5 more farmers ended their lives in Vidarbha
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Nagpur, January 13, 2007
Five more farmers have given up their lives in Vidarbha region in last 48 hours. This takes the toll of farmers' suicides in the region to 25 this month alone.
Among five farmers, who ended their lives in last 48 hours, two were from Amravati district while one each from Wardha, Nagpur and Bhandara district. They were identified as: Sudhakar Lonare of Nipani, Gajanan Thakre, Pardi (both in Amravati district), Ramesh Madke, Dohangaon (Nagpur), Vasant Salunke of Bhuiwar (Bhandara) and Kiran Sathone of Paunar in the neighbouring Wardha district. Incidentally, Paunar is the place where veteran Gandhian, Acharya Vinoba Bhave launched Bhudan movement.
With this, the toll has touched to 1282 since June 2005. As many as 112 farmers have committed suicide in the region last month while the figure was 107 in November.
Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti, alleged that the grants from Central and State governments proved beneficial only to district co-operative banks and societies, instead of the farmers, which is responsible for deaths. Moreover, the cotton growers are not getting remunerative price despite the fact that cultivation of cotton has become more expensive in the wake of phenomenal hike in agriculture inputs.
He alleged that government sponsored cotton marketing federation is not opening more procuring centers thus farmers were compelled to sell their produces to private traders, who are paying Rs 100 less per quintal of cotton as against support prices declared by the government.
"The cotton growers should get at least Rs 2, 500 per quintal, if the government really wants to bail them out from the crisis," he insisted.
The situation of cotton growers could be gauged from the fact that farmers at Koljhari village in Yavatmal district had vowed not to grow cotton any more in their New Year resolution.
Koljhari village was selected for the high profile visit of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in June-July last year in the region.
However, N Arumugham, the managing director of Maharashtra State Cotton Marketing Federation, denied the charges that procurement centres were not enough to buy raw cotton from the farmers.
The cotton marketing federation has set up over 240 procurement centres all over the state. He alleged that cotton growers were attracted to private traders even in lesser price because traders don't deduct money while federation has been deducting 50 per cent of the selling money for loan adjustment.
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