Sunday, December 23, 2007

'Govt should provide food security to distressed farmers' -PTI via HINDU

'Govt should provide food security to distressed farmers'

Nagpur (PTI): An NGO has asked the Maharashtra government to provide food security to over 40,0000 distressed families to prevent suicides by farmers in Vidarbha region.

Quoting an administrative survey conducted in May 2006, the Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti, which has filed a PIL before the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court, has in a detailed affidavit said 4,34,291 out of 17,64,438 families in six suicide prone districts of Vidarbha region are in extreme distress.

Samiti president Kishor Tiwari told PTI that these distressed families needs food security on par with state government's Antodaya scheme of supply of food grains under the Public Distribution System (PDS) or any other suitable scheme.

The affidavit was in compliance with High Court directive and filed on December 20. The PIL will come up for hearing on Feb 1.

Tiwari said the state authorities had agreed to broaden the original criterion before the High Court bench and also to reconsider all cases of suicides which occurred after January 1, 2001.
The PIL filed on August 4, 2006 has sought short term measures like establishment of nodal office at Yavatmal which is most affected district in Vidarbha region, provision of credit facilities and food security.

As long term measures, Samiti has demanded reasonable support price to farm products, crop insurance scheme, periodical review of implementation and educating farmers on changing weather conditions and crop system.

He said nearly 12 lakhs families were suffering from crop failure problem and added that farmers in the region should switch over from cash crop to food crop and from mono crop to multi crop to overcome the crisis.


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