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
3. Food and
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
Posted in Agriculture of Bharat, Farmer's Suicides, Indian Agriculture, Politics fo GM/BT, Politics in Agriculture | Tagged: Agriculture, akola, Bharat And Agriculture, Bharat Sarkar and Drought, BT Cotton and Suicide, buldhana, Congress and Farmer Suicide, Cricket and Farming, drought, Drought and My Name Is Khan, Drought and Rahul Gandhi, Drought and Sharad Pawar, Drought declared in Maharashtra, famers are no humans, Farmer suicide reasons, farmer suicides, Farmers and Drought, Farmers worth, GOI and farmer suicides, IPL3 and Farmer Suicide, Maharashtra and Drought, Maharashtra State and Farmer Suicide, total farmer suicides in Bharat(India), vardha, Vidarbha, Vidarbha and MNS, Vidarbha and Shiv Sena, wardha, Who kills farmers, yavatmal | 3 Comments »
Posted by संदीप नारायण शेळके on February 2, 2010
I’m going to write a series of posts to discuss farmer suicide reasons to length and breadth. Alongside would try to find some solutions to this problem.
I came across various assumptions, facts and hypocrisy about the causes of farmer suicides. It is really very sad on the part of Bharat Sarkar (GOI) and state governments that they have not yet dug into the roots of the issue. They are busy creating a feel good environment by declaring loan waiver, subsidies and some immediate help. The government will go to the victims house will declare Rs. 100000/200000 or whatever moderate amount enough for a year or two. If that is the case then why not to give such money in advance than later?
Basically we, as responsible citizens, need to question the government and representatives about the suicide reports and reasons of suicide. If a single farmer suicide in NY, USA makes whole country upset and does a primary study with suggestions, then why we, Bharatiya, don’t consider this? Aren’t we aware of that more than 200000 (2 lakh) farmers have committed suicide since 1995?
There were more than 16400 suicides in the year of 2008 amidst all loan waivers and subsidies. And after the bad 2009 the number is supposedly uncontrolled.
(Being a farmer) Here is what I think about the reasons of farmer suicides:
- Consistently failing crops
- Costly and less productive seeds (BT/GM?)
- Water scarcity
- (forced) Chemical fertilizers usage
- Electricity problems
- Large cost of seeding and cultivation
- Panchnama (Inspection) by government officials after natural/man made calamity
- Transport problems
- Storage and Preservation problems.
- Fluctuating rates (at the hands of dalals/agents) of farm produce
- Insufficient food processing facilities
- Politics of agriculture
- GM/BT effect
- Missing guidance and proper planning (???)
- Commercialization (???)
I’ll try to elaborate each and every point with evidences and possible statistics. Will also try to get some testimonials of farmers in following few posts.
Please send me your comments, suggestions and corrections…
Posted in Agricultural Produce, Agriculture of Bharat, Farmer's Suicides, Farmers face Atrocities, Form Factors, Indian Agriculture, Politics fo GM/BT, Politics in Agriculture, Prices, Yield | Tagged: Agriculture, Bharat And Agriculture, Bharat Sarkar and Drought, BT Cotton, drought, farmer suicides, farmers sale home, Farmers worth, GM Seed kills, GOI and farmer suicides, Indian government denies farmer suicides, latest farmer suicides, natural calamities, total farmer suicides in Bharat(India), Who kills farmers | 2 Comments »
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.
Posted in Agriculture of Bharat, Farmers face Atrocities, Indian Agriculture | Tagged: Agriculture, Bharat And Agriculture, famers are no humans, farmer consumes pesticide, farmer hangs himself, Farmer suicide reasons, farmer suicides, Farmers worth, Farming an Art, GOI and farmer suicides, pesticide and farmer death, pesticide kills, Sanskrit and Agriculture, Sanskrit Proverb, suicides cases, Who kills farmers | 3 Comments »
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.
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….
Posted in Agriculture of Bharat | Tagged: Agriculture, Ancient Agriculture in India, Bharat And Agriculture, famers are no humans, farmer suicide and seeds, Farmer suicide reasons, farmer suicides, farmers sale their village, Farmers worth, GM Seed kills, how drought prone region functions, India, latest farmer suicides, Monsanto's Net, Reasons for suicide, Who kills farmers | 11 Comments »