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Growing Naxalism due to lack of water: Reddy

Lack of water is the key reason for increased Naxal activities and farmer suicides in Andhra, according to Andhra Farmers Associations.

india Updated: Jun 05, 2006 16:21 IST

Lack of water is the key reason for increased Naxal activities and farmer suicides in Andhra Pradesh, according to Federation of Farmers Associations of Andhra Pradesh.

"The high rate of farmer suicides and increasing Naxalism are directly linked to non-availability of water in Andhra Pradesh," Federation Chairman P Chengal Reddy told reporters on the sidelines of a round-table discussion on water which was held on the occasion of the World Environment Day on Monday.

"There are no irrigation facilities in many parts of the state. Of the 2.2 crore acres of land under agriculture, only 75 lakhs have some sort of irrigation facility," he said.

"In the year 2005-06, according to us about 2,000 farmers in Andhra Pradesh committed suicide," Reddy said.

"This unavailability of irrigation water forces farmers to depend on rain-fed agriculture. Once the crop fails, the farmers land up in debt and commit suicide," Reddy who is also the secretary general of the Consortium of Indian Farmers Associations, said.

"Crop failures largely affect the small farmers who are easy prey for naxalities," he said.

"The small farmers along with the unemployed labour community and the tribals form the bulk of the naxal cadre," Reddy added.

First Published: Jun 05, 2006 16:12 IST