All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha (AIKMS) Central Executive member Gade Divakar on Sunday exhorted the peasants to join hands for protracted struggles to tide over the present difficult situation.

Preparing members of the CPI(ML-New Democracy)-led AIKMS here for struggles in support of agriculturists with focus on tenant farmers, he said “suicide is no solution. Share-croppers should shed their despondency and join hands to emerge as a strong force to fight for their rights''.

He asked the cadre to conduct more group meetings in villages for organising tenant farmers into a collective force for getting institutional credit, subsidised seeds and compensation for crops lost, with government schemes for them remaining mostly on paper due to officials apathy.

“If it was small and marginal farmers who ended their lives in the late 1990's, now it is tenant farmers who are losing hope and committing suicide'', he observed. Mr. Divakar, who has extensively toured to study this tendency among farmers, said “tenants who cultivate on lease less than five acres lose hope when their debt, mostly from private money lenders, crosses Rs.1 lakh mark and interest payment crosses Rs.20,000''.

While accusing TDP President N. Chandrababu Naidu of “paying lip service'' to peasants, he said Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, instead of dubbing farming as “unprofitable'', should concentrate on nurturing the agriculture sector, on which over 70 per cent of the total population was depended upon, in the interest of nation's food security. The Government should extend more subsidies to farmers on farm inputs and ensure a remunerative price for their produce by adding 50 per cent more to the cost of production .