Seven vidarbha farmers’ suicides in 48 hours taking toll 671 in 2011
The farm suicide spiral in agrarian crisis hit vidarbha has been restarted with seven more suicides in last 48 hours taking toll to 17 in last five days and 671 in year 2011 , recent victims identified as
1.Maroti Mate of Palasgoan in Wardha
2.Kachruba Meran of Balsamudra in Buldhana
3.Mahadev Pasode of Vadati in Buldhana
Kailas Solanki of Karanjkhed in Yavatmal
5.Kisan Mahurle of Sonbardi in Yavatmal
6.Jevan Raghatate of Rehaki in Wardha
7.Ratan Nagtode of Udapur in Chandrapur
Kishor Tiwari, president of Nagpur-based Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, (VJAS), activist group working for cotton farmer rights informed in a Press release today.
Earlier in last four day VJAS documented 10 more farmers suicides
8.Parshuram Jabhulkar of Pandharkawada(Pisgoan) in Yavatmal
9.Gajanan Sawant of Pangara Pole in Buldhana
10.Anata Bhilange of Nivana in Buldhana
11.Vithoba Munde of Sonasi in Buldhana
12.Gajanan Kavate of Palodi in
13.Devrao Nimbolkar in asola in
14.Sukhadev Pawar of amadi in Yavatmal
15.Ashok Chintelwar of karegoan(bandal) in Yavatmal
16.Ramesh Tekam of Mangarda in Yavatmal
17.Dadarao Nage of Lohgoan in Amaravati
Today VJAS leader visited house of Kisan Mohurale of village Sonbardi in Yavatmal district and consoled his paralytic father and widow who ahs informed the activist that he was under pressure due to mounting debt ,cotton crop failure and increasing health expenses of his family .villagers of Sonbardi complained that most of cotton field standing crop has been damaged and all cotton growers are in deep distress but no one from administration has till visited to asses the crop damage more over local patwari has informed that this block has bumper cotton crop this year ,Manohar kale tols during the discussion .
Situation of cotton growers in west Vidarbha has worsened with the wrong policies of the state and particularly ban of cotton export time to time. The Bt cotton seeds promoted by the state have increased the economic pressure on farmers instead of resulting in higher yields of disease free crops. Already a low return and high risk livelihood, these policies that claim to reduce the risk have only increased the cost of farming. As a result, the cotton economy of the region has collapsed, resulting in mass suicide since 2001, he pointed out that when the rate of cotton lint gets a rate of $5.346 per kg in USA (around Rs 8,906 per quintal), the farmers of Vidarbha was getting a meager rate of Rs 4,000 per quintal.
VJAS that has been documenting the farmers' suicide in the region, said that most of the cotton farmers were distressed because of meagre rate of raw cotton in the market this season.
"There is a need for state government's intervention in this regard. The government should provide at least Rs 6,000 per quintal. The chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had promised that he would talk with the union government for better support price for the raw cotton.However, nothing has been done in this regard,"Tiwari alleged.
The minimum support price for the cotton was announced just Rs 3,300 per quintal when the rate was over Rs 6,000 last year, he pointed out.
Tiwari continued, "The government did not concede our demand of providing food security to desperate, distressed and marginal farmers even. The government needs to behave sensibly and responsibly to address farmers' woes and prevent the prevailing spate of suicide in the killing fields of Vidarbha." If the cotton growers do not get better price this season, the situation will assume drastic proportions, he cautioned.
VJAS has urged Govt. of India to send team of expert to assess the Bt. Cotton crop damage in maharashtra and west vidarbha in particular where cotton farmers are killing themselves .VJAS has been demanding hike in cotton MSP Rs.6000/- per quintal and relief package to dying cotton farmers of region, Tiwari added.