Amid rising farmer suicides, Maharashtra government will soon issue a comprehensive policy

Amid rising farmer suicides, the Shinde Fadnavis government announced on Tuesday that it will soon issue a comprehensive policy to curb it and redouble efforts to boost agriculture development and related activities. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde called on farmers not to take such an extreme threat but to overcome all difficulties.

It ensured government support by implementing a series of programs to increase agricultural production, crop diversification, strengthening agricultural universities, research and development, the farm to market initiative and the availability of funds.

“The government is concerned about farmer suicides and will soon put in place a policy to address this issue,” Shinde said, although he did not disclose further details.

Shinde’s announcement came after opposition state assembly leader Ajit Pawar claimed that as many as 137 farmers have died by suicide in the state since taking office. of the Shinde-Fadnavis government. Instead of addressing this crisis and the flooding situation, ministers were busy patting each other on the back, he said. He lashed out at the government after a farmer took his own life after putting a live electric wire in his mouth because he was unable to repay the debt and bear the burden any longer.

Additionally, the state government’s decision is significant because the distress of farmers in the state drove 2,498 of them to commit suicide from January to November 2021. In 2020, 2,547 indebted farmers ended their their days. This is despite crop waiver programs announced by successive state governments.

According to Gondia district agricultural expert in Vidarbha region, Vikas Ade, the farmer faces uncertainties in yield, price, credit, income and weather. The solution is to merge bold public policy initiatives with civil society engagement. ‘

“Maharashtra’s rain-dependent cotton farmers are facing declining profitability due to dumping in the global market by the United States, low import tariffs, the failure of the Monopoly Cotton Procurement Scheme and of state withdrawal lead to lower public investment in agriculture, poor government agricultural extension services and the diminishing role of formal credit institutions,” he said.

Furthermore, Kisan Sabha Maharashtra Secretary Ajit Nawale has suggested that the state government should implement 100 bizarre recommendations made by the Swaminathan Commission in the state and give direction to the country. “The government will have to closely monitor the operation of crop insurance companies in order to obtain compensation for farmers without delay. The government should introduce a fair and remunerative price for milk and provide financial assistance to farmers affected by nature’s fury beyond the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) standards,’ he suggested. .

Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana founder and former MP Raju Shetti said the government should identify farmers under the sway of unregistered private lenders and introduce a one-time settlement scheme for the repayment of loans taken from them at a rate of higher interest. This is necessary so that these farmers do not qualify for the benefits of the crop loan exemption scheme. ‘

“Government should take a proactive role in digging a well or borehole and provide a solar powered pump. Also, farmers, in addition to farming, should get cows or buffaloes so that they can increase their income,” he noted.

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