Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday told farmers embracing technology will help them tide over their problems.
He was speaking in Amravati, around 150kms from Nagpur, at an inaugural function of Krishi Vikas exhibition.
“You should stop relying on the god or the government to help you. You need to take charge to improve your lot. If you change your mindset and take training, agriculture will definitely change,” Gadkari told the farmers.
Amravati is one of the most suicide-prone regions of the state, where on an average three farmers commit suicide every day because of the agrarian crisis.
His statement surprised many, as Gadkari, who is the founder of Purti Sugar Private Limited, Nagpur, organises an agriculture exhibition every year in Nagpur for the benefit of farmers.
Kishore Tiwari, president of the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, who has been documenting farmers’ suicide in the region since 2001, strongly objected to the minister’s statement and described it as “unfortunate”.
“The farmers have already adopted modern technology in the form of genetic seeds, pesticides and fertilisers. But they were bankrupt owing to constant crop failure and not getting remunerative prices for their produces. Now, even as the government refuses to do anything for the farmers, they have no alternative but to commit suicide,” said Tiwari.
“The minister did not bother talking about real issues such as providing remunerative prices for their produces, finding suitable markets for them, among others. Instead, he preferred to ridicule them,” he added.