Stop farmers’ suicides– Govt of MH must implement Swaminathan commission min support price
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Our farmers who are the ‘Annadata’ went on strike first time in the history, for their very survival. Years after dealing with drought, crop diseases, adverse climate due to global warming, burden of debt recoveries from financial institutions and private lenders our farmers are already exhausted and disheartened. This year rain was good and helped farmers to rip satisfactory production, and farmers were hoping to get some relief from the vicious cycle. However, when debt ridden farmers tried to sell these produce in the market, prices for all were already collapsed. In some cases prices are so below of their production cost that, transporting it back home would cost more than what they are getting in hand after selling it. Situation is worst for perishable goods, at some places like Nashik, onions and tomatoes are going for Rs.1-2 per kg. Traders are no longer buying some of the produce, like ‘Tur’, and asking other produce at very low rate. Even though farmers have something to sell this year, government is not able to buy all of it with a guarantee price. All of this is resulting in deterioration of what they have produced, more losses to farmers and we are witnessing increasing numbers of farmers’ suicides. Can you turn a blind eye to the sufferings of our farmers?
To help reduce farmers’ suicides and avoid incurring debt, farmers are demanding implementation of M S Swaminathan Commission recommendations (2006). Particularly implementation of Minimum Support Price (MSP) which was also promised to farmers before the current government at center assumed office. (Prof. Swaminathan is a geneticist, known as ‘Indian Father of Green Revolution’ for his key contributions in Green Revolution in 1960s). As per report, Minimum Support Price (MSP) should be at least 50% more than the weighted average cost of production. If this is implemented rigorously, it will help farmers to cover all production expenses, pay off loans and earn their living. Just like any other business which locks in profit margin before sending any product into the market! Other major key findings farmers are demanding, from the recommendations under prevention of farmers’ suicides are to provide for a Social Security net with provision for old age support and health insurance, as well as cover all crops by crop insurance with the village and not block as the unit for assessment.
I hope you will support and sympathize with our farmers and sign this petition for Government of Maharashtra and Government at Center to implement at least these three recommendations of M S Swaminathan Commission recommendations as is with immediate effect.
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