Truant monsoon claims three more vidarbha farmers’ suicides in 48 hrs
Nagpur-21st July 2012
The erratic progress of the monsoon and failure second times sowing of rain sensitive Bt.cotton seed has claimed three distressed farmers from Vidarbha commit suicide in the last 48 hours alone and ill fated farmers whose cases reported are identified as
1.Dhyaneshwar Golhar of village ashti in Yavatmal
2.Subhash Todase of village Mira in Yavatmal
3.Ravindra Hule of village Wadegoan in Akola
More than 3 million cotton farmers who are credit starved and delayed rain has already damaged more than 25% kharif yield and rains are delayed further, there could be a sharp increase in the tally of farmers’ suicides in Vidarbha from 438 from January this year, Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti informed in press release today
“An arid Vidarbha has had erratic rains since 2010. This year, too, the second week of June saw very heavy rains in some blocks. This was followed by normal monsoon as forecast by the metrological department. On cue, farmers finished sowing, only to face a complete dry spell for 20 days then we got heavy rain in first week of July forcing dry land cotton farmers second sowing but this time too, They were forced to watch the heat scorch both their freshly resown crop and recent dry spell and when their re-sowing has been lost ,debt trapped and distressed farmers are killing themselves ”Tiwari added.
Tiwari takes umbrage at Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar’s comment who is busy in power sharing and protecting the corrupt NCP Ministers, that the delay in monsoon is not a matter of concern. “Coming on the heels of the National Crime Records Bureau’s announcement that Maharashtra saw the largest number of farmers’ suicides in 2011, this seems not only insensitive, but is also a mockery of the farmers’ distress.”
Official figures show that less than 25% of the over three million cotton farmers are covered by institutional banks and that crop loan disbursement target is less than 40% of Nabard’s (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) credit outlay to the region. “The government knows credit crunch is the real issue and credit-starved, debt-trapped farmers are being pushed to end their lives, but we haven’t seen the government being pro-active in this regard,” alleges Tiwari. “At least now, it should intervene and restructure crop loans.”
“The water in dams and reservoirs is fast depleting. Ground water levels have dropped due to over-exploitation. Those moving away from cotton and soya, which ruin both the ecosystem and their lives, to traditional crops which require less water, like pulses, groundnut, jowar and bajra, should be given incentives,” he urges.