The article “Farm suicides rise in Maharashtra, State still leads the list” (July 3) exposes the deepening crisis in the agriculture sector. For an agricultural economy like India, the grim fact that the number of farm suicides since 1995 has touched 2,70, 940 is a national shame, and a cause for deep worry and introspection. The government has failed to respond to the tragedies in farmers’ families. Farm lands are forcefully appropriated for promoting real estate, aggravating the food and livelihood crisis. A rapid increase in indebtedness, ever-increasing costs of production and the falling prices of farm commodities are the root causes of farmers taking their lives.
The government should take the responsibility of liberating the debt-ridden farmers from the vicious trap of moneylenders. More important, farmers should shift to organic and traditional farming, failing which the nexus between seed corporations and private moneylenders will deprive them of their livelihood.
That Maharashtra remains the worst single State for farm suicides for over a decade is a severe blow to the government, especially Union Minister for Agriculture Sharad Pawar who belongs to the State. The reason for the constant increase in farm suicides has not been probed promptly and the grievances of farmers not redressed by the State governments or the Centre.
With the population of farmers declining, the suicides will further affect the agriculture sector. How does the government plan to bring about food security when the basic production level is in jeopardy? It seems absolutely directionless on combating farmer suicides, poverty and hunger.
Keywords: farmers suicides