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No healing touch to distressed farmers in Vidarbha


Nagpur: The Centre has failed to give any healing touch in its policy road map budget to the distressed three million dry land farmers which are growing cash crops like cotton and soybean in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, a farmers advocacy group alleged here.

There is no announcement on fulfiling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pre-poll promises on farm loan waiver and giving higher MSP according to a proposed formula of investment plus 50 per cent returns as indicated earlier, Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti said reacting to the Union Budget.

There is no budgetary provision and the plan to address the acute agrarian crisis with focus on credit, cost and crop issues to stop the ongoing farmers suicides, VJAS President Kishore Tiwari said in a statement here today.

This year, the Maharashtra government officially declared that 60 per cent of its villages were facing a “severe drought” of the century affecting almost 90 lakh farmers in state.

About 23,811 of state’s total 39,453 villages fall under this category after complete Kharif crop damage. Also, there is international recession in cotton as global market and demand has dropped and this will effect more than 40 million cotton farmers cultivating cotton in more than 12 million hectare.. mostly dry land farmers, it said.

The Union Budget talked about big mega investment infrastructure and long term credit but failed to address core issues of giving direct relief package to these 40 million cotton farmers who are victims of global open market economy and mismatched demand-supply situation.

NDA has sidelined the rural and agrarian crisis from its priority list when poor are demanding food under universal PDS and farmers are killing themselves due to debt and poor prices of agriculture produce. This will make life of poor and farmers miserable, Tiwari added.

This is unfortunate as the Centre failed to understand the gravity of Vidarbha agrarian crisis when the region has reported¬† 1,160 farmers suicides in Maharashtra in 2014, and 124 in 2015 (till date). It was high time that the Centre looks at agrarian crisis seriously in Vidarbha and announce special plan to address existing despair,” Tiwari said while urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to re-look into Budget 2015 outlay.

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