Nagpur: Vidarbha farmer activists have
sought an appointment with Congress President Sonia Gandhi to
apprise her about the problems being faced by agriculturists
in the region in Eastern Maharashtra.
We have sought an appointment with UPA Chairperson
Sonia Gandhi to explain the problems being faced by farmers in
Vidarbha. But since Parliament is in session, she was yet to
give us an appointment, Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS)
President Kishor Tiwari said in a statement here today.
Government policies are responsible for the increasing
number of farmer suicides across the country. Immediate
Government intervention was needed to provide succour to them,
said Tiwari, whose advocacy group has been documenting farmer
suicides in Vidarbha, a cotton belt.
Agriculture policies being pursued by Maharashtra
Government are equally "absurd", forcing farmers to commit
suicide, he maintained. "The policies promote wrong
cultivation practices in rain-fed areas."
"Vidarbha farmers are in urgent need of help because
of crop failure and Government should provide relief without
delay. There is no rationale now for raising cotton MSP as
small and needy farmers have already sold 50 per cent of their
produce," Tiwari said.
"Therefore, a cash subsidy of Rs 20,000 per hectare
for cotton and Rs 15,000 for soya be paid to farmers to
compensate for the crop loss this year," he added.