Sunday, 19 May 2013

Rs.5200 crore crop loan target and disbursement is only Rs.512 crore : West Vidarbha Farm Credit Crisis Deepen

Rs.5200 crore crop loan target and disbursement is only Rs.512 crore : West Vidarbha Farm Credit Crisis Deepen , VJAS urged NABARD intervention to save debt trapped 3 million cotton farmers 

Nagpur- May 19, 2013
Co-operative Minister Harshawardhan Patil’s announcement in Legislative Council that “No farmer will be denied the crop loan,” and   Maharashtra government would make every effort to provide crop loans to farmers is likely to be hoax as till all bankers failed to achieve less than  10 %  of target of providing crop loans of Rs 24,700 crore for the year 2012-13 in agrarian crisis hit and farmers suicide hit vidrabha region as per reports  farm suicide prone five district Yavatmal,Akola,Amaravati,Washim and Buldhana of west vidarbha even after regular follow up of divisional commissioner Amaravati  only Rs.512 crore as against target  of Rs.5200 crore is disbursed  that to select farmers cum traders and as start of  kharif season and monsoon arrival getting close ,most of debt trapped farmers as forced to get crop loan from moneylender cum input trader  at interest rate more than 2% per month hence we demand urgent intervention of Nabard to resolve credit crisis ,Kishor Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan samiti (VJAS) ,farmers activist group fighting right of vidarbha farmers informed today.

“situation in east vidrabha is more worst than west vidarbha as main farm debt crisis hit district in Nagpur division where Nagpur and wardha district cooperative banks already bankrupt and under administrator ,state has not given the fresh crop loan amount hence complete crop loan disbursement scenario  in east vidarbha districts v.i.z. Nagpur,Wardha,Bhandara,Chandrapur ,Gadchorili and Gondia  is as worst as west vidrabha as crop loan disbursement is less that 10%  of Nabard Target” Tiwari added.

‘In fact Nabard scale of finance per crop per hector is decided by district committee headed by collector but crop loan even given to farmers same amount money from private moneylender thanks to rise in input cost and farm workers wages hence per hector average cultivation cost is around Rs.45,000/- but bank finance limit is around Rs.28,000/- that clear truth  even after institutional credit is given to distressed cotton farmers’ ‘debt-trap’ is till hanging around resulting in farm suicides in the events of  crop failure or market crash hence complete 100% crop loan and crop failure and market rate protection is need of the hour to stop farmers suicides of west vidarbha but neither  lawmakers not babus is addressing issue’ Tiwari said.

Issue of institutional credit has been very critical due huge investment in cotton crop as till around 1970, Vidarbha farmers cultivated cotton using their own seeds. With the use of hybrid seeds, yields increased significantly but so did need for costly fertiliser and insecticide. Many agriculturists have also blamed royalties for Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) seeds for the spurt in suicides. In 2002, genetically modified BT cotton seeds arrived. They are non-renewable terminator seeds and must be re-purchased every year at costs dictated by the agro-tech majors. In fact in August 2012, technical experts committee appointed by the Supreme Court recommended a 10-year moratorium on all field trials of GM food, as well as the termination of all current trials of transgenic crops.

Govt. at large is ignoring facts that cotton rates and poor yield has added fuel in bank default crisis as the government has never kept its word on the minimum support price (MSP) of cotton. Last year, cotton farmers had to take to the streets after the MSP for cotton was fixed at Rs.3,300/quintal, far below market rates of Rs.4,800," pointed out Tiwari. “Farmers had then demanded MSP of cotton be raised from Rs.3,300 to Rs.6,000/quintal to cover increases in production costs, but this has fallen on deaf years.” According to him, "The government, instead of announcing new schemes and compensation packages which anyway don't reach people could instead simply hike MSP."

The Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices (CACP) declares MSP of agriculture commodities every May. It first makes a recommendation in April, following which states send their recommendations. Based on average country-wide production costs, support prices are announced to ensure prices don't fall lower than that. This year the CACP has recommended an MSP increase of barely Rs 100/quintal of cotton taking it to Rs 4,000. "This hike is not commensurate with constant inflation over the years, the volatility in fuel and power prices, and steep increase in fertiliser costs, among other inputs, not to mention the minimum wages for farm labourers which have just been increased by the government," explained Tiwari who added, "At current levels the current MSP won't recover even a part of the increased production cost."

Maharashtra's own agriculture department admits for instance, that production cost/quintal of cotton is Rs 5,900, up from last year's Rs 5,268. Yet the MSP being offered to farmers is Rs 4,000/quintal. Attempts to get a reaction from Sharad Pawar drew a blank. Maharashtra agriculture minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil admitted that cotton farmers' have brought this to the state government's attention. "I've already raised this issue. This involves the Union government. We have asked them to consider the demands of the farmers."Wonder whether the debt-trapped farmers can wait till then?  Tiwari questioned .

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