Maharashtra expects farmer suicide cases to drop by 70 percent in FY14
Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Wednesday said it is taking steps to insulate farmers from adverse market and weather conditions by helping them to have a regular income, and expects suicide cases in Vidarbha region to come down by 70 per cent this financial year from 2007-08, when this tragic phenomenon peaked.
"The major problem in the affected districts (of Vidarbha) are that farmers mainly were into monocropping in khariff season. They had to sustain themselves during the entire year from the income of only one season. We are now encouraging them to grow pulses, horticultural crops, floriculture, soyabean after harvesting khariff crop," Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said.
In Vidarbha, the main suicide prone districts are Akola, Amrawati, Buldhana, Washim, Yeotmal and Wardha. Farmer suicides were at its peak in 2007-08 with 2,395 cases, according government figures.
Patil said that under the Prime Minister package Rs 3,750 crore and Rs 1,075 crore in the state package has been set aside for various subsidies and training programmes for farmers in this region.
The state government is providing quality seeds of these crops at 50 per cent subsidy, he added.
The minister further said that the government is also encouraging diary and fodder, which will help providing regular income to farmers throughout the year, he added.
Besides, an assistance of Rs 25,000 per family is given towards purchase of farm equipment, seeds and building storage among others, he said.
Drip irrigation sets are given at 50 per cent subsidy to farmers with more than five acres farm holding and 60 per cent to those with less than five acres.
"We are also encouraging group farming and green houses to cultivate horticulture produce and floriculture in these six affected districts," he said.
At present, there are more than 50 green houses in the suicide prone districts of Vidarbha.
"We are undertaking many more initiatives to improve the farmers conditions in the Vidarbha region, which we expect will bring down the suicide case by 70 per cent this financial year from the peak of 2007-08," the minister added.
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