Maharashtra DF Govt.'s farmer's Package is Eyewash
VJAS | 15 Dec 2011

Farmers are killing themselves and nobody seems to care. Now that the government has announced a relief package but even it is mere eyewash.

Adani Power Ltd, a subsidiary of Adani Enterprises Ltd and part of India’s leading integrated infrastructure conglomerate the Adani Group, was today conferred with the prestigious National Energy Conservation Award for 2011 by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, a part of the Central Electricity Authority, Ministry of Power.

MAHARASHTRA GOVERNMENT’S much-awaited announcement of giving Rs.2000 crore relief package for 40 lakhs hector crop loss compensation is another eyewash as earlier Vidarbha farmer packages of year 2005 and 2006 has dashed hopes of more than 5 million farmers  who are facing severe economical crisis due to massive crop failure. They are demanding a bailout package and hike in MSP of cotton, soybean and paddy otherwise it will trigger another spiral of farmer suicides, Kishor Tiwari, president of Nagpur-based Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, (VJAS), activist group working for cotton farmer rights said in a press release today.

It was most expected after Chief Minister indicated earlier that bankrupt financial condition of Maharashtra can’t be even given Rs.1000/- per hector to 5 million farmers against the demand of Rs.10,000/- and the cotton farmers of western Vidarbha will get nothing as administration has shown minimum crop failure in this region. Now out of 70 lakh hector area under cultivation of cotton, soya and paddy, who will get what only god knows.

Farmers and all parties including congress and NCP say that MRP hike in cotton, soya and paddy and cash compensation should be in line with sugarcane growers of western Maharashtra but once again government. has made mockery of agrarian crisis and announced such penny relief which is nothing but hoax, Tiwari added.

We are demanding long term solutions to agrarian crisis not any package which are mostly contractor driven and designed to rehabilitation of the ill managed politician runs cooperative banks. Our farmers are working for handful MNCs who are manufacturing Gm seed, fertilizer and pesticides and revival of own agriculture is must which is not being done, Tiwari said.

The Vidarbha agrarian crisis is a result of wrong policies promoted by state and situation of cotton growers in west Vidarbha has worsened when ban of cotton export imposed last year and massive crop failure this year. "There is a need for state government's intervention in this regard. The government should provide at least Rs 6,000 per quintal. The chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had promised that he would talk with the union government for better support price for the raw cotton. However, nothing has been done in this regard," Tiwari alleged.

Tiwari continued, "The government did not concede our demand of providing food security to desperate, distressed and marginal farmers even. The government needs to behave sensibly and responsibly to address farmers' woes and prevent the prevailing spate of suicide in the killing fields of Vidarbha." If the cotton growers do not get better price this season, the situation will assume drastic proportions, he cautioned. VJAS has urged Govt. of India to send a team of expert to assess the Bt. Cotton crop damage in Maharashtra and west vidarbha in particular where cotton farmers are killing themselves .VJAS has been demanding hike in cotton MSP Rs.6000/- per quintal and relief package to dying cotton farmers of region, Tiwari added.