Indian Agrarian Crisis now moved to

Farmer-the most endangered species

Vidarbha suicides: A concern for the nation

Posted by Ramoo on April 5, 2008

Narendra Ch

03 April 2008, Thursday

ON GOING Vidarbha agrarian crisis has hit hard third year in row when 1211 distressed farmers committed suicides as per “Farmer suicide dairy” of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), which has released monthly and district wise data of farmers suicides listed by the VJAS, activist group keeping track of farmers suicides since 1999.

In spite of a major new initiative from the Union Government, the National Food Security Mission (NFSM) which aims at increasing the production of rice by 10 million tonnes (MT), of wheat by eight MT, and of pulses by two MT during the 11th Five Year Plan with an envisaged outlay of Rs 4,882.48 crore.

And another major intervention in the agriculture sector is the introduction of the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) envisaging an outlay of Rs 25,000 crore over the 11th Five Year Plan. This scheme, for Additional Central Assistance to the states is designed to boost public investment in a whole range of activities relating to agriculture and allied sectors based on agro-climatic District Agriculture Plans.

Nothing has become operational in the suicide prone six districts of Vidarbha. More over Government has totally failed to provide any protection to million of dying farmers on credit and food security front, resulting more suicides than year 2006, said VJAS president Kishor Tiwari.

The toll claims of Indian Government that Agricultural Extension has been strengthened and Agricultural Technology Management Agencies (ATMAs) have been set up in 544 districts, is not even seen on the paper in Vidarbha region, Tiwari added.

As most of the political parties are doing crocodiles cry over the insult of cotton farmer, but they are not talking about the solution to redress the hardship of Vidarbha farmers. At present most of the farmers who are committing suicides, are the victims of poverty and hunger, resulted after the long accumulation of economic collapse in region due to on going agrarian crisis.

Tiwari said, they are demanding urgent steps to provide food security and health care facilities to these dying farmers rather making arguments over farm suicides being agrarian or non agrarian. “Now time has come to give complete loan waiver and price protection on all agriculture produce from free trade in World Trade organization (WTO) era to Vidarbha’s dying farmers”, he added.

Reacting to the reports of change guards in Maharashtra, VJAS termed it as too late to address the crisis, as this is the time to change policies not the leadership. According to Kishore restoration civil and social administration is need of the hour to stop this Vidarbha farmers mass genocide.

According to VJAS, ‘Farmer suicide dairy’ largest number of 332 farmers committed suicide in Yavatmal district during last year, while it was followed by 210 in Amaravati and 162 in Washim districts. While 112 farmer suicides were recorded during December in Vidarbha, highest numbers of 113 suicides were recorded during March and September months, respectively.

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