Sunday, 25 November 2012

Bt failure to hit cotton yield by 40%: Govt-DNA

Bt failure to hit cotton yield by 40%: Govt-DNA

Bt failure to hit cotton yield by 40%: Govt

DNA / Yogesh Pawar / Monday, November 26, 2012 5:48 IST

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For the first time, Maharashtra has officially admitted that cotton yield is likely to reduce by nearly 40%. Bt cotton failure in more than 4 million hectares of land has reduced cotton yieldfrom 3.5 million quintal to 2.2 million quintal.
A report sent by the state agricultural department to the Centre states that the estimate of the net direct economic loss to cotton farmers in the state will be nearly Rs6,000 crore, whereas accumulated losses are likely to cross more than Rs20,000 crore due to a steep rise in cultivation costs.
Farmers and activists in the state’s cotton belt say the rise in the prices of Bt cotton seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and labour since last year has had a huge impact. “The agrarian crisis sweeping through the state due to Bt cotton failure has only widened. Unlike when cotton crop failure was reported only from Vidarbha and Marathawada, reports of such crop failure are now coming in from Khandesh in north Maharashtra, too,” said Kishore Tiwari of farm advocacy group Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti.
National Crime Records Bureau reveals that the number of farmer suicides in Maharashtra are likely to cross 5,000 this year in comparison to the 3,500 last year. The figures last year were, in fact, the highest among all states in India.
This is the third year in a row that Bt cotton failure is being reported in Mahahrashtra. Last year, the state paid Rs2,000 crore to 4 million cotton farmers as compensation. Unlike earlier when dry land farmers were affected, even areas with adequate irrigation are facing a crop loss this year.
Ravindra Shinde, a farmer from Dhamane village in Dhule, had taken a loan like several others, and is now worried about repaying it. “I spent Rs50,000 per hectare this year but Rs30,000 last year. Now with crops failing, I don’t know what to do?” he said.
According to state records, Maharashtra grows Bt cotton in 4.2 million hectares of land. This is the largest among all cotton-producing states. Even thenit has been reporting lowest cotton yield of about 5 quintal per hectare since 2006. The latest official estimate says this is likely to fall to 3 quintal per hectare. “This means a net loss of more than Rs38,000 per hectare!” points out Tiwari, who plans to lead debt-trapped farmers in march to the legislative council on December 11 during the winter session at Nagpur.
“We demand a compensation of Rs20,000 per hectare and fresh crop loans for every farmer for the ensuing kharif season. We also want food security and free health education, along with the implementation ofland development, soil enrichment and watershed development under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act,” he said.
He appealed to the government not to mock the farmers. “We hope the state relief packages actually help farmers this time instead of just benefiting contractors, politicians and multinational agro majors like it has in the past.”


Friday, 23 November 2012

Thousands Cotton Farmers march to Council Hall Nagpur on 11th December for compensation Bt.cotton failure

Thousands Cotton Farmers march to Council Hall Nagpur    on 11th December for compensation Bt.cotton failure

Nagpur -24th November 2012

First time Maharashtra officially admitted that this year cotton yield like to lower down by 40% form 3.5 million quintal to 2.2 million quintal due to Bt.cotton failure in more than 4 million hectors net direct economic loss of Maharashtra cotton farmers to tune of Rs.6000 crore where as accumulated losses   likely to cross more than Rs.20,000 crore due to steep rise in cultivation cost v.i.z. Bt.cotton seed ,fertilizer, pesticide  and labor hence Bt.cotton failure which was reported in part of vidarbha and Marathawada now more reports of cotton crop failure is surfaced from khandesh and north Maharashtra   and this crop failure will add fuel to on going agrarian crisis and Maharashtra farmers suicides number is likely to cross over 5000 this year in comparison to   around 3500 last year which was highest in among all states of India  as per record  of NCRB ,Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti ,activist group working for rights of farmers since 1997 informed in press release today .

“This third year in row Bt.cotton failure is being reported last year Govt. of Maharashtra paid Rs.2000 crore to 4 million cotton farmers as relief compensation and this year too same situation which is forcing cotton farmers kill themselves .last year Bt.cotton failure was restricted to dry land farmers of Maharashtra but this year even progressive farmers who are having irrigation facility has severely effected   with low yield of the Bt.cotton  where as cost of cultivation in Maharashtra averaging out to be  @ Rs.50,000/-  per hector in comparison to Rs.30,000/- per hector of last year .Maharashtra is having Bt.cotton cultivation as per official record in 4.2 million which largest in all states but has been reported lowest cotton yield of around 5 quintal per hector since 2006  now new   official estimates likely to report 3 quintal per hector  which is returning around Rs.12000 per hector resulting in more than Rs.38,000 per hector net loss to debt trapped distressed farmers hence serious consideration and white paper on Maharashtra cotton farmer is must hence we are marching on 11th December to council hall in which thousands of farmers will participate along with hundreds of widows ”  Tiwari added.

‘More than 5 million cotton farmers of Maharashtra demands Rs.20,000/- pr hector compensation for Bt.cotton failure ,fresh crop loan to every farmer for next khariff season and food security and free health and education to distressed debt trapped farmers along with work in each farmer field under MGREGA related land development, soil  enrichment   and watershed development hence this protest and we hope that state will come out relief package directly targeting dying farmers not benefiting contractors and corrupt politicians ’ Tiwari urged .   

Friday, 16 November 2012

Monsanto ruining Vid farmers: US film director-TIMES OF INDIA

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Monsanto ruining Vid farmers: US film director

NAGPUR: Micha Peled, director of the internationally acclaimed documentary on Vidarbha's farmers 'Bitter Seeds', believes that Monsanto is one of the major culprits behind the plight of cotton cultivators of the region.
Peled's one-hour documentary tracks the lives of two Telantakli residents in Pandharkawda taluka of Yavatmal district - farmer Ram Krishna and Manjusha Aherwar, a wannabe journalist, whose farmer father had committed suicide. This documentary has won four awards and has been screened in various film festivals in different countries.
The director said in many countries the viewers of his film told him that their countries faced the same problem due to Monsanto. "In Vietnam, some bureaucrats told me about the damage being done to their country by Monsanto's genetically modified seeds."
Lamenting on government's apathy towards farmers, Peled said, "During the British Raj, Vidarbha was famous for its cotton. At that time there was no Bt cotton. Farmers used their own seeds. Now they buy seeds from private companies. The agents of these companies are the only people who provide advice to farmers. Obviously, the only aim of the agents is to increase the sale of their seeds. Monsanto does not tell them that Bt cotton is successful only in irrigated fields.
"It is government's job to provide seeds as well as advice to the farmers. Since 1991, the government has abrogated this responsibility. Globalization is okay for many sectors but it is disastrous for agriculture. In US, the smallest cotton farm is 1,200 acre whereas in India it is as small as one acre," Peled pointed out.
The film is the third in Peled's globalization trilogy. His other two films are - Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes To The Town, which explores consumers in United States and China Blue, which exposes the exploitation of workers in Chinese factories.
Peled was in Nagpur to attend a 'Meet the Press' programme organized by Nagpur Union of Working Journalists (NUWJ). He then left for Hiwra Bazar, an agrarian crisis-hit village where Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) is screening his film. The documentary will be shown in fourteen villages of the region which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and members of Planning Commission had visited. It will also be shown in Telantakli

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Three more Vidarbha Farmers Suicides reported on the eve of “Diwali”

Three more Vidarbha Farmers Suicides reported on the eve of “Diwali”

Nagpur-11th November 2012

The gloom and despair causing deep distress resulting in the spiral of debt trapped farmers suicides once again started as three more farmers suicides reported in vidarbha on the eve of “Diwali” festival which has started today with “Dhan-Teras”  as main cash crop Bt.cotton in 4.2  million hector coupled with soybean in 1.8 million hector  reported failed due to erratic rain and pest attack third year in row ,recent victim of agrarian crisis are
1.Champat Shendre of village Junapani in Wardha
2.Vasant Rathode of village Kinhala in   Yavatmal
3.Mangesh More  of village Virud  in Chandrapur

Taking toll to 624 in year 2012 as per documentation done by Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti , convener Kishore Tiwari informed a press note.

“This year cultivation cost has almost double due unusual rise in prices of seed, fertilizer, pesticide and labour rate where as market prices of cash crop like cotton and soybean  are being traded much lower than last year price and till date there is no intervention from the Govt. for procurement of these crop @ MSP even ministers announced but there is no set up for the same forcing farmers to offload crop at throw away price resulting in heavy financial losses where as per official report there is massive crop failure in the dry land region of vidarbha particularly rain sensitive crop like Bt.cotton and farmer’s needs another bailout healing touch in the are of credit restoration ,provisioning for  next year cultivation and arrangement of  food and health security to all debt trapped distressed families of vidarbha .MGREGS work has been completely stopped due to massive corruption of political leaders and babus hence farmers should be given direct employment under MGNREGS to work of their own field for water conservation, land surfacing ,soil quality improvement and sustainable crop management and education for socio-economic system restoration of vidarbha  which has created lot social engineering problems  due to on going despair distress hence we demand integrated solution much more complex agrarian crisis which unsolved since 2001  by changing policies and promotion wrong technology at one end and providing alternative solutions at ground level to stop this mass genocide of innocent vidarbha farmers” Tiwari added.  

“The main focus of all political parties and civil society has been shifted from very serious issue of rural India and farmer suicide and agenda of 2014 national election is also getting shifted from the core issue India’s Agrarian crisis which has made rural economy venerable that is only reason even farmers are killing themselves all pillars of Indian democracy are keeping salient which is most unfortunate, we want urgent intervention hence this appeal” Tiwari added.