Maharashtra again tops NCRB list in farmers suicides : ongoing cotton farmer’s distress has made ‘ Maharashtra --Graveyard of farmers’
Nagpur-4th July 2014
The farm distress, particularly in cotton growing areas of Maharashtra, continues to haunt the country as Maharashtra as state has topped the list of farm suicides in 2013 with 3,146 farmers ending their lives, exposing Maharashtra Govt. earlier claim that farm suicides rate in 2013 has come down to 50% as untrue and misleading ,The latest report of the National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB) has put the total farmers suicides in Maharashtra to 60,768 since 1995 which is matter of shame for Maharashtra Govt. which is ruling state last 15 years failed to remove distress and despair among farming community forcing them to kill themselves ,this is not homicide ,genocide done by the wrong policies and ill-management of national disaster ,we need central intervention ,urged Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti(VJAS) ,farm activist group doing advocacy cotton farmers and documenting the vidarbha farmers suicides since 1995.
More than 60,000 farmers committed suicide in Maharashtra since 1995, official data show. No other State comes close to that total. This means that of the roughly 3 lakh farmers who killed themselves across the country in that period, almost every fifth one was from Maharashtra these dismal findings reflect complete neglect of vidarbha and marathwada cotton growing region from where maximum farmers suicides are being reported ,the dozens of expert panels reported main reasons of on going distress in cotton farming community are Rain fed farming- Low Yields Unpredicted rainfall & Prolonged draught and crop failure, Increasing cost of inputs & cultivation practices, Dependency only on one crop- Cotton- Monoculture, Poor extension system & awareness about agronomic practices, Lack of farm credit availability & dependency on money lenders, Poor pricing of his produce created imbalance between input/output costs but failed to address the crisis now there is hope for these dying farming community that new NDA Govt. will provide solutions to end saga of farmers suicides in Maharashtra ,Tiwari added.
Vidarbha is only region which has critical and focused data on farm distress after high court ordered in 2006 Maharashtra Government held the largest-ever door-to-door survey of 2 million cotton farmers region on VJAS filed PIL and It found that of the 17 lakh plus families covered, more than a fourth — that is, more than two million people — were “under maximum distress.” And more than three quarters of the rest were “under medium distress.” In short, almost 90% farmers in west vidarbha are in distress due to debt and crop loss or crop failure ,daughters’ marriages, rising health costs but neither UPA nor Maharashtra Govt took correcting steps to address the crisis resulting continuation farmer suicide spiral ,we are repeatedly asking NDA Govt. to relook in to ongoing policies for cotton farmers and address this issue to stop innocent killing of farmers ,Tiwari urged .