Nagpur: With five cotton growers committing suicide Thursday, a total of 507 farmers have killed themselves during 2011 alone in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, an NGO fighting for farmers` rights said on Friday.
The dead were identified as Mohan Raut from Ghazipur in Yavatmal district, Raju Tembhare from Sakur in Yavatmal district, Sharavan Chichghate from Bhindi in Wardha district, Vijay Gomase from Akoli in Wardha district and Laxman Pathode from Dongargaon in Chandrapur district.
"They (farmers) have been demanding a hike in minimum support price (MSP) of cotton to Rs 6,000 per quintal as against the ongoing Rs 3,300 per quintal," said Kishor Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS).
As many as 51 farmers committed suicide during the month of August alone.
Farmers have also been demanding lifting of the ban on cotton export.
"We demand a hike in cotton MSP and urgent relief of food security, fresh crop loan disbursement and healthcare services," Tiwari said.
Tiwari`s VJAS has been documenting Vidarbha farm suicides since 1997.