Thursday, January 8, 2009

Vidarbha farmers Dying Facts

1.Cotton procurement centres closed, farmers in dire straits-Times of India

Ramu Bhagwat | TNN
Nagpur: A large number of cotton procurement centres in the state have been closed leaving the farmers saddled with harvested crop waiting to sell the produce. According to the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, the collection centres were closed as the National Agricultural Marketing Federation (Nafed), has exhausted its funds earmarked for purchases this year.
Samiti president Kishore Tiwari told TOI on Wednesday that Pandharkawda and many other centres in Yavatmal were shut for last three weeks. "Farmers are in dire straits as private traders are also not coming forward to purchase because of severe recession in international market leading to big fall in cotton rates," said Tiwari. On Thursday, Samiti will demonstrate before the closed procurement centres in the region.
"At the start of the season, federation had promised to procure every single boll of cotton offered for purchase. It had also fixed 200 lakh quintals as target for collection. But after collecting less than 70 lakh quintal it has given up. Because Nafed, on whose behalf it is purchasing this year, is cash strapped and reports have appeared in media stating that Nafed has exhausted its allocated funds," said Tiwari.
"Obviously, the federation has failed to keep its word and is misleading people saying that procurement has been suspended as no space was available to stock cotton," Tiwari alleged.
He said the state should draw the Centre's attention to the serious problem of Vidarbha's distressed farmers in cotton belt and seek more funds for Nafed so that procurement resumes. VJAS has also alleged that the federation is behind schedule by over a month in paying dues to farmers.
"The farmer who soled cotton 40 days ago to the federation is receiving payment now. This is again a failure on the federation part which had promised to clear dues within a week," added Tiwari.
2.Cotton growers stage road blockade
Yavatmal , Jan 6 The cotton growers of Pusad tehsil staged a road blockade when the Federation&aposs procurement centre denied the entry of cotton laden carts into the Ginning and Pressing factory premises.

The road blockade, which continued for two hours, disrupted the vehicular movements on the route yesterday. The issue was resolved after police intervened and Federtion allowed farmers to park their carts in the factory premises. It may be recalled that a weeks ago, the irate cotton growers have locked the employees and officers of the APMC and staged a dharna in front of the office when the latter refused to distribute the priority token to waiting farmers. NAFED and CCI have started procurement from November 3 last but stopped the process abruptly from December 27 citing the qunatity of cotton as more than the working capacity of men and machinery available at all centres. Priority tokens were distributed to cotton growers with an intension to reduce the last minute rush. However, the cotton growers are found flocking at each centre despite giving prior notice not to bring cotton till further orders or notification. PTI
3. .10 debt-ridden farmers commit suicide in Vidarbha: Vidarbha Jan
Andolan Samiti (VJAS),-
--- UNI

Nagpur, Jan 7 : As many as ten debt-ridden farmers committed suicide
in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra in the first five days of the new
year, activists said today.

According to Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), a voluntary
organisation working among farmers in the region, those who ended
their lives included two each from Yavatmal, Amravati, Wardha and
Nagpur districts, and one each from Chandrapur and Buldhana districts.

The suicides took place immediately after the state government
announced a Rs 6,208 crore loan waiver and loan repayment discount
package for farmers, a VJAS press release said.

Over 5,000 debt-ridden farmers had committed suicide in Vidarbha in
the last three years, it added.

--- UNI

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