Indian Agrarian Crisis now moved to

Farmer-the most endangered species

Cong claims drop in farmer suicides in AP

Posted by Ramoo on January 21, 2007

Tejeswi Pratima
Saturday, January 20, 2007 (Ranga Reddy district):

Is there a turnaround in the crisis in the agriculture sector in Andhra Pradesh? The Congress government is patting itself in the back and saying yes.
According to the Congress government, farmer suicides in Andhra Pradesh have come down from 184 in August 2004 to nine last month.
The government claims farmer-friendly initiatives like free power, moratorium on repayment and increase in institutional credit have boosted the farmers’ confidence.
“One of the main reasons for farmer suicides is harassment by moneylenders. But we have clearly instructed all police officers that any such harassment will have to be booked as cruelty,” said N Raghuveera Reddy, Agriculture Minister, Andhra Pradesh.
Farmers unhappy
However, just 30 km from Hyderabad, 50-year-old Mankallaya has a different story to tell.
The farmer says he is trying to grow vegetables this year instead of paddy because power supply is erratic and water scarce. And he has not managed to get a bank loan in the last two years.
“Where are the banks helping? I have been going around offices for the last two years to get my loan sanctioned. This officer is not there, that paper is not there. And they ask us not to take loans from moneylenders. Who will help us in that case?” asked Mankallaya.
While the Congress government claims it’s spending three times the amount that the TDP spent for the agricultural sector, many farmers say the plan is grand only on paper.
This is perhaps the reason why Mankallaya, who voted for the Congress in the last elections because it promised him a better life, does not want to vote for the same party again.

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