Krishi Desh

For Bharat and Bharati

Posts Tagged ‘Farmer suicide reasons’

Rahul Baba, IPL3, MNIK-Movie and Massacre of farmers begin

Posted by संदीप नारायण शेळके on February 10, 2010


Ref-vidarbha agrarian crisis-2010 PRESS-NOTE Dated-09th feb.2010
– Six vidarbha Farmer Suicides reported in last two days due to Drought :VJAS urged Indian Agri. Minister Sharad Pawar to look at dying (read killing of) vidarbha farmers in place of IPL-3 Cricket .

Vidarbha farmers suicide spiral is likely to restart after the MH State Govt. declared drought in 14,059 villages in vidarbha due to complete crop failure that has increased despondency and gloom as six more farm suicides reported in last two days in west vidarbha ,three are from yavatmal district ,two from akola and one from wardha ,these are district which are covered under mega multi thousand crore Prime Minister Relief Package being implemented sine july-2006, informed Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti in press note .

The innocent farmers who killed themselves in last two days are due to vidarbha agrarian crisis

1. Chandu rathode of mohdari in Yavatmal
2. Gajanan manchelwar of pandharkawada in Yavatmal
3. Gajanan wankhede of Asara in Yavatmal
4. Vinod kale from Nindipeth in Akola
5. Manoj more of unkhed in Akola
6. Raju bobde of sawli wagh in Wardha

Recetaly maharashtra Govt. has declared more than 140000 villages of vidarbha as drought hit after last Anewari (crop yield estimate) given administration has been shown around 45% that’s complete loss cotton crop in the region.
As per administration reports these villages have been facing following problems
1. Water,
2. Fodder,
3. Food and
4. Employment

Even after these problems till date not a single district administration has started relief work. This is resulting in migration of thousands of farmers in search of work and food.
Ground condition is worst than June-2006 and now it’s time for Indian prime minister to revisit the Vidarbha in order to take review of his relief package,Tiwari urged.

VJAS urged Indian Agri. Minister Sharad Pawar to look at dying vidarbha farmers in place of IPL-3 Cricket.

Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti in letter to faxed today to agriculture minister sharad to pay attention to the severe agrarian crisis of maharashtra and spare some time from his busy schedule of IPL-3 cricket.

It has long pending demand of vidarbha dying farmers to have fulltime Agriculture Minister who can attend issues of free health care, food security, rural employment, fodder to save dying cattle ,drinking water to rural masses and cattle on priority basis so that prevailing acute distress can be minimize and farmers suicides can be controlled,Tiwari said.

I urge to BJP, Shivsena and MNS leaders please set up a fight against government policies in order to bring in the changes needed to resolve to farmer crisis. This issue is far more important, morally correct and importantly politically correct. Also it is far better than fighting against MNIK-My Name Is Khan (carry on that too with your wish but consider this one too).
Dear Congress leaders please pay attention to this matter as well. Will earn you more votes and respect in “aam aadami” (if aam aadami’s definition includes farmers too). No one would threaten/hurt Rahul Gandhi for sure if he takes some steps to solve this problem.
…..

When will all this stop? Can we do something?
Can we propose solution to this matter with some rigorous discussions? I think we can. Then lets offer some solution.


Here is what I think:
1. Survey the water resources, soil quality in these areas.
2. Solve the problem of food and drinking water on priority.
3. Stop BT Cotton seed and promote traditional seed.
4. Raise the minimum support prise for cotton, soyabin, onion, sugarcane…
5. Offer insurance at minimum premium to farmers with every loan
6. Make arrangements local Krishi Market at each taluka level.
7. Eliminate the dalals or bring in transparency.
8. Set up separate department for organic fertilizers development

जय भारत!

Posted in Agriculture of Bharat, Farmer's Suicides, Indian Agriculture, Politics fo GM/BT, Politics in Agriculture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

SC worried about Farmer’s Suicides due to Starvation, Poverty & Indebtedness; But GOI isn’t

Posted by संदीप नारायण शेळके on January 22, 2010


Expressing serious concern over the increasing incidents of suicide by farmers due to starvation, poverty and other reasons, the Supreme Court issued directive to Centre to come out with “mirco-level steps to prevent such suicides”. This directive came in on Monday, 18 Jan, 2010.

Take micro-level steps to prevent farmers’ suicides: SC

What a tragedy, court needs to direct, so called socialists and social workers, about the farmers problems…

The Chief Justice told the counsel the problem differed from area to area.  “It needs to be addressed at the local level. Farmers often go to money-lenders as they give money without security. You tell us what the schemes are or packages you have for farmers, whether these schemes reach the farmers, and how far it has reduced indebtedness. You should also collect the latest data,” he said….

Why don’t these politicians, who go to farmers and labors to seek their votes, understand the pain farmers suffer? Or is it that they don’t want to acknowledge? The local representatives are so engraved in selfish and corrupt acts that they turned diff and dumb towards the problems of common man. These are the same selfish, greedy creatures who become angels and god/goddess in election days.

The CJI also asked the petitioner to come out with suggestions so that the court could give some positive directions to the government on the next date of hearing after six weeks….

Why is government elected?  Is this what for people elected government? I suspect the government has re-elected itself (May be EVM scam). Because as I see this government has failed in each aspect.

No security, No law, No food, Farmers & students are committing suicide. Textile mill workers have been fighting for 28 years to get their rights but no success. Vidharbha(farmer suicide epicenter) economic/developmental backlog of 1994 is still not completed (expected to complete by 2012). No developments on food, water crisis.

“All is well, because we don’t care”

Are they, elected representatives, unable to handle the issues? If that is the case then they have no right to stay in power.  Please, pave way to able and efficient leadership..

No channel, newspaper talk about such issues. (Who owns these media houses?)

No expert is needed to answer these questions. It is just that we have week opposition party and sleeping citizens..

जय भारत!

Posted in Agriculture of Bharat | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Farmer Suicides Continues….

Posted by संदीप नारायण शेळके on January 16, 2010


I’m starting a series of posts (One for each month) where these posts will contain the news of suicides by farmers. I will stop publishing these posts once the suicides are stopped completely. Most of the farmer suicides are due to crop failure, debt,  bureaucratic torture, likewise state and center policy victims. I hope to stop such posts at the earliest.
Here is the reporting for Jan 2010:

Bakura: A farmer poisoned to death his wife and children by serving them with poison-laced food before eating the same and committing suicide in Taldangra, Bankura, on Sunday night.

It was debt and poverty which led Debdulal Ghosh, a habitual gambler, to take the extreme step, said police. The other deceased have been identified as Bandana Ghosh (38), Seema (16) and Subhankar (8).

“Ghosh’s body was recovered from a field near his house this afternoon. Primary investigations have revealed that poverty and debt led to the incident,” said Bankura SP Vishal Garg.

….

Hubli: A farmer in Shanwad village of Navalgund taluk in Dharwad district of Karnataka allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself, frustrated as he was unable to repay a loan, police said today.

The farmer, identified as Rachayya Hiremath (48), had taken a loan of Rs two lakh in State Bank of India (SBI), another Rs two lakh from private financers and Rs 6000 from a Cooperative Bank for agricultural operations and to conduct the marriage of his daughter.

But due to crop loss following unseasonal heavy rains, he could not repay the loan

>> Davangere farmer ends life, 19 Jan 2010

DAVANGERE: A farmer on learning that his land pledged with a private financier, had been sold to someone else, committed suicide at Hadadi village, about 18 km from here, on Sunday.

According to the police, Ningappa had pledged 3.7 acres of land with the financier here. He approached the financier saying that he would clear the interest that was due and that he be allowed to cultivate the land. But the financier told Ningappa that the land had been sold. Following this, the farmer consumed poison and died.

>> Farmer commits suicide in Sundargarh, 16 Jan 2010

Rourkela: A debt-ridden farmer committed suicide by consuming pesticide in Orissa’s Sundergarh, taking the toll of such peasants to six in the district.
Khiti Bhushan Kumura (45) of Darlipalli village in Tangarpalli block of the district took the extreme step yesterday, police said.
Kumura, father of three children, ended his life due to loan burden and crop loss, his wife Ambika said.
She told police that her husband had taken a loan of Rs 19,000 from a nationalised bank in 2008 and again Rs 28,000 from a village cooperative and invested in kharif and rabi crops.
But the kharif crops were damaged due to scanty rainfall while the rabi crops were lost due to pest attack, she said, adding Kumura was disturbed for the past one week after receiving a notice from the bank for repayment of loan.

>> One Farmer Reportedly Commits Suicide, 15 Jan 2010

Sundergarh : Another farmer suicide happened in Sundergarh district. A farmer namely Chaitu Kumuda of Sardipalli area of this district has committed suicide by taking pesticide. He were taken to the hospital but the doctor declared him dead. Earlier five farmer alleged suicide in the district. Now the farmer suicide in the district toll is six.

Bidar, 13 Jan 2010.

BIDAR: In the continuing saga of farmers’ suicides, another debt-ridden farmer of Chillargi village in Bidar taluka committed suicide by hanging on Monday night. According to reports, farmer Sanjeev Vishwanath (30) was found hanging from the ceiling of his house by his family members. The farmer is survived by his wife and two children.

A case has been registered at the Janwada Police Station.

>> Farmer suicide (Pesticide Kills another farmer), 5 Jan 2010

CHICKABALLAPUR: A debt-ridden farmer committed suicide by consuming pesticide in Gauribidanur taluk of Chickaballapur district. The police said Sreenivasa (38) of Hirebidanur village consumed pesticide on Saturday night. He was rushed to a hospital in Bangalore but he died there on Sunday. Sreenivasa, who had cultivated marigold, is said to have incurred a debt of around Rs. 2.5 lakh.

>> Admn probing Rourkela suicide, 02 Jan 2010

ROURKELA: An administrative inquiry into suicide of a young loanee farmer Guru Charan Naik is yet to arrive at any conclusion.

Naik, a marginal farmer of village Kirei in Sundargarh Sadar block, consumed poison on Monday afternoon. Investigation revealed on the fateful day, Naik had left his house in the forenoon. On return, he requested a motor-cyclist to drop him at his house and on the way he told the motor-cyclist that he consumed poison. Reports said he availed a cooperative loan of Rs 11,000 in September, 2008, which mounted to Rs 12,198 with interest. Two days before his death Naik had also took a private loan of Rs 14,000 in his wife Aswani’s name on a promise to return Rs 300 a week. Aswini said her husband was under mental strain for poor crop yield this season and crumbling family economy. Besides his wife, Naik was looking after his visually-challenged father, a five-year-old son and two unmarried women relatives by cultivating 2.5 acres of virtually barren land. At times he worked as daily labourer. Attributing the suicide to poor crop yield and loan burden, Sundargarh District Congress president RK Sarangi demanded compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the bereaved family and employment assistance to the widow. Tahasildar Prahlad Pradhan said they are awaiting more information before drawing any conclusion, but admitted Naik suffered crop loss this season. An ex gratia of Rs 5,000 and rice for two months were provided to the family.

I remember we used to chant “अन्नदाता सुखी भवं| (Annadata Sukhi Bhavam, means the food donor/provider be always healthy and happy)” after lunch/dinner along with our grandfather. Nowadays I do not follow that. What a gratitude our grandparents (and ancestors) had for the labor that went before the food ready to eat. It includes farmers, labors, and cook, and now we don’t even bother to know about their condition and even dont recognize their existence.
Land lords and Sahukars (private money lenders)  keep exploiting the class in need and we don’t feel the necessity to raise voice against that because we dont feel the heat directly though we feel indirectly through inflation. This (our ignorance) is a pyre we are preparing (not only for farmers but) for ourselves and future generations because when the current generation’s 40% farmers are not willing to farm the food scarcity is inevitable. And to tell the fate of our future no astrologer is needed. So citizens wake and join the effort to stop atrocities on farmers. Report every exploitation/torture you hear/see, oppose wherever possible, help farmers as long as feasible.
जय भारत!

Posted in Agriculture of Bharat, Farmers face Atrocities, Indian Agriculture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Kill them all. Farmers do not deserve life. (forget good/bad)

Posted by संदीप नारायण शेळके on January 11, 2010


While reading on the internet about farmer suicides I came across P. Sainath’s very thought provocative article; which has enough information to understand the situation which forces Bharatiya farmers towards suicide. I’ve consolidated the statistics and probable reasons of farmer’s suicide (massacre) from this article on Counter Punch and from other resources like NCRB.

*************** The Largest Wave of Suicides in History:  P. SAINATH ********************

The Spate of Suicide in Bharatiya Farmers:

  • Number of farmers who have committed suicide 1997 and 2007  –  is staggering 182,936.
  • Nearly 2/3 suicides have occurred in 5 states (out of 28 states & seven union territories).
  • Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh
  • These states account for just about 1/3 of the country’s population but 2/3 of farmers’ suicides.
  • Farm suicides have also been rising in some other states of the country very rapidly example Odisa.
  • As many as 8 million people quit farming between the two censuses of 1991 and 2001.
  • Also the large-scale survey shows that given a chance almost 40% farmers are willing to quit farming permanently.
  • These suicide data is official and tends to be huge underestimate, suicide data in India is collated by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
  • Women farmers are not normally accepted as farmers. They do the bulk of work in agriculture – but are just “farmers’ wives.” This classification enables governments to exclude countless women farmer suicides. Which will be recorded as suicide deaths – but not as “farmers’ suicides.”
  • The spate of farm suicides accompanies India’s embrace of the brave new world of neo-liberalism.
  • The farmer suicide risen in every five years:
    • 1997 – 2001,   78,737 (or 15,747 a year on average).
    • 2002 – 2006,   87,567 (or 17,513 a year on average).
    • 2001 onwards, one farmer took his or her life every 30 minutes on average.
    • The 2007 figures (detailed below) place that year, too, in the higher trend.

  • What do the farm suicides have in common?
    • Those who have taken their lives were deep in debt.
    • Peasant households in debt doubled in the first decade of the neoliberal “economic reforms,” from 26 per cent of farm households to 48.6 per cent.
    • In Andhra Pradesh 82 per cent of all farm households were in debt by 2001-02.
    • Those who killed themselves were overwhelmingly cash crop farmers – growers of cotton, coffee, sugarcane, groundnut, pepper, vanilla. (Suicides are fewer among food crop farmers – that is, growers of rice, wheat, maize, pulses.)
    • The brave new world philosophy mandated countless millions of Third World farmers forced to move from food crop cultivation to cash crop (the mantra of “export-led growth”).
    • For millions of subsistence farmers in India, this meant:
      • Much higher cultivation costs,
      • Far greater loans,
      • Much higher debt, and
      • Locked into the volatility of global commodity prices.
    • Global commodities sector dominated by a handful of multinational corporations, with vested interest in profit-making only.
    • The extent to which the switch to cash crops impacts on the farmer can be seen in this:
      • Cost Rs. 8,000 ($165 today) roughly to grow an acre of paddy in Kerala.
      • Whereas for vanilla, the cost per acre was (in 2003-04) almost Rs.150,000

  • Seed Cost – an exploitation of the needy by Govt and Corporate?
    • Giant seed companies displaced cheap hybrids and far cheaper and hardier traditional varieties with their own products.
    • A cotton farmer in Monsanto’s net would be paying far more for seed than he or she ever dreamed they would. Local varieties and hybrids were squeezed out with enthusiastic state support. (Why did state support such thing? Who were the scholars consulted before this decision? Aren’t the agricultural experts also accountable along with the agriculture ministry?)
    • In 1991, a kilogram of local seed cost Rs.7 – 9 in today’s worst affected region of Vidarbha, Maharashtra.
    • By 2003, Rs.350 for a bag with 450 grams of hybrid seed. i.e. Rs.780/Kg
    • By 2004, Monsanto’s partners in India marketed a bag of 450 grams of Bt cotton seed for between Rs.1,650 and Rs.1,800 ($33 to $36). This price brought down dramatically overnight due to strong governmental intervention in Andhra Pradesh, where the government changed after the 2004 elections. The price fell to around Rs.900 ($18) – still many times higher than 1991 or even 2003.
  • Inequality among the “Emerging Tiger” nations of the developing world.
    • The predatory commercialization of the countryside devastated all other aspects of life for peasant farmer and landless workers.
    • Health costs, for instance, skyrocketed.
    • Many thousands of youngsters dropped out of both school and college to work on their parents’ farms (including many on scholarships).
    • The average monthly per capita expenditure of the Indian farm household was just Rs.503 (ten dollars) by early this decade. Of that, 60 per cent roughly spent on food and another 18 per cent on fuel, clothing and footwear. (Just imagine a young IT pro spends Rs. 500 for movie on weekend, of course pro earns it, so has right to spend it. But the situation can boom-rang anytime)

  • Farmers are number one food buyers?
    • Millions of small and marginal Indian farmers are net purchasers of food grain.
    • They cannot produce enough to feed their families and have to work on the fields of others and elsewhere to meet the gap.
    • Having to buy some of the grain they need on the market, they are profoundly affected by hikes in food prices, as has happened since 1991, and particularly sharply this year.  (We have seen “Dal – Rs.110/Kg, Sugar Rs.40/KG” which made a decent (Rs. 15k/month) salary earner think twice before buying)
    • Hunger among those who produce food is a very real thing.
    • Additionally, fact is that the “per capita net availability” of food grain has fallen dramatically among Indians since the “reforms” began:  from 510 grams per Indian per day in 1991, to 422 grams by 2005. (That’s not a drop of 88 grams. It’s a fall of 88 multiplied by 365 and then by one billion Indians. That is 3,21,20,000  tons of food grain shortage compared to 1991)
    • As Prof. Utsa Patnaik, India’s top economist on agriculture, has been constantly pointing out, the average poor family has about 100 kg less today than it did just ten years ago
    • The élite eat like it’s going out of style.
    • For many, the shift from food crop to cash crop makes it worse. At the end of the day, you can still eat your paddy. It’s tough, digesting cotton.
    • Even the food crop sector is coming steadily under corporate price-rigging control.
    • Speculation in the futures markets pushed up grain prices across the globe earlier this year. (Why do we need commodities trading at the hands of people who don’t have any idea about it? In the name of free trade we are killing traditional farmers. Our farm produce must have given higher preference, but unfortunately it did not happen and we see the results now 200000+ farmer suicides.)

  • Cash Crunch – All is for Urban Dwellers:
    • The neoliberal model that pushed growth through one kind of consumption also meant re-directing huge amounts of money away from rural credit to fuel the lifestyles of the aspiring elites of the cities (and countryside, too).
    • Thousands of rural bank branches shut down during the 15 years from 1993-2007.
    • Even as incomes of the farmers crashed, so did the price they got for their cash crops, thanks to obscene subsidies to corporate and rich farmers in the West, from the U.S. and EU.
    • Their battle over cotton subsidies alone (worth billions of dollars) destroyed cotton farmers not merely in India but in African nations such as Burkina Faso, Benin, Mali, and Chad.
    • India kept reducing investment in agriculture (standard neoliberal procedure).
    • Life is being made more and more impossible for small farmers.
    • As costs rose, credit dried up. Debt went out of control. Subsidies destroyed their prices. Starving agriculture of investment (worth billions of dollars each year) smashed the countryside.
    • India even cut most of the few, pathetic life supports she had for her farmers.
    • The mess was complete and from the late-’90s, the suicides began to occur at what then seemed a brisk rate.
    • In fact, India’s agrarian crisis can be summed up in five words (call it Ag Crisis 101): the drive toward corporate farming.
    • The route (in five words): predatory commercialization of the countryside. The result: The biggest displacement in our history.

  • Corporate Farming on the horizon:
    • Corporations do not as yet have direct control of Indian farming land and do not carry out day-to-day operations directly.
    • But they have sewn up every other sector, inputs, outlets, marketing, prices.
    • And now are heading for control of water as well (which states in India are busy privatizing in one guise or another).

  • किसानोने  भर  दी इंडिया में  जान, इंडियाने  लेली  किसानो  कि  जान:
    • The largest number of farm suicides is in the state of Maharashtra.
    • Home to the Mumbai Stock Exchange and with its capital Mumbai being home to 21 of India’s 51 dollar billionaires and over a fourth of the country’s 100K dollar millionaires.
    • Mumbai shot to global attention when terrorists massacred 180 people in the city in a grisly strike in November.
    • In the state of which Mumbai is capital, there have been 40,666 farmers’ suicides since 1995, with very little media attention.
    • Mumbai have 21 billionaires and a 25k millionaire just to make sure media does not notice the massacre (by neo-liberal policies and development) of 40,666 farmers since 1995.

  • Farmers’ suicides in Maharashtra:
    • It crossed the 4,000-mark in 2007, for the third time in four years, according to the NCRB, that is 25.48% of total national suicides.
    • As many as 4,238 farmers took their lives in the state in 2007, the latest for which data are available, accounting for a fourth of all the 16,632 farmers’ suicides in the country.
    • That national total represents a slight fall from the 17,060 farm suicides of 2006. But the broad trends of the past decade seem unshaken.
    • Farm suicides in the country since 1997 – 2007 are total 182,936.
Year MH Total Bharat Total
1995 1083 -
1996 1981 -
1997 1917 13622
1998 2409 16015
1999 2423 16082
2000 3022 16603
2001 3536 16415
2002 3695 17971
2003 3836 17164
2004 4147 18241
2005 3926 17131
2006 4453 17060
2007 4238 16632
Total 40666 182936

Source: FinalReport_SFM_IGIDR_26Jan06 : report is accepted by Govt of Maharashtra, NCRB data.

  • The five worst affected states:
    • Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh
    • These states account for two-thirds of all farmers’ suicides in India. Together, they saw 11,026 in 2007.
    • Maharashtra alone accounted for over 38 per cent (4,238).
    • Andhra Pradesh saw a decline of 810 suicides against its 2006 total (1,797).
    • Karnataka saw a rise of 415 over the same period (2,135).
    • Madhya Pradesh posted a decline of 112 (1,375).
    • Chattisgarh’s farm suicides mean an increase of 110 over 2006 (1,593).
    • Specific factors in these states nourish the problem.
      • These are zones of highly diversified,
      • Commercialized agriculture where cash crops dominate.
      • Water stress has been a common feature, and gets worse with the use of technologies such as Bt seed that demand huge amounts of water.
      • High external inputs and input costs are also common, as also the use of chemicals and pesticides.

In the end I’ll say this mindless deregulation lit a lot of pyres and dug a lot of graves. So what are we doing? Are we ready to support initiatives to discuss these issues in public and support others who are fighting for farmer’s cause? Aren’t we indebted by the farmers for the food produced by them?

“कृषितोनास्ति दुर्भिक्षं” – Dearth of farming is famine.

Welcome your thoughts and comments….


जय भारत!

Posted in Agriculture of Bharat | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

कृषी एक कला, कृषी एक संयम, कृषी एक समर्पण, कृषी एक आधार…

Posted by संदीप नारायण शेळके on January 2, 2010


I think we need to discuss agriculture in its true perspective barring all the commercialization around it for time being. Because, I believe it such a profession in the world which is directly related to every soul on the face of earth.

Here is what I think:

“कृषी एक कला, कृषी एक संयम, कृषी एक समर्पण, कृषी एक आधार.”

1. कृषी एक कला [Farming is an Art]:

If we consider all the implications around farming, we can realize that Farming is one of very superior and rich form of art in the living world. Farmers have to consider natural calamities, water availability, need, budget, work capacity, labour management, sales, marketing and many more… It is difficult for any other profession to do all these jobs single-handedly. But now they are failing to do so why? Does this mean its an outdated art now?

2. कृषी एक संयम [Farming is Patience]:

When a farmer sows seeds, for example paddy/onion/wheat, he has to nurture the farm till it yields; that is somewhere around 4 months without any returns. Farmers just invest their resources be it money, time, efforts, heart… and wait till yielding day. But still they did it successfully in past. But now they are failing, why? Have they lost patience?

3. कृषी एक समर्पण [Farming is Devotion]:

At every rubbi/kharip season farmer prepares for another season by forgetting all failures and obstacles in past. Farmer gears up for the new inning with full devotion and dedication. The devotion and dedication are without any limits. Like farmer sales/mortgages everything to fund the crop expenses, sleeps in the field, eats in the field; with the hope that crop will yield good returns and then he/she can recover the investment. And they were successfully achieving the targets. But now they are failing to recover the capital too let aside the profit and their labour charges, why? Aren’t they dedicated and devoted any more?

4. कृषी एक आधार [Farming is a Support]:

In a true sense farming is the main support for living world. Farmers work in fields and produce much-needed food. [What they get in return is a well-known fact. Like free electricity, but only for 4Hrs a day, subsidy on swelled prices of seeds (earlier home-grown seed used to cost only Rs.10-15 per Kg and now the company manufactured costs Rs.2000 per Kg), which farmers never ask, but politicians do]. Think for a while what would happen if farmers start killing themselves like they are doing now(200000+ (0.2million) farmers have committed suicide since 1997). From where we would get the food to serve our daily needs? Earlier there wasn’t any need to think about their support as it was there and it is there now too. But nowadays farmers are loosing support from both community and government, why? have they stopped supporting us?

What will happen ifAlso the large scale survey shows that given a chance almost 40% farmers are willing to quit farming permanently this comes to reality? Read full article here.

“कृषितोनास्ति दुर्भिक्षं” – Dearth of farming is famine.

So I think for our own betterment we need to do some self-check to do the justice and extent our support towards the needy section of the society.

Open for discussion/comments.

जय भारत!

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Living with drought!! Is this a curse of Nature or ignorance by Bharat and Rajya Sarkar

Posted by संदीप नारायण शेळके on December 8, 2009


While browsing through the India Together website I came across this report which says the tragedy of village dwellers, poor, especially farmers. The ignorance by Bharat sarkar is by and largely responsible for the sorrow condition of farmers.

******************* Excerpts from Kannan Kasturi’s Report **********************

**********************************************************************************
29 October 2009
-

Large parts of the country have had poor rainfall this year, and so the word ‘drought’ is on a lot of lips this these days, but in one part of India, it seems more permanent. Bundelkhand – the region of Central India between the Yamuna and the Narmada – has lived with drought for five of the last six years, the sole exception being 2008. The region’s 13 districts figure in all the lists of “most backward” districts compiled by the central government. People here are reportedly the beneficiaries of various schemes for drought mitigation.

I am traveling through this region, accompanying a group that has decided to come here to get first hand accounts of how farmers are coping with the drought. As we travel, I learn the lay of the land, and its history. Bundelkhand includes almost the entire course of the rivers Betwa, Dhasan and Ken. These flow down from the Vindhyas to confluence with the Yamuna and cradle the towns of Jhansi, Chhatarpur and Sagar, the diamond mines of Panna and the fabulous temples of Khajuraho. The region is united by its language – Bundeli – and a largely shared history and culture of over 1000 years but is divided administratively between Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

Our first stop is Mamna village in Hamirpur district of Uttar Pradesh, a settlement of about 10,000 people. We begin talking to a couple of villagers and soon a crowd gathers around us. With no irrigation available to them, the kharif crops are a total loss, say the villagers. They are struggling even for drinking water, sometimes having to transport it from a neighboring village. Harish Kumar has had a job card (guaranteeing him a job under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) for 2 years at least. He was given some work for 1.5 months, and shows an injury sustained while working; however, he has not been paid. The date of registration on his job card has been overwritten twice to make it unclear when the card was issued. There are no work entries in the booklet.

Small farmers in Mamna Village, Hamirpur District, UP holding their 2 year old job cards. There are no work entries in their cards.

Seeing our interest in the job cards, the villagers collect over 10 job cards without any entries in a few minutes. They are all small farmers with a few bighas of land each, and willing to take up any work – but they say none is available. They show the compensation cheques they have got from the state government after the area has been declared drought affected – most are for Rs.250, less than 3 days’ wages, for the loss of their kharif crop.

Some steps away, Durjan Chamar, a cobbler in his late sixties, sits forlornly with his tools outside his house waiting for customers. His daughters have married and left home, and having no sons he and his wife have to continue the struggle for a livelihood. He has thepatta for three bighas of land given by the government, but as there is no water, there are no crops to be had. There are few customers for his skills in this village. He has tried to obtain work under the NREGA, but without success.

Basket weaving seems to be the sole non-farming related source of income in the village. Not just old men, even able bodied young men can be seen weaving daliyas (baskets) from dried stalks. The baskets fetch Rs.10 each and an old man we talk to says he can make only 3 baskets in a day. He receives no old age pension and is too old to take up any other work.

A large number of the small and marginal farmers have left the village in search of work. They travel to the nearby UP towns to work in brick kilns and to distant Delhi to work in the construction industry or in the factories in the NCR as unskilled labor or even driving rickshaws. We are told that a bus full of migrants from Mamna and neighboring villages has fallen into the Yamuna recently.

Durjan Chamar, a cobbler, displays his job card which has no work entries. There is no demand in the village for his skills and no produce from his 3 bigha land.

On a lane leading to the center of the village, a man sits in the front room of his thatched cottage running his sewing machine. He continues to work as we sit across on a charpoy and talk. His name is Jagdish he tells us, but everyone in the village calls him Bhikari Lal, a name used by his mother to shield her only child from evil eyes.

A farmer with 2 acres, he has turned to tailoring and leased his land for a 50 per cent share of the produce. The income from the land hardly counts. He has already spent a number of years in Kandla and is back now to look after his wife and two children after his mother passed away. He could earn Rs 300 per day in Gujarat, while back in the village, he can at best earn half that amount and the payment does not come easily as the villagers do not have ready cash. He is particular about the education of his children and sends them to a private school; the quality of teaching at the government school, he says, cannot be trusted.

……………………
We walk to a basti populated by the poor Raikwar community – people who traditionally work in water related occupations – to get a different picture. Swami Prasad has a job card that was made in January 2006. He has not got even a single day’s work till now. But it is not Swami Prasad alone. Everyone in a group that collects around us have the same story. Job cards are there, but no jobs. Only people close to the Pradhan get work, we hear. No Panchayat Inspector or Block CEO leave alone Collector has ever visited the community, according to these residents. Some of them have been out – to Delhi, Noida and Punjab – to look for jobs and come back after working a while. After Deepawali, some of them will head out again. More than half the people from this village of 10,000 have migrated outside the state seeking work.

A government school just across from where we are standing has a board displayed that declares the menu for the mid day meal each day – the menu includes rice, different dals and green and other vegetables. According to the residents, the children only get rice gruel. The open well in the colony has not been cleaned for ages and has been rendered unfit for use. It would cost just Rs.3000-4000 to clean the well and some people would have got jobs – but this is not a priority of the panchayat. The school has its own well. Residents have to wait for the school to open to lift their water.

Meghraj Singh in front of his hut. He has been denied a BPL card – so he can get no rations except Kerosene.

Adhiyara, a village in Chattarpur District has over 400 families split between the communities of Thakurs, Harijans and Adivasis. There are only 5 bore wells in the village of which 2 are private and one belongs to the school and one has been set up in the Harijan basti. The lone public bore well functions only when there is power. Sometimes, the village has no power for weeks. People are forced to go to neighboring villages for water, walking 2-3 km. In summer, if there is no electricity, women sometimes stand all night in line waiting for water.

At least 100 families have migrated to Delhi, Ludhiana, Punjab and other places, we are told. People with small children migrate with their entire family leaving behind an elderly person to look after their house and cattle. Many small farmers have given their land on lease to others for a fixed sum or a share of the crop. NREGA work is available only for 10-15 people and the Panchayat President distributes it among his friends, the residents allege.

Meghraj Singh has 7 acres of land and is one of three brothers. He is not entitled to a BPL card though he lives in a crude hut. His crop has completely failed. There are two ponds near the village with rain water that is used for watering the cows – but no irrigation is available for the fields. He says farming is unviable and that there are no alternate sources of employment.

The Adivasi hamlet of 20 families is at the far end of the village. Only a few emaciated old men are to be seen around – the younger men have apparently migrated. Their condition is pathetic – no job cards or jobs, no ration cards (BPL or APL), no pension, no compensation for crops lost. There is no government intervention here where the people are most in need. The only forest product available to them is Mahua. The only work is gathering tendu leaves for the forest contractors for which they are paid based on quantity of collection.

Nathu Singh, a farmer with 15 acres land in Adhiyara village, district Chhatarpur has only one plea – “Please tell them to solve our drinking water problem.”

Paglu tells us he owns 2 acres but they are useless to him. There is no work to be had in the village even with the bigger farmers. He has worked in cities but he doesn’t like it there and prefers to remain in his village. At one time, they used to hunt in the nearby forests but the government has taken away their firearm licenses.

On our way out of the village we meet Nathu Singh. He has 15 acres land. Lest we think he is prosperous, he quickly explains that he has a large family – 3 boys and 3 girls. One can see that he is but a shadow of his former proud self. He has only one plea – please, please tell the authorities to solve our drinking water problem.

All the villages we visit present the same story – complete crop failure for the small and marginal farmers who depended on the rains coupled with a lack of local employment opportunities. The much touted employment guarantee scheme of the government is not functional where it is most needed forcing large scale migration on the landless and even on small farmers. At close quarters, the picture of the panchayati raj is unedifying – viewed, as it is, as being all pervasively corrupt. The rains may have failed Bundelkhand but it is the governments of the two States, and at the Centre who have forsaken the people.

जय हिंद!

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Village on Sale!!! Any Buyers?

Posted by संदीप नारायण शेळके on December 7, 2009


This is reproduced from A village in Vidarbha for sale, any buyer please?

Sale!                Sale!                Sale!

“YE GAON bikna hai (This village is for sale).” Is there any buyer please? The name of the village is Dorli; district Wardha, Mumbai. The posters, urging the buyers, are visible all through the village.

The villagers are desperate to leave because they are totally sold out to the mahajans but do not want to commit suicide. They want to live by selling out the whole village and square up the loans and start a fresh lease of life, may be by begging, elsewhere. They are all cotton producers in the Vidarbha region of western India, which is now known to the world as ‘farmers’ suicide zone.

According to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) statistics, tabled in Parliament, the suicide graph has been on the rise in the suicide belt of Vidarbha for the last three years. In 2005-06, 712 farmers committed suicide. In 2006-07, it went up to 1414. In the first quarter of 2007-08, suicide deaths reported counted to 608.

But Vidarbha Jana Andolan Samiti claims that in the last five years, 2384 farmers have committed suicide in six districts of Vidarbha. In every four hours, one farmer is committing suicide just to come out of painful, dishonoured life. Poverty, uncertainty, and hunger have been taking lives of 48 farmers everyday in the new death valley – India.

The reason is very simple and known to the administration in depth. The cotton farmers of Vidarbha used to spend Rs 1700 to 1800 to produce one quintal of cotton and sell the same at a price of Rs 2800 to 2900 per quintal. They were having a profit of minimum of Rs 1000 per quintal. Now they are spending more – Rs 2500 per quintal but selling price has come down to Rs 1600 to 1800 per quintal. They are facing a loss of Rs 700 to 900 per quintal. The reason for this market crash is the import of cotton from USA, which has been providing subsidy of 400 crore dollars to 20,000 cotton producers. The cotton traders are selling foreign cotton to a much lower rate than the Indian counterparts and the Indian farmers are facing a distress sale.

Once honoured as Safed Sona, the cotton of the cotton city Vidarbha now seems to become the death cushion of the victims. The mahajans are continuously pressurising for meeting up their payments with interest. On the other hand, pressure is on from the government that they have to produce quality cotton and get ready for worldwide competition in producing and selling cotton. World Bank’s conditions have made their lives hell. Most unfortunate part of the whole episode is that the central government has been spending Rs 5852 crore on subsidies but is not allotting anything for cotton.

As precautionary measure, the central government has pumped in 5000 crores in the locality but all have gone into futility because the suicide rate has gone up even after the centre had arranged fund for saving the farmer families from massacre. Why? Because 36 per cent farmers of a total count of 41663 in 383 villages in Vidarbha zone were not even informed of the central fund allotted. The districts are Yavatmal, Amravati, Wardha, Akola, Buldhana and Washim. The highly distressed farmers amounting to 17. 82 lakhs were provided with short term measures without any effect because 75 per cent of them were unaware of the poor publicity campaign. Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti claimed that there was immense malpractice and the failure of the relief packages prompted 300 farmers to commit suicide.

The farmers who have crossed the limit of their tolerance of the apathy of the local administration and wrong policies, have already come out with the bare truth. The truth is that the farmers who used to sow local cotton seeds, were hard-pressed to use high-yielding cotton seeds from the multi-national companies like Monsanto and Boleguard. The seeds did not grow as promised. The pressure was created by the administration. The other factor was the lack of irrigated water. Since independence, only 13 per cent of agricultural land in the country has been brought under irrigation. Vidarbha is one of the most unfortunate non-irrigated zones of independent country.

Unfortunately, this India where 48 farmers commit suicide everyday, is giving birth to two billionaires every year. India is amongst the first five countries where crorepatis rule and their total income is at per to 31 per cent of national income. This is because the policies adopted by the centre and the states are prepared in a way, which comes to benefit for those billionaires. In 2004-05, the corporate sector was given a tax relief of Rs 57,852 crores. In the same year, all subsidies were withdrawn from loan-burdened agriculture sector. When demands for subsidies were raised, the administration advised to compete with the international market because we are living in the age of globalisation. It was never considered that the Indian farmers having the age-old technology cannot compete with the farmers of developed countries having modern technology. This is more than a conspiracy to create dependence of 112 crores of Indian population upon the developed countries. This has led the farmers of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Kerala, Karnataka and Haryana. The latest addition is Wayanad in Kerala where coffee growers are at the verge of death and cases of committing suicide have already started. The district is known as ‘Green Paradise’ for its dense forests and foliage. It has rich harvest of spices, pepper, cardamom, coffee and tea. Coffee adds to the economy of the area. But dearth of rain on one hand and lack of effective policies to save the market price on the other, are leading the farmers to accept deaths.

The Union finance minister, P Chidambaram, has announced a waiver of loans for the farmers amounting to Rs 60000 crores. For political reasons, this was a binding upon the UPA government. But the bare truth is that hence the banks will not agree to provide loans to the small and marginal farmers. The rich farmers who have changed their status to corporates, will be able to accumulate crores overnight.

The farmers of Vidarbha will perhaps face the crudest time. The list of murdas at the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti office will continue to be becoming bigger every day. And the media will continue to stress upon the entertainment because that sells high.

Any takers?

जय हिंद!

Posted in Agriculture of Bharat | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

18% Vidarbha farmer suicides in 2009 genuine, says Bharat Sarkar

Posted by संदीप नारायण शेळके on December 6, 2009


18% Vidarbha farmer suicides in 2009 genuine, says govt – Times Of India Pune

TNN 12 September 2009, 05:30am IST

AMRAVATI: The spate of farmer suicides is continuing in Vidarbha region. Hundreds of farmers have ended their lives this year but few have proved to be eligible to be counted as genuine cases, resulting in their kin not getting compensation or other benefits from the government. Activists claimed that the officials are merely following the orders from the chief minister’s office to keep farmer suicide numbers as low as possible. Though the situation has improved after implementation of the packages, the numbers are still worrying. In year 2009, till July 31, around 466 farmers in six suicide prone districts committed suicide. But only 86 – roughly 18.45% – were considered eligible for compensation which government offers to the next of kin. Ninety-six cases are under probe and 284 cases have been rejected by government. From 2001 to July 31 this year, 5,503 farmers committed suicide out of which 2,030 cases were found eligible for benefits of the government while 3,377 were non eligible and 96 are under investigation. Sources from the commissionerate stated that a compensation of Rs 1 lakh is provided to eligible beneficiaries of which Rs 30,000 paid in cash while Rs 70,000 deposited in the account of the farmer. Only those cases in which farmers committed suicide due to in indebtedness, excess follow up by a bank or moneylender for repayments and low yield are considered to be eligible for the compensation. The district collector heads a committee which comprises officials of the departments concerned and NGO representatives to review farmer suicide cases. Talathi of the village does the enquiry of the farmers on various grounds and then eligibility of the beneficiary is decided. Kishor Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, while talking to TOI, claimed that Chief Minister Ashok Chavan himself had told officials not to show more number of beneficiaries on record and officials are following the orders. Tiwari also said that the administration has put forth the flimsy reasons to reject the case. “The administration is insensitive towards the problems of the farmers,” he said. The government issued a GR regarding non-eligible beneficiaries in February this year in which it was stated that the benefits of the Antyodaya Scheme should be extended to the widows of farmers who were not considered eligible for ex-gratia. “Except Yavatmal district, this scheme is not being implemented properly,” said Tiwari.

What do you think? Where are we going?

We have price rise on one side and farmer suicide on other, who is being benefited?

जय हिंद!

Posted in Agriculture of Bharat, Farmer's Suicides, Farmers face Atrocities | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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