Vidarbha Reports Four more farmers’ suicides in last 72 Hours
NAGPUR –June 4, 2012
The crop failure and delayed relief aid being adjusted in pending crop loan without restructuring crop loan as per NABARD directives, credit and relief aid starved four more vidarbha distressed farmers killed themselves in last 72 hours as per reports available here ,the recent innocent farmers who become the victims of vidarbha agrarian crisis are identified as
1.Ramesh Sahare of village Athali in Bhandara
2.Bharat Barai of village kinahla in Wardha
3.Pundlik Rathode of village Rohana devi in Yavatmal
4.Dhyaneshwar Akhare of village Hiwarkhed in Amarvati
This takes totally of farmers suicides in vidarbha as per documentation done on the basis local media reports and input provide by local activist network has touched 351 mark where as official crime data report recently published by leading marathi daily tally is well above 500 as informed by vidarbha cotton farmer’s advocacy group Vidarbha Jandolan Samiti (VJAS).
“In December 2011 Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan announced Rs.2000 crore as relief aid to dying distressed farmers after complete crop cotton ,paddy and soya crop failed due to dry spell and drought in complete vidarbha and marathwada region which is mostly dry land region but failed to arrange fund till 15th may 2012 but now as amount relief aid is being credited in to drought hit farmers it is being adjusted in it’s earlier crop loan forcibly even after repeated instruction administration not to do such adjustments .when Govt. has officially admitted crop failure and given relief to compensate losses as per NABRAD standing directives all pending short and medium term loan needs reconstructed which has not been done in vidarbha where as in western Maharashtra CM and union agriculture minister too special interest in reconstruction and fresh enhanced crop loan hence we demand the same for dying farmers of vidarbha”
Vidarbha dry land farmers who are subjected for rain sensitive cash crop like cotton and sugarcane needs long term solution after the recent admission of Mr Sharad Pawar, Union agriculture minister, himself a great proponent of Bt.cotton seed and responsible for it’s permission and promotion in 2005 , in Parliament on Dec-ember 19, 2011: “Vidarbha produces about 1.2 quintals [cotton lint] per hectare on an average.” This is less than 20% of what conventional non-Bt farmers used to get in the late 1990s and early 2000. Vidarbha farmers are losing about Rs 2,000 crore per year, leading to increasing suicides by cotton farmers has exposed truth of success story and dream of second green revolution landing mass genocide of innocent cotton farmers of rain fed area of Maharashtra hence most vocal vidarbha cotton farmer’s advocacy group Vidarbha Jandolan Samiti (VJASa) will start door to door campaign urging all dry land farmers to say ‘Goodbuy’ to Bt.cotton cultivation as it is not sustainable and suitable for dry land farmers , Kishor Tiwari of vidarbha advocacy group Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJAS.) informed today.
“Vidarbha is agrarian crisis is directly linked with as all farmer suicide prone district mono crop which is predominantly cultivated is Bt.cotton since 2005 and now it is proven fact that it’s classic example of promoting wrong technology to wrong class agrarian community as rain sensitive crop has proven killer seed in west vidarbha as 95% farmers opted this technology are dry land farmers hence we have decided to the message of union agriculture Mr Sharad Pawar that to save vidarbha cotton farmers’ they should say Good buy to Bt.cotton moreover advisory of ICAR to agriculture ministry after reviewing performance of Bt.cotton through out world Govt. ahs been advised to withdrew but business interest of union agriculture Mr Sharad Pawar delay henc this door to door awareness campaign” Tiwari added.
Activist will urge vidarbha cotton farmers look at the facts that the told claims Bt.cotton cultivation are baseless and misleading . In 2004-5 when only 5% of cotton area in India had Bt, the yield was 470 kg per hectar. In 2011-12, when 90% of Indian cotton farms are growing Bt, the estimates are 480kgs per hectar wjere as in Maharashtra the yiels is measly increase of 4 kg per acre! In Vidarbha, Maharashtra 96% of all cotton is Bt.cotton and the claims that were made to you with expensive Bt cotton seed when it was introduced - that it will reduce pesticide usage, increase yields, reduce cost of cultivation and improve your profits? Ten years later, you know that this did not materialise. Now it is very clear that these are only false hype and failed promises. Government's own research and data show that Bt cotton is unsuitable for unirrigated conditions and shallow soils. In Maharashtra, pesticide use has been steadily increasing despite large scale adoption of Bt cotton and expansion of cotton (from 3198 metric tonnes of technical grade material in 2005-06 to 4639 MT). Further, while the annual average number of farm suicides in the state was 2833 between 1997-2002 (before the entry of Bt cotton), which shot up to 4067, between 2003-08, in the years that Bt cotton expanded rapidly in the state. Meanwhile, nearly 93% of India's cotton seed market is controlled by just one American MNC, today. Crores of rupees have been pocketed by seed companies, even as the pesticides industry is posting good growth, year after year. Original problem was pests. Then, over the years, the problem became pesticides, when they hyped up pesticides as the only solution to your pest problems in cultivation. With Bt cotton, they said that the pesticides problem would be solved. However, today, farmers are dependent on external exploiters for seed, pesticides and fertilisers, with the returns not matching the costs or claims hence it is time we are urging cotton farmers to save ourselves , Tiwari said
“We are appealing dry land farmers who are innocent victims better Bt.cotton seed to look at neighboring Andhra Pradesh, who farmers have adopted NPM practices in nearly 3.5 lakh acres, across different crops. Debts and migration are coming down in villages with NPM. Savings on spending otherwise going to line companies' pockets is running into crores of rupees. Yields are not falling. Net returns of farmers are increasing. Come, even as we fight the government for all its anti-farmer policies, let us also do what we can at our own level. Let us stop the exploiters from looting us. Let us adopt ecological practices like NPM in our agriculture, and benefit to some extent” Tiwari added.