With continuing agrarian crisis, four farmers from Vidarbha ended their lives in the past 24 hours, bringing the toll for the month to 43. Fifty-seven farmers from the region ended their lives last month.
While Baban Madavi (Sawla village), Ganesh Kale (Yewda village) was from Amravati, Bhagwan Londhe (Fetra village) was from Yavatmal district and Yadav Pinge (Sumthana village) was from Chandrapur district.
Three of the four victims were cotton growers and were not getting good rates for their raw cotton this season.
The news of suicides in Vidarbha has surfaced at a time when the BJP-led government is boasting of the efforts being taken to help farmers. Barring Chandrapur, special relief packages have been announced in the other two districts.
Private traders started the purchase of cotton last week and have collected around 1.5 lakh quintals at Rs4,000 a quintal, lower than the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs4,100 a quintal fixed by the Central government.
The state cotton growers’ co-operative federation has decided to open procurement centres from next week.
The cotton growers in the region have suffered because of paucity of rain and later the untimely rain.
“The government should intervene and ensure that cotton growers get better prices,” said Kishore Tiwari, chief of state agriculture mission.
Maharashtra’s agrarian crisis
Yavatmal is the epicentre of the farm crisis in Vidarbha, a region that reports most number of farmer suicides in the country
On an average, three farmers commit suicide in the region owing to crippling debts and crop failure
The cotton growers in the region have suffered because of paucity of rain and later the untimely rain
The Union and state governments have provided several bailout packages for the crisis-ridden farmers since 2004, but ironically the situation hasn’t improved.