Vidarbha Farmers to observe ‘Hunger strike’ on
Pandharkawada -30th april; 2011
When administration will be celebrating state government's grand Golden jubilee finale will happen a day on Maharashtra Day all over followed by grate finale at Girgaum Chowpatty Mumbai on Monday but it is not the case with five million distressed dying farmers and thousands of farm widows vidarbha who are struggling to sale paddy, tur and cotton even at the minimum support price decided to observe "Maharashtra Day" as "Betrayal Day" by sitting on day long hunger strike at Pandharkawada in Yavatmal district to press demand of lifting ban on cotton export and procurement of pluses by state @ Rs.3500/- as announced earlier ,Kishor Tiwari, president of Nagpur-based Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, (VJAS), in a Press release informed that leading farm activist Mohan Jadhav,Letuji Jughare,Chandrakant Patil, Tukaram Meshram, Mohan Mamiddwar, Moreshwar Watile will participate in the hunger strike om 1st may.
‘Vidarbha Agrarian Crisis is result of last 50 years of backlog and apathy which has treated region as it’s colony when they are celebrating the grand finale of Golden jubilee celebration, we are observing the fast to give remember the farmers who have committed suicides in west vidarbha due to wrong policies of the state .more than 5 million farmers and 6 million tribal in vidarbha region have been denied basic security of food,healthcare and employment freezing all fundamental rights betraying all toll promises given at the time of Maharashtra State formation on 1st may 1960 now people of wants complete reassessment of situation and separate the vidarbha region to stop farmers and tribals on going Genocide’ Tiwari added.
The protest hunger strike has been by VJAS which has been keeping track of farm suicides in Vidarbha region and one of the unsung custodian of agrarian crisis which has strongly objected the recent announcement of Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma that there is no immediate proposal to allow raise cotton bales exports quota which has shattered the hopes of dying vidarbha getting a good price for their produce remained short-lived for cotton growers. Prices plummeted to below Rs 4,500 a quintal during last fortnight after touching a high of Rs 7,000,has been flayed by vidarbha cotton farmer’s activist group vidarbha Jannadolan Samiti (VJAS) and threaten to start hunger strike from 1st may to press demand to raise cotton bales export quota 1.5million from existing 55 lakhs ,Kishore Tiwari informed .
‘The remark on the issue of increasing export quota of cotton by 1.5 million bales to 55 Lakhs bales, the minister said that Cotton industry's requirements are always uppermost in the mind of the textile ministry or of the group of ministers has added further fuel in to agrarian crisis of cotton growing region of west vidarbha whre more than 10,000 farmers killed thenslves due to debt and crop failure ’Tiwari added.
The government had put a quantitative cap of 5.5 million bales (170 kg each) on cotton exports for the year ending September this year and earlier promised raise the limit up to 1.50 million bales as India’s is estimated to have harvested 33.9 million bales crop this year (2010-11) as against 24.22 million bales in the previous year as per recent announcement of Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar .
Earlier in the month of February Committee of Secretaries (CoS) in decided to keep the cap on cotton exports at 55 lakh bales and reject Maharashtra state's request to increase it to 75 lakh bales has come as a shock for farm activists and cotton experts in the state now commerce minister has disappointed dying vidarbha farmers were expecting to make good money and wipe out old losses in once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But the exports restriction would mean the domestic prices would come down," lamented Kishore Tiwari.
Slamming the Union government decision, VJAS alleged that the bureaucrats were influenced by strong lobbying by textile mill owners who want cheap raw material to increase their profit margins.
"This decision is shocking. Why put a restriction when there is good demand in global market and benefits of good price can be passed on to cotton farmers who have suffered for over a decade because of unremunerative prices, cotton growers may not get another such chance of high open market prices domestically and globally " asked Tiwari .
"Floods hit crop in