Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Government blamed for farmers’ debt crisis

Government blamed for farmers’ debt crisis

Posted By jessy On November 16, 2010 @ 4:51 pm In Indian News | No Comments

A Catholic prelate and a social activist blame federal and state government as debt-ridden farmers continue to commit suicide in India’s central-western region.

In the past four days, 16 farmers took their lives in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra state. As many as 667 farmers committed suicide since January.

“A nation that ignores the welfare of its farmers cannot survive,” says Kishore Tiwari, who is fighting for the rights of some 1 million debt-trapped farmers in the region.

Archbishop Abraham Viruthakulangara of Nagpur says many lives could have been saved if the government machinery had acted in time.

The archbishop heads the region which is most affected with the suicides of farmers. The prelate says the Church is very worried about the suicides of farmers. It has used its energies and resources to support the farmers to re-start their lives, he told ucanews.com.

“We are engaged in a mission of creating alternative sustainable sources of income for them so that they will not face the similar fate in future,” the added.

Tiwari’s Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (forum for Vidarbha people’s struggle) maintains the record of farmers committing suicides in the region.

A survey the government undertook under the state High Court order in 2006 identified some 1 million farmers in deep distress following crop failure.

Tiwari said the government subsequently agreed to offer farmers free gains, medicine, children’s education, marry off their daughters and give fresh bank loans to restore their lives.

However, the government did nothing leaving the farmers at the mercy of private money lenders, Tiwari added.

Tiwari says the main cause of farmer despondency is the government delay in procuring cotton and forceful loan recovery by banks and private micro finance agencies.

He also alleged the textile lobby had pressed the federal government to lower the cotton prices. “The news of a bumper cotton crop and skyrocketing prices was far from the ground reality,” he added.

Tiwari expects prices to firm up in international market after floods ruined cotton crops China and Pakistan. He says the short staple cotton produced in Vidarbha has great demand in Bangladesh and China.

Source: ucanews.com [1]

Article printed from CathNews India: http://www.cathnewsindia.com

URL to article: http://www.cathnewsindia.com/2010/11/16/government-blamed-for-farmers%e2%80%99-debt-crisis/

URLs in this post:

[1] ucanews.com: http://www.ucanews.com/2010/11/16/government-blamed-for-farmers%E2%80%99-debt-crisis/

No comments: