Friday, August 28, 2009

Maharashtra farm yield down 60%, loss put at Rs 5,000 cr-State Govt. reports to Indian Govt.

Printed from

State's farm yield down 60%,

loss put at Rs 5,000 cr

Rs 973 crore for fodder production
Rs 3,087 crore to combat damage to kharif crop
Rs 851 crore for animal husbandry
Rs 1,200 for the sugar crop
Rs 570 crore for subsidising wheat, rice, tur, sugar and palm oil production
Rs 802 crore for employment-generation
Rs 400 crore for drinking water supply
Rs 886 crore as calamity relief fund
Rs 7,236 crore as revised special package for suicide-prone districts of Vidarbha

MUMBAI: Your spiralling food and grocery bills could go up even further. Maharashtra, reeling under one of the worst droughts ever, is all set to face an acute shortage of agricultural produce till the next monsoon.

The state government this week conveyed, through a memorandum, to the Centre that its agro yields were set to drop by a drastic 40%, thanks to the scanty rainfall till August 25. This means an estimated loss of Rs 4499.90 crore from crop production, which will affect at least 4.9 crore people. The state has now demanded just over Rs 15,000 crore as financial assistance from the Centre, which includes the Rs 7,263-crore Vidarbha package.

The memorandum says that sowing operations were 99% complete, but because of the continuing dry spell since July 23, 2009, the crops are still in the vegetative growth stage. Of the 355 talukas in the state, 221 talukas in 27 districts have received 50% less rainfall. Because of this “the estimated area of crop damage is 96.77 lakh hectares, out of which 44.28 lakh hectares have suffered more than 50% loss, says the memorandum. The total drought-hit area is owned by over 33 lakh small and marginal farmers.

Although paddy transplantation in the Konkan and western Maharashtra is complete, Vidarbha could complete only 58%, thus reducing the area under pulse cultivation by 26%. In eastern Vidarbha, the memorandum reveals, an area of more than 2.14 lakh hectares has been left unplanted. Due to the dry spell and extreme heat, pests like the semi-looper and tobacco pest emerged with a vengeance, affecting up to 5 lakh hectares of cultivated land in Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Wardha and Nagpur districts. The tobacco pest has affected paddy nurseries, causing extensive damage in eastern Vidarbha, says the memorandum. “It is feared that a lot of these areas will remain unsown as there are no prospects of any late-monsoon crops growing satisfactorily.

The memorandum says that commercial crops like soyabean are in serious danger of wilting. The areas under moong and udid cultivation had already come down from 12.94 lakh hectares to 7.62 hectares, and the crop sown had to be uprooted by the farmers since they withered away. Even the next stage of cotton yield appears to be critical. Most of the farmers in Vidarbha and Marathwada depend on cotton and soyabean as the main source of livelihood, stated the memorandum, expressing concern over the effect of the drought on these agro-crisis-ridden belts which have seen a large number of farmer suicides in the past.

MAJOR CROPS AFFECTED: Moong, Udad, Groundnut, Soybean, Kharif Jowar, Karla, Sunflower, Paddy, Bajra, Tur and Cotton

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Corruption and drought threaten to wither the economy of India-Times(Landon)UK reports on Vidarbha crisis

Times Online Logo 222 x 25

August 28, 2009

Corruption and drought threaten to wither the economy of India

Dilip, a desperately poor farmer deep in debt, was only 25 years old. Two weeks ago, unable to see a way out of his predicament, he drank a bottle of Endosulfan, a pesticide so toxic that it is banned in Britain, though it is widely available in India.

“He committed suicide because the rains had not come,” Rekha, his wife, told The Times, sitting on her haunches in her tiny dilapidated shack.

The crops growing on their three-acre smallholding had shrivelled in the sun, giving Dilip no chance of repaying his debt of 18,000 rupees (£227).

Dilip left Rekha, 20, with two small children to provide for — and little else. The family is now among the worst-hit victims of a drought that has gripped India and threatens the economic security of millions.

“We are in God’s hands now,” she added, still seemingly in shock.

Signs of the monsoon’s failure are easy to find in Hiwara, the small village in the western state of Maharashtra where Rehka lives.

Five of the village’s six boreholes no longer produce water. In the surrounding area, farmers have started to sell cattle at knockdown prices — a classic indicator of agrarian distress.

The soya crop of Kisan Naitam, 65, another local farmer, has been attacked by military worm, a pest that he says has thrived in the dry conditions. It has left the plants frail skeletons, their leaves eaten away between their veins. “It’s all ruined,” he shrugs.

It’s not only the farmers who are feeling the pressure. Nilesh Narayan Develwar, 24, owns a small grocery store in the village.

He says his sales have plummeted as people forgo anything not absolutely necessary — luxuries such as soap, coconut oil to lacquer their hair and cold remedies.

“Those who would buy 1kg of lentils now buy a quarter of that amount,” Mr Develwar said. His takings have fallen to 1,000 rupees a day, down from 2,500 rupees previously. Such are the effects of India’s worst monsoon in years. In the past few days, there has been some rain in Hiwara but it has come too late for the summer crops of soya and sorghum. Cotton, the region’s most important cash crop, is hardier and will fare better, but yields will still fall sharply.

The story is the same across the country. The monsoon’s tropical downpours, which are supposed to last for four months from June, usually account for about 80 per cent of India’s annual rainfall.

But in June, the rains were 46 per cent below normal, the worst level since 1926, leaving rice nurseries parched. From June to mid-August, the rains were 30 per cent below normal, with some areas suffering a 60 per cent shortfall.

The shockwaves will be felt across the Indian economy. Agriculture may account for only 18 per cent of GDP, but 60 per cent of Indians — or more than 700 million people — depend on it for their livelihood.

The vast cushion of domestic demand provided by these poor rural consumers had been a key factor in allowing India to weather the global credit crunch largely unscathed.

The economy had been ticking over largely on increased purchases of basic goods such as toothpaste and pressure cookers – the kind of purchases that poor consumers make when they have a little extra disposable income.

If Mr Develwar’s story is typical, the failed rains have crushed demand for such items and economists will have to rethink their basic assumptions and downgrade their growth forecasts.

Citigroup says a weak monsoon could knock India’s GDP growth from an estimated 6.8 per cent this fiscal year to as low as 5.2 per cent. Analysts closer to the ground share the same downbeat assessment.

Shrikant Nandurkar, the manager of the State Bank of India (SBI) branch in the town of Pandharkawda, close to Rekha’s village, says he is “100 per cent worried”.

Of his 4,500 customers, 60 per cent are farmers — most of whom have borrowed to buy seeds, fertilisers and pesticides to grow crops that have withered in the fields.

He said: “There has been a little rain recently, but that will not help the crops now standing in the fields. At least 50 per cent of it is lost for good. People will not be able to pay back their loans.”

Amid the looming crisis, local government officials say that the state has things in hand and will provide financial assistance where necessary. Ministers in New Delhi note that stocks of foodgrains are ample and should counter against inflation.

But the drought has raised doubts over the effectiveness of a huge agricultural aid package revealed by the Indian Government last year. In the run-up to the general election it spent nearly 700 billion rupees on waiving loans for impoverished farmers.

The flagship policy was immensely popular and helped to win a second term for the incumbent Congress Party. However, it has done little, if anything, to help farmers to deal with this year’s failed monsoon.

According to Kishore Tiwari, a local activist, 42 farmers have committed suicide this month in the Vidarbha area of Maharashtra — the region where the tragic Dilip lived. He said that he believed that a key cause has been alleged corruption in the distribution of government subsidies.

“The apathy of the local government has been the main cause of the recent despair, along with ongoing massive corruption in the relief packages announced by the central Government,” he said. “Nobody is monitoring their progress.”


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

VJAS welcomes Maharashtra Govt. loan waiver extension: Demands interest free loan to Dry Land Cotton Growers in line with Sugarcane Growers

VJAS welcomes Maharashtra Govt. loan waiver extension: Demands interest free loan to Dry Land Cotton Growers in line with Sugarcane Growers

Nagpur- August 26, 2009

Vidarbha Jan andolan samiti today welcome Maharashtra e state cabinet decision to extend the ambit of the loan waiver for farmers, to include sections so far denied benefits of the Central and state package as it is extended to another eight lakh farmers who took loans of upto Rs 20,000 from poultry, fisheries and dairy cooperatives to enable them to take fresh short and long term credit from institutional banks but critisied central Govt. decision to provide subsidised loans scheme limiting to sugarcane farmers as it’s lomg pending demand to have interest free crop loan to dry land farmers we are happy that decision of central Govt. to grant loans to sugarcane farmers at a concessional interest rate of 4 per cent to purchase quality seeds, fertilisers and pesticides,but it should extended to cotton,paddy and soybean growers too as they also need such incentives quality cultivation when they are too drought hit Kishore Tiwari Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti informed in press note today.

“Thanks to the forthcoming Assembly elections in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan been take more than 12 cabinet meetings over the last 25 day to provide benefits to minister and political workers and industrials houses ,he has been forced to take some decision favoring dying farmers Tiwari said.

“It would have been better decision if complete loan waiver to self help group providing crop loan to it’s member would have been waived off as there are more than half a million SHGs are involved in this activity, would have best incentive micro finance activity in drought hit maharashra”Tiwari added.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

'Goshta Chhoti, Dongarayewadhi': Yes It's story of Dying Vidarbha

'Goshta Chhoti, Dongarayewadhi': Yes It's story of Dying Vidarbha

(This story is based on the script written Shyam Pethkar who has seen pain of farmers very closely as he is from pandharkawada which epicenter of farm suicide,please watch the story as it is tribute great revolutionary actor and patron of social activist in Maharashtra Nilubhau Phule-KISHORE TIWARI -
cell -09422108846 ,
vidarbha jan andolan samiti

here is comentry writtten by
With the first spell of rain, they start preparations for sowing, but all their hard work is at the mercy of nature. They take loans and work hard to dig a well, but whether they will get water is again nature’s will. Again taking loans, they stand in long queues to purchase firtilizers, but are at the mercy of corrupt officials. They send their kids to schools and educate them by skipping meals, but whether their children will get jobs is another story altogether. Farmers in Maharashtra are facing life-and-death crisis due to the unpardonable negligence of the government, political leaders, bureaucrats, and most lamentably, us - their brothers in urban areas.
The story is ‘small’ and simple. A farmer - loads of loans - untimely rains - re-sowing - disappointment - despair - and suicide. But when the same story repeats itself more than ten thousand times in five years, it becomes a disaster. Maharashtra, especially Vidarbha, is witnessing the same disaster year after year. Government undertakes surveys, NGOs collect data, and administration announces packages based on these statistics. But do we really know what can compel a man to take his own life? No one takes into consideration the humiliation farmers face again and again, for growing crops - that too, just for pursuing their occupation, and feeding the nation. No one thinks about the compromise farmers make with their self-respect day in and day out at the hands of government ‘babus’, bank employees, and even low key staffers.
When sensitive hearts of artists like Sayaji Shinde, Nagesh Bhonsale, Makarand Anaspure listen to the call of social responsibility, a film like ‘Goshta Chhoti Dongarayewadhi’ is born. Simply put, it is an outburst of the misery that farmers in Vidarbha are facing since last many years.
A production of Pentagon House, a joint venture of actors Makarand Anaspure, Nagesh Bhonsale,Sayaji Shinde,noted cinematographer Suresh Suvarna and Laxmikant Khabaria, the film was released in Western Maharashtra last week, where it received overwhelming response.
Prof Machhindra Chatey of Deoyani Movies, which is distributing the film, has announced to donate all money earned from the film for education of farmers’ wards. This social touch makes it a ‘commercial’ ‘art’ film.
The star cast includes Makarand Anaspure, Sayaji Shinde, Madhu Kambikar, and director Nagesh Bhonsale, with the legendary Nilu Phuley in one of his last performances. The film has a serious tone throughout, keeping in mind the gravity of the issue. The story is of any and every village of Vidarbha. Educated young farmers facing crisis - their helplessness in face of natural and administrative whim - and a suicide. Nandu (Nagesh Bhonsale), a debt-ridden farmer and his friend Rajaram Pawar (Makarand Anasapure) are struggling to make two ends meet. Trapped by destiny, Nandu commits suicide. This tragedy brings a brainstorm in Rajaram’s mind. He decides to make the leaders and bureaucrats aware of farmers’ pains, by speaking in the language they understand. Rajaram kidnaps the Agriculture Minister (Sayaji Shinde) and shows him the harsh reality of a village. How Rajaram manages to kidnap a minister with ‘Z plus’ security is interestingly depicted. The actors, all veterans in their own right, do complete justice to their roles.
The thing which relates us more to the film is the character sketches by story-screenplay and dialogue writer, Shyam Pethkar. This Vidarbha-based journalist-turned-playwright sensitively pens all the nuances and pains of farmers’ lives. Pethkar’s study of plight of farmers, and his observation is revealed from time to time during the film. His stellar touch can be seen in the character of Nilu Phuley, an elderly farmer who loses his young son. His dialogues bring tears to the eyes, also bring on the smiles and most importantly, make us think. All urban youths should go and watch this film to know the naked reality of the village and predicament of farmers.
The background music by Shailendra Barve is appreciable and remains with you long after the movie ends. The film has a four-liner sung by Nagesh Bhonsale and another four lines by Shahir Vitthal Umap. These lines are used with great impact with the background music, a new experiment in Marathi films. Following the lines of Shwas, and Dombiwali Fast, the film is sure to grab several awards for both its hard-hitting theme and excellent performances.
A must watch for people who appreciate changing trends in Marathi cinema.
If villages are facing tragedy, the least urban educated people like us, living in luxury, can do is go to cinema halls to know the facts. A thought-provoking, excellent film after a long time.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

High court issue notice to Maharshtra Govt . in matter of illegal sanction M.L.A. LAD fund

Vidarbha JanAndolan Samiti

Regd. Office: 11, Trisaran Society, In Front of Somalwar School, Khamla, Nagpur – 440 025.

Contact Office at Post Pandharkawada – 445 302. Dist. Yavatmal (M.S.)

Ph : 07235 – 227564 / 227387 Mobile – 9371137653/ 9422108846

Ref: VJAS/MLA-LADF/175/2009 press-note Dated- 20.08.2009.

High court issue notice to Maharshtra Govt . in matter of illegal sanction M.L.A. LAD fund

Nagpur-20th august,2009

Mumbai high court nagpur has issued notice to maharashtra Govt. returnable after two weeks in matter public interest litigation filed by Vidarbha Janandolan samiti president kishore tiwari praying to Cancel & Withdraw Government Resolution extending illegal State Largesse & Extra Ordinary Illegal Favor to MLAs Local Area Development Funds meant for entire Financial Year -2009-10 is being allowed to be spent in Six Months Time as the MLAs term is expiring in October 2009 as New MLAs will not have any Local Area Development Funds for Six Months as entire funds of F.Y. 2009-10 will be spent by outgoing MLAs to suit their favors.

Divisional bench of justice A.P.Lawande and justice P.D.Kode issued notice to maharashtra Govt. thorugh chief secretary to submit detail reply on Govt. Resolution No. LAD-2009/CS No. 85/Ka/1445 dated 16th June, 2009 issued by Planning Department of Govt. of Maharashtra, Mantralaya, Mumbai, extending State largesse to MLAs & MLCs – Local Area Development Funds meant for entire Financial Year -2009-10 is being allowed to be spent in Six Months Time as the MLAs term is expiring in October 2009.

Advt Firdos Miirza and Advt.Vinod Tiwari informed the high court that as per the Govt. Resolution No. LAD-2009/CS No. 85/Ka/1445 dated 16th June, 2009 issued by Planning Department of Govt. of Maharashtra, Mantralaya, Mumbai, under the orders & authority in the name of Your Honor, through which Government of Maharashtra has surprisingly extended State Largesse & Extra Ordinary Illegal Favor to MLAs & MLCs – Local Area Development Funds meant for entire Financial Year -2009-10 is being allowed to be spent in Six Months Time as the MLAs term is expiring in October 2009. This has been done contrary to the general practice being adopted by all State Governments and Central Government to allow only proportionate quantum of Local Area Development Funds to MLAs – MPs considering the balance tenure in the respective Financial Year especially when the legislature / parliament term is ending mid of the Financial Year.

It was further submitted that to the utter surprise of all, totally arbitrary and malafide decision has been taken by the Govt. of Maharashtra to extend extra ordinary and illegal favour to MLAs by allowing them to spent entire fund of Rs. 100.00 lakhs meant for F.Y. 2009-10 in 4-5 months time so that they can enjoy the fruits out of this. This is highly objectionable and illegal, as the State largesse & Extra Ordinary Illegal Favor has been provided to MLAs & MLCs – Local Area Development Funds meant for entire Financial Year -2009-10 is being allowed to be spent in Six Months Time as the MLAs term is expiring in October 2009. As such the GR issued is bad in the eyes of law because it is causing direct loss to the State Treasury.

Petitioner kishore tiwari has prayed high court to order to withdraw & cancel the above referred GR to save the public funds being spent lavishly without any moral & lawful authority due to the said GR as before approaching the high court he moved to the state governor requesting him to stop this misuse of power but having failed to get justice this writ as PIL filed in this high court ,petition added. now case is returnable after two week.

Please arrange to do the needful

Thanking you,

Yours faithfully,




Wednesday, August 19, 2009

When a week is a long time -P. Sainath on Vidarbha Drought Crisis


Opinion - News Analysis

When a week is a long time

P. Sainath

Date:20/08/2009 URL:

Monsoon failure hits Vidharbha, certainly Yavatmal, at a critical time.


Lachchu Patel with some of the cattle he has bought up and provided shelter to in Yavatmal.

“My collections have fallen by over 50 per cent as compared to last year,” says a despondent Prashant Balki in Devdhari where we run into him patrolling the village on his motorbike. Young Balki is a collection agent for the Wani Urban Bank in Yavatmal district. His job is to collect small sums each day from villagers in Ralegaon taluka who join the daily savings scheme of the bank. (Some banks call these tiny deposits “pygmy” saving schemes.) People have been badly hit by the drought and crisis,” he says. “They find even small amounts hard to give.”

“Naturally,” says Gulshan Ghai, a small storekeeper who’s walking by. “The price rise has been hurting people badly for quite some time. Now they’re staring at crop failure.” Ghai is also a farmer owning seven acres.

In Jarur village of Ghattanji taluka, Moreshwar Waitale is discovering that when he shifted from cotton to soybean four seasons ago, he traded one volatility for another. “Three seasons, soybean did okay and I escaped the kind of losses I suffered on cotton. So this year I brought all my 15 acres under soybean. Now it’s failing totally.” Cotton, while costlier to cultivate, is also hardier in the kind of weather Vidharbha finds itself facing. “Soybean is likely to go under much faster,” say farmers here. It is also riddled with pest in some parts of the district. The consensus is that late rains will help with fodder but not too much with crop yields.

Monsoon failure hits Vidharbha, certainly Yavatmal, at a critical time. Some things had changed in this district. A vigorous agitation — which saw hundreds of farmers incessantly beating drums outside banks — and a more receptive administration — saw Yavatmal actually cross its crop loan targets for the first in years. “Against the target of Rs. 520 crores,” says District collector Sanjay Deshmukh, “we touched Rs. 560 crores.” This was impressive and Yavatmal was the only district to do so in Vidharbha. The irony, he says, is that a drought could see the recipients of those loans turn defaulters next year. This is a genuine fear. Indebtedness, always high in this region, is again on the rise. Vidharbha’s problems did not arise from a drought, but will worsen with it. The next week will be the longest. A tense wait for the rains.

That the pressure is already on is evident in the fall in Balki’s daily savings collections and the distress sale of cattle in the villages. “People are not even taking their cattle to sell them in the main markets,” says Kishor Tiwari. “Trucks headed for the abattoir are picking them up right at the villages.” His organisation, the Vidharbha Jan Andolan Samiti spearheaded the stir against the banks. “Mainly, those sold at the market under normal conditions would be for draught and milch purposes. Those sold in this situation are often headed for the slaughter house.”

The Collector believes 80 per cent of this season’s crop can “still be saved if there are good rains within the week.” He also believes that a lot can be done to secure a better rabi season. Like many here, he supports the idea of digging a pond on every farm. That too, could help enlarge “the area under rabi from around 10 per cent to perhaps 30 per cent of the total 9 lakh hectares under cultivation in kharif.” The union rural development ministry’s latest announcement now allows, in theory at least, such ponds to be created on private farms through the NREGs. Meanwhile the district has to contend with a sinking water table and several talukas where rainfall has been sparse to nil for three weeks.

In the midst of the chaos, impending and real, we run into one of Yavatmal’s truly curious characters. He’s called “Lachchu Patel” but his real name is Lakshman Rao Bollenwar. He is of Telugu origin but his people have been here for generations. Lachchu’s family are not vegetarians. He has a poor opinion of the VHP and particularly of its gaushalas or cow shelters. “These people are not farmers,” he scoffs “and they know little about looking after cattle.” He on the other hand, is a skilled big farmer who does know cattle. “Cows are central to farming life,” he says and he does not mean that in religious terms. “I love cows.” So much so that he buys up cows bound for slaughter and cares for them. He presently shelters over a hundred such animals — apart from other livestock.

Lachchu became famous by intercepting cows due for slaughter on the roads, in the villages, “even at the butcher’s.” Not with violence or threats, but as a buyer. And the truck drivers carting cows to the abattoirs know a good touch when they see one. They stop at his house en route. “Knowing,” says one of his friends, “that they will get a much better rate from Lachchu than from the slaughter house. Earlier, he chased the trucks, now they come uninvited to his place.” But how on earth does he afford feeding them, big farmer though he might be? That’s where his skills and acumen come in. “About a dozen of these animals aren’t so bad,” says Lachchu. From these, after restoring them to health, he gets 40 litres of milk or more daily, which he can sell and make up to Rs. 800 a day on average. Or well over Rs. 20,000 a month. That still isn’t enough to care for such a large herd on the scale that Lachchu does. So he puts in the rest himself.

However, we press him, you cannot endlessly acquire new head of cattle, that too in bad shape? “Each year, I give away about 30 to 40 when I’ve got them healthy,” he says. “And since that’s about how many I pick up each year, the number remains roughly constant. All I ask is that the poor or needy family I give them to promises to keep the cow and not ever send it to the abattoir. It adds to their income and security. Farmers need cows. Cows need farmers.”

On the highways, though, are still vans headed for abattoirs. Evidence of farms in distress, losing the cows they need.

© Copyright 2000 - 2009 The Hindu

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

पोळ्याच्या तोंडावर विदर्भातील पाच शेतकऱ्यांच्या आत्महत्या-सकाळ वृत्तसेवा

पोळ्याच्या तोंडावर विदर्भातील पाच शेतकऱ्यांच्या आत्महत्या
सकाळ वृत्तसेवा
Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 AT 12:08 AM
Tags: nagpur, suicide, farmer
नागपूर - कृषिजीवनातील महत्त्वाचा पोळा ऐन तोंडावर आला असताना विदर्भातील तब्बल पाच कास्तकारांनी आज आत्महत्या केल्या. यात नागपूर, चंद्रपूर आणि वर्धा जिल्ह्यातील प्रत्येकी एक, तर यवतमाळ जिल्ह्यातील दोन शेतकऱ्यांचा समावेश आहे.
या पाचही शेतकऱ्यांनी कोणत्या ना कोणत्या बॅंकेतून किंवा आप्तमित्रांकडून शेतीसाठी कर्ज घेतले होते. परंतु, गेल्या महिनाभरात पावसाने लांबलचक चाट दिल्याने पिकांची अवस्था मरणासन्न झाली आहे. त्यातच बहुतांश ठिकाणी उंटअळी, लष्करी अळ्यांनी थैमान घातल्यामुळे सोयाबीन नेस्तनाबूद होत आहे. त्यामुळे यंदा खरीप वाया जाऊन कर्जाची परतफेड शक्‍य होणार नाही, अशी धास्ती या कास्तकारांनी घेतली होती असे समजते. वाढती महागाई पाहून शेतमजूरही निंदण आणि डवरणीसाठी अव्वाच्या सव्वा मजुरी मागत आहेत. या सर्व प्रकाराने नाकीनऊ आलेल्या शेतकऱ्यांना आता पोळ्याचा सण कसा साजरा करावा, हा सवाल सतावतो आहे. बैलांच्या साजाचे साहित्य यंदा दुपटीने महाग झाले आहे. अशा परिस्थिती कास्तकार मानसिकदृष्ट्या खचले आहेत. यंदा उत्पादन घटून कर्ज फेडणे अशक्‍य होण्याच्या भीतीनेच आज पाच कास्तकारांनी आत्महत्येचा मार्ग पत्करल्याचे संबंधित गावांमध्ये बोलले जात आहे.
नेर (जि. यवतमाळ) - तालुक्‍यातील पाथ्रट गोळे येथील रमेश तुळशीराम मरसकोल्हे (वय 50) या शेतकऱ्याने सोमवारी (ता. 17) रात्री 11 वाजताच्या सुमारास विष प्राशन केले. त्यांना तातडीने यवतमाळ येथील शासकीय रुग्णालयात आणण्यात आले. परंतु, उपचारादरम्यान त्यांचा मृत्यू झाला. त्यांच्याजवळ केवळ चार एकर कोरडवाहू शेती होती. जिल्हा मध्यवर्ती सहकारी बॅंकेचे 60 हजार रुपयांचे कर्ज त्यांच्यावर होते.
मारेगाव (जि. यवतमाळ) - दुबार पेरणीचे संकट, सोसायटी व खासगी कर्जाने विवंचनेत पडलेले पहापळ येथील युवा शेतकरी विजय मनोहर बोधे (वय 32) यांनी रविवारी (ता. 16) विष प्राशन करून आत्महत्या केली. त्यांच्याकडे चार एकर शेती होती. पिसगाव येथील आदिवासी सोसायटीचे 22 हजार रुपयांचे व खासगी 15 हजार रुपयांचे कर्ज त्यांनी घेतले होते. त्यांच्या दोन एकरांतील सोयाबीन पूर्णपणे वाळून गेले, तर पाण्याच्या दुष्काळाने कपाशीचीही दुबार पेरणी करावी लागली. त्यामुळे रविवारी रात्री सात वाजता घरामागे जाऊन त्यांनी एन्डोसल्फान घेतले. त्यांना मारेगाव ग्रामीण रुग्णालयात दाखल केल्यानंतर उपचारादरम्यान त्यांचा मृत्यू झाला.
चिमूर (जि. चंद्रपूर) - दुष्काळ आणि नापिकीला कंटाळून तालुक्‍यातील भिसी येथील रामचंद्र लहानू मुंगले (वय 50) या शेतकऱ्याने आज कीटकनाशक प्राशन करून आत्महत्या केली. पावसाअभावी खरीप हंगामातील पीक हातून जात असल्याने रामचंद्र मुंगले यांनी आज सकाळी अकराच्या सुमारास आपल्या शेतात आत्महत्या केली. घटनेची माहिती मिळताच नायब तहसीलदार गोहणे यांनी भेट दिली.
आर्वी (जि. वर्धा) - तालुक्‍यातील इठलापूर येथील दिलीप सुरेश नांदणे (वय 32) या शेतकऱ्याने आज आत्महत्या केली. राहत्या घरीच विष प्राशन करून ते बाहेर पडले. थोड्या वेळाने ते बेशुद्ध अवस्थेत आढळल्याने गावकऱ्यांनी दुपारी एक वाजताच्या दरम्यान येथील उपजिल्हा रुग्णालयात त्यांना दाखल केले. मात्र, उपचारादरम्यान त्यांचा मृत्यू झाला. त्यांनी मध्यवर्ती बॅंकेचे 15 हजार रुपयांचे कर्ज आणि नातेवाईक तसेच मित्रांकडून काही रक्कम कर्जाऊ म्हणून शेतीसाठी घेतली होती. शेतीची बिकट अवस्था आणि कर्जबाजारीपणामुळे त्यांनी आत्महत्या केल्याचे त्यांच्या निकटवर्तीयांनी सांगितले. नांदणे यांच्याकडे अहमदाबाद जागापूर शिवारात दोन एकर शेती असून, यावर्षी त्यांनी कपाशीची लागवड केली होती.
नागपूर - नरखेड तालुक्‍यातील येणीकोणी येथील अरुण तुकाराम डाखोळे (वय 35) यांनी नापिकी आणि कर्जाच्या ओझ्यामुळे रविवारी सायंकाळी आत्महत्या केली. त्यांच्यावर सोसायटीचे 20 हजारांचे कर्ज होते.

farmers Suicide spiral- “Govt should wake up to early warnings.” -Deccan Herald.Reports

farmers Suicide spiral

“Govt should wake up to early warnings.”
This year’s poor monsoon, which has caused drought in vast stretches of the country, has triggered early tragedy. Around 21 farmers have reportedly committed suicide over the last 40 days in Andhra Pradesh. In Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region, around 36 farmers are reported to have taken their lives in July and seven so far in August. One farmer has killed himself in Bundelkhand in Uttar Pradesh. With the monsoon playing truant this year, farmers in Andhra have not been able to sow their fields or seeds sown have dried in parched fields. And the sowing season for the kharif crops is over, which means that they will not have a crop this year. It is evident that with disaster looming, the desperate farmers took their lives.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajashekar Reddy has confirmed the suicides. This is a welcome shift because ministers and officials always try to deny such deaths. However, by maintaining that the suicides were prompted by personal reasons, Reddy is singing a tired old tune that several before him have sung in a bid to shift the blame for the suicides from flawed government policy and poorly implemented programmes to the individual’s mental and emotional state. Many of the farmers who took their lives seem to have run into severe debt incurred over the years due to poverty and high cost of seeds and fertilisers. They were hoping that this year’s harvest would bail them out. But this was not to be. Drought and the failed kharif crop dealt them a severe blow. Had these farmers had a safety net to see them through this drought, they might not have been so devastated. Suicide need not have been an option.

More farmers are likely to take their lives in the coming months as the full impact of the poor monsoon begins to unfold across rural India. Andhra and Vidarbha have sent out early warning signals of what lies ahead and the Centre and state governments need to pay attention and gear up. There are programmes like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. These are meant to help farmers and rural people tide over unemployment and other problems. Their importance has increased in the wake of the drought and the failed crops. Implementation of these schemes should improve.

Nanded District Central Cooperative Bank (NDCCB)-Govt clears loan to bank as grant-DNA reports

Govt clears loan to bank as grant
By - Jaideep Hardikar
Full Story can be found at
In a controversial decision, the state government last week converted, with retrospective effect, a Rs110 crore-loan to the troubled Nanded District Central Cooperative Bank (NDCCB) into grant.

The bank, in the hometown of chief minister Ashok Chavan, is monitored by a RBI-appointed liquidator after it ran into financial problems over a decade ago due to bad debts worth over Rs750 crore.

NCP and Congress stalwarts, including some of Chavan's close confidants and union minister of state Suryakanta Patil, formed the NDCCB's board of governors when it ran into trouble and RBI pitched in.

The bank's records show some of the board members are among the big defaulters but they were not questioned.

The RBI stalled its transactions when the bank's net worth fell sharply.

The government defending its decision said the bank's net worth needed to be made positive to resume business.

But a farmer's body has opposed the bail out package to the bank.

Thousands of small farmers, depositors, primary agriculture societies and the bank employees in branches all over the district suffered as a result of someone else' sins, said Kishor Tiwari of the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, a farmers' body.

"Now the government steps in to bail the bank out by paying from taxpayers' money to cover up the sins of political stalwarts." This needed public scrutiny, he said.= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
For news updates throughout the day, visit
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

© 2005-2009 Diligent Media Corporation Ltd. All rights reserved.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Vidarbha suicides may spiral out of hand-Mail Today

Vidarbha suicides may spiral out of hand

Maharashtra, home to the country's richest industrialists, where endless films are made depicting all that is bright and beautiful about India, has a soft underbelly. It is also the state where Vidarbha, the country's suicide capital, is located.

Some 1,200-1,500 farmers commit suicide in Maharashtra every year, and the loss of a few lives hardly makes the news. But this drought, the number is feared to double--particularly in Vidarbha.

The month of August has just gone past the half-way mark and 24 farmers have already taken their lives. The monthly average is 25-30, but June saw at least 44 farmers committing suicide.

"Not just tigers but even farmers would become extinct in Maharashtra if the current spate of suicides continues for the next few years," says Kishore Tiwari, who heads the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, an organisation that has taken up the cudgels on behalf of the hapless farmers.

In 2006, a total of 1,486 farmers committed suicide. The next year it was 1,248. Last year, despite the rainfall being normal and the Union government announcing a massive loan waiver, it was no less than 1,258.

Tiwari fears the situation could be catastrophic this year-when the rainfall has been scanty at best-and more than double the usual number of farmers could end their lives. All that he and other activists are asking for is that the government implement the recommendations of a oneman panel it had set up.

The Narendra Jadhav Committee was appointed by the Vilasrao Deshmukh government to look into farmers' suicides in 2008. "The government must put its suggestions into practice. The panel clearly laid out policies on how the state should assist farmers by offering cheaper healthcare and implementing schemes like Antoyodaya Yojana and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act," says Tiwari.

Officials have identified 158 taluks out of 355 in the state as water scarcity areas, which have less than 50 per cent of the required water supply. The state government has instructed district collectors in these areas to defer the recovery of farming loans for now.

A 33 per cent discount on power bills has also been announced. Students in these taluks who will appear for senior and higher secondary certificate board examinations won't have to pay their fees this year.

But Tiwari says this is far from adequate.

"Maharashtra is sitting on a volcano. More and more farmers are falling into a debt trap due to the drought," he says. "The state government is clearly not thinking about how to reduce these deaths for good. That is why it is going for stop-gap measures instead of tackling the real problem."

Courtesy: Mail Today

URL for this article :

@ Copyright 2009 India Today Group.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Vidarbha Drought Crisis- Times of India Reports

here is Times of India exclusive news item oublished on 12th august 2009 regarding ground reality of west vidarbha drought condition reported by Ramu Bhagwat

Vidarbha risking another Bt cotton disaster-Gm Watch Reports.

Vidarbha risking another Bt cotton disaster

1.INDIA: Vidarbha risking another Bt cotton disaster
2.INDIA: Vidarbha staring at worst ever drought
3.PAKISTAN: Govt asked to stop corporate land grabbing and onslaught of bT cotton

The comments in item 1 relate to the news item in item 2. Vidarbha is the main cotton belt of the Indian state of Maharashtra - the state in India where there's been the biggest uptake of Bt cotton by farmers. Vidharbha Jan Andolan Samiti, the farmers' NGO on the ground in Vidharbha, has previously reported that it is Monsanto-Mahyco's Bt cotton that the majority of cotton farmer suicide victims in Vidarbha have been growing.

The terrible problems with Bt cotton have repeatedly been reported by the world-renowned Indian development journalist Palagummi Sainath, who was awarded the 2007 Ramon Magsaysay award (often considered Asia's Nobel Prize) for his journalism. P Sainath has described the impact of multinationals like Monsanto on debt-burdened farmers in Vidarbha as "devastating".

As well as the heavy promotion of BT cotton in Maharashtra by Monsanto, "One of the big headaches in Vidarbha is the state propagandised and favoured the promotion of Bt Cotton. Firstly, Bt Cotton technologies are themselves suspect in a number of ways. However, promoting them in a dry and un-irrigated area like Vidarbha was murderous. It was stupid, it was killing."
1.Vidarbha risking another Bt cotton disaster

COMMENT from Aruna Rodrigues: The sown cotton crop must be Bt cotton and this is a rain fed area. Bt is a cash crop usually requiring large amounts of water through irrigation. If the rain plays spoil sport, the fate of these farmers will be absolutely terrible. Kishore, they should stop planting Bt.

COMMENT from Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti: You are absolutely right. Now in Maharashtra thanks to state owned promotion Bt cotton has already crossed 3.2 million hectares, covering West Vidarbha, East Vidarbha, Marathwada, North Maharashtra and Khandesh, and 80% of this area is rain fed and the condition of the crop can be seen here in the photos.
The days are not far away that once again the Maharashtra Govt. is likely to announce compensation for Bt. cotton failure as happened in December 2005. You are right farmers should stop planting Bt cotton seed but it's a fact that there is no option left for cottton growers of the region [ie only Bt cotton is being promoted and made available].
2.Vidarbha staring at worst ever drought: VJAS urged PMO to send central team for ground assessment
VJAS, 9 August 2009 [extracts]

Gloomy Response from Drought Hit farmers as Three more farm suicides in last 24 Hrs.: VJAS urged PMO to send central team for ground assessment

Nagpur-7th august 2009 - Vidarbha is staring at the worst ever drought this year with an unprecedented short fall in monsoon rain, pest epidamic destroying standing crop and steep decline in ground water level as the four-month (June-September) monsoon is the main source of water for irrigation in the country.

Nature seems to have turned against Vidarbha this year as with half of the kharif season over, the region has received less than 40% of the normal rainfall. If it does not rain in good measure in next five days, it could lead to a drought in the region. The situation is worse in western Vidarbha, a mainly cotton and soyabean growing area, which received a meagre 35% of the average rainfall this monsoon in the already distressed, farmers' suicide-hit Amravati division as well in eastern Vidarbha's Nagpur division for want of rains, sowing could take place in less than 80 per cent of the total cultivable land, Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJAS) informed in a letter addressed to Indian prime minister Dr.Manmohan Singh urging him to send team of experts to make spot assessment of emerging severe drought like condition in farm suicide hit vidarbha.
3.Govt asked to stop land deals with foreigners
The News (Pakistan), August 9 2009

HYDERABAD: The government was asked on Saturday to immediately stop all land deals being negotiated with foreign governments, investors, US seed company Monsanto and other agro-chemical companies promoting genetically-modified crops, especially BT cotton.

Executive Director of Roots for Equity, Dr Azra Talat Syed, made this demand while speaking at a news conference at the Hyderabad Press Club along with Executive Director of Pesticide Action Network Asia Pacific, Sarojeni Rengam and farmer leader Ghulam Mohammad.

She said past years have shown a constant onslaught of corporate agriculture on every aspect of agriculture and two most critical issues now being faced by millions of small farmers in Pakistan are corporate land grabbing and onslaught of BT cotton. She said nearly six million acres of land are said to be leased to foreign investors of Middle Eastern countries while corporate investors are now negotiating with provincial governments including Sindh to acquire land in Shikarpur, Larkana and Sukkur.

The government has also promised the investors of the Gulf at least 0.5 million hectares of land and promising investors that if they sign up it will provide a security force to protect their assets.

She said the government last year signed a memorandum of understanding with US company Monsanto to allow US seed company to introduce BT cotton to destroy the rich genetic heritage of farmers. She said BT cotton attracts several pest attacks, adding that farmers would also become vulnerable to diseases because of BT cotton seeds. She demanded that farmers should be provided with agricultural inputs at subsidised prices.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

local daily Tarun Bharat reported six yavatmal(vidarbha) farmers suicides in 24 Hrs.

Nagpur-12th august 2009
Nagpur base regional daily Tarun bharat today reported that in farm suicide hit yavatmal district six more drought facing cotton farmers committed suicide in last 24 Hrs.,as per news item the names of fresh victims are

1.ramesh hemne of rani amaravati,

2.rajendra vaidya of saikheda,
3.sakharam dhurve of wagholi,
4.khandu mukade of village kondai 5.vasudeo waghmare in malmasola and
6.vishnu ghoge in kali tebhi

all in yaval district ."this is shocking news for us,we have asked our activist to visit the all villiage and give first hand informanation as this is serious indication of agrarian crisis triggering farm suicides" Kishor Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJAS) informed in press note today.

Vidarbha is staring at the worst ever drought this year with an unprecedented short fall in monsoon rain , pest epidamic destroying standing crop and steep decline in ground water level as these four-month (June-September) monsoon is the main source of water for irrigation in the country.
Nature seems to have turned against Vidarbha this year as with half of the kharif season over, the region has received less than 40% of the normal rainfall. If it does not rain in good measure in next five days, it could lead to a drought in the region., The situation is worse in western Vidarbha, a mainly cotton and soyabean growing area, which received a meagre 35% of the average rainfall this monsoon in the already distressed, farmers' suicide-hit Amravati division as well in eastern Vidarbha's Nagpur division
for want of rains, sowing could take place in less than 80 per cent of the total cultivable land, Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJAS) informed in a letter addressed to Indian prime minister Dr.Manmohan singh urging him to send team of experts to make spot assessment of emerging severe drought like condition in farm suicide hit vidarbha .

'Maharashtra chief Minister Ashok Chavan should visit vidarbha and arrange to call for the emergency meeting of all district collectors, agriculture officers and experts, chief executive officers of zilla parishads, forest department and electricity distribution company officials to discuss measures in the event of the drought-like situation getting worse if it does not rain in the next week 'kishor tiwari of VJAS added.

As the total water in reservoirs of the major dams in the vidarbha is about 34 percent as ground water level ha sdroped down considebely there will not enough water for drinking water purpose hence VJAS has asked the administration to take step to protect dam water and henceforth should not be allowed for crop irrigation. VJAS urge officials to arrange fodder on a war-footing as demand is already coming for supplies from districts like yavatmal,akola,washim,buldhana where rainfall this season has been abysmally poor," said tiwari.
farmers in the drought-prone Vidarbha region of Maharashtra welcomed the first showers of monsoon which were delayed and
completed the sowing of cotton and soyabean but this dry spell coupled with pest attacks have now damaged more than 50% standing cash crop of the region which has added fuel in existing despair gloom in already distressed farmers hence we want urgent relief from

Thursday, August 6, 2009

4 farmers commit suicide on Rakshabandhan day in Vidarbha-Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times

Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times
Nagpur, August 06, 2009

It was an endless wait for sisters of four different families, who, like every year, looked forward to the arrival of their brothers with sweets, rakhi and vermillion on Rakshabandhan. But fate had planned otherwise. They, all from different parts of western Vidarbha, waited for their brothers who were cotton farmers. These four farmers committed suicide due to sudden crop failure.

According to reports reaching here on Wednesday, the victims were identified as: Ramdas Pawar of Chirkuta (Yavatmal), Madan Andale, Pimpalgaon (Amravati), Prakash Kokate of Gaigaon and Dadarao Mankar, Hiwarkhed (both Akola). While Ramdas ended his life by swallowing poison, Dadarao and Prakash committed suicide by hanging themselves. Madan Andale killed himself by jumping into a well. All the victims have ended their lives because of huge debts and agrarian crisis. With the deaths of these farmers, the toll has risen to 7 this month while the figure was 36 last month.

According to Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti which has been documenting farmers’ suicide since 2001, as many as 288 farmers killed themselves this year while the figure was 784 last year. In 2007, as many as 1044 farmers committed suicide in Vidarbha region, it claimed.

Kishore Tiwari of the Samiti informed that all traditional cotton growers were under huge debt and lost standing crops after the dry spell of rain and pest attack. Drought may bring acute drinking water problem, food and health crisis. Administration should act fast to stop innocent victimization of distressed cotton farmers. The state should immediately provide food security, employment and debt reconstruction to bail out the debt-ridden farmers of Vidarbha, insisted Tiwari.

The delayed monsoon arrival and irregular showers in June and 15 days dry spell as there is no rain in most of part of Vidarbha has created serious panic among farmers as if there are no showers in next seven days then there will server drought this year.

The samiti sent a memorandum to the chief minister Ashok Chavan in this regard, urging to bail out the crisis-ridden farmers who are facing drought-like situation in the region.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Four vidarbha cotton farmers commit suicide in day on the eve Raksha Bandhan

Drought Prone Condition in Vidarbha - Crop over 3.2.Million Hector is in Danger

Nagpur, Aug.5,2009

On the eve of first big festival of after the start of monsoon “Rakha Bandhan-Rakhi” ,four cotton farmers committed suicides due to sudden crop failure ,as per the reports the fresh victims of on going agararian crisis in vidarbha are

1.Ramdas Pawar in Yavatmal

2.Madan Andale in Amaravati

3.Prakash Kokate in Akola

4.Dadarao Mankar in Akola

All traditional cotton growers under huge debt and lost standing crops after the dry spell of rain and pest attack.

‘It’s unfortunate that spiral farm suicide in west may restart due to very high investments in standing cotton crop and erratic behavior of rain god, in vidarbha not only crop condition but whole region is in economic crisis. Drought may bring unusual drinking water, power, food and health crisis, administration should act fast to stop innocent victimization of distressed cotton farmer to avoid the suicide like extremity by providing immediate relief of food security, employment, debt reconstruction’ Kishor Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti informed in press note today

thodelayed monsoon arrival and irregular showers in June and 15 days dry spell as there is no rain in most of part of vidarbha has created serious panic in more than 3 million farmers as if there are no showers in next seven days then there will server drought this year ,drought prone condition has increased despair and gloom allover vidarbha as cotton-soyabean-paddy crop over 3.2.million hector is in danger , Mohan Jadhav secretary of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti futher added press note today.

VJAS team after touring vidarbha in a memorandum to chief minister of Maharashtra Ashok Chavan urged to act on dought prone condition of vidarbha as farmers complain despite their prevailing condition there has been no help forthcoming from Government.

Soyabean farmers in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra are most effected due to dual nature of hardship as complete soyabean in vidarbha under 1.6 million hector has been attacked by semilooper pests. farmers already spent huge amount of money on semilooper pest management but it has destroyed soyabean plants at massive scale but administration aid is till awaited .VJAS urged chief minister to arrange requisite help to dying soyabean growers of vidarbha..

This year in vidarbha record 2 million hector area is under Bt.cotton cultivation which required assured rain and intensive care for harvesting and sudden climate change after dry spell of 15 days ,there is massive attack of mealy bug on cotton crop coupled with root rot disease damaging the standing cotton crop beyond repair ,this has increased input cost of cultivation to large extent and will drop down the yield too, memorandum added.

“Vidarbha farmers are facing very difficult time not only due to first delayed monsoon and now no rain and massive attack of pest and mealy bug but severe shortage of urea and fertilizer black-marketing is adding fuel their hardship. vidarbha farmers needs food security and health care to avoid distress being converted into extremity of suicide as recommended by Prof.Narendra Jadhav Committee ReportKishore Tiwari urged the administration.

“All political leaders are election mood which due in October but nobody is looking serious issue of dying farmers if this dry spell is continued then not only all standing crops will be damaged 100% but there will be big problem of drinking water and fodder to cattle. it’s high time for Govt. to act” Mohan Jadhav secretary of VJAS added in press note .