The Vidarbha agrarian crisis is once again getting aggravated due to erratic nature of monsoon, and the on going pest attack and fungal infection is reducing average yield of cotton, Soya and paddy to 50% has re-started spiral of farmer suicides, with five more victims committing suicide in the last 72 hours - taking the toll to 50 in August and 526 in year 2012 - due to mounting debt, fear of crop failure and volatility in market price of cotton, Soya and paddy.
The year-wise data of Vidarbha farmer suicides is given below.
2001 - 52
2004 - 447
2005 - 445
2006 - 1448
2007 - 1246
2008 - 1268
2009 - 916
2010 - 748
2011 - 918
2012 (Till August, 2012)- 526
TOTAL- 8266 suicides.
Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti chief Kishore Tiwari informed today, "The situation of crop and water in Maharashtra is very complex as Maharashtra is having declared drought in 123 Talukas. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan
visited Delhi and petitioned top union ministers, including Sharad Pawar
and P. Chidambaram
for immediate financial assistance to mitigate the impact of the natural calamity. He is now Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
and Planning commission officials to demand a "special package" to alleviate the state's drought crisis but he has not given any thought to the on going Vidarbha agrarian crisis. The crisis, this year, has been worsened due to untimely monsoon, and the quantum of rains, which have damaged more than 2 million hector standing crop of cotton, soya and paddy area in Vidarbha, Marathawada, Kokan and other Khandesh-North Maharashtra. In some areas, rain fall is below 50% in some of the areas."
The Maharashtra state government has sought Rs 2,275 crore in aid for completion of 105 irrigation projects - 35 in Vidharbha, 40 in Marathwada, and 30 in rest of Maharashtra -in drought-prone areas by July 2013.
It also wants Rs 580 crore for construction of cement check dams, which is also not covered under NDRF. A section of the political leadership, however, believes that the demand is an attempt to secure more aid for the controversy-ridden irrigation sector hence there is opposition from majority of Maharashtra farmers but at the same time they welcome central Govt. to consider revision in norms for funding aid to fodder depots and renovation to regional water supply scheme but till core issues of Credit, Crop, Ground Water Crisis and Minimum Support Price for Maharashtra main cash crop like cotton, soya and sugarcane, which are the basic cause of the on-going farmer suicides.