt.cotton in around 52 lakh hector which is around 40% of Indian cotton cultivation moreover agrarian economy of Maharashtra is completely based on cotton production and prices hence we demand urgent intervention from Govt.” Tiwari added.