Save chilli farmers from suicide: Revanth

Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president A. Revanth Reddy expressed serious concern over the rising suicides of chilly farmer and urged the government to bail out the farmers who incurred huge losses due to crop loss.

In a letter to Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, he said there was an alarming rise in farmers' suicides across Telangana in the past three to four months, and on average 5 to 10 farmers were taking their own lives every day due to accumulated debts. Most of the farmers were aged around 35.

Mr. Reddy said that this year chilli was cultivated in 3,58,557 acres spread across Khammam, Mahabubabad, Kothagudem, Warangal Urban, Warangal Rural, Nalgonda and Suryapeta districts. The farmers invested about

₹1 lakh per acre and expected good returns. However, their crops were destroyed by Thrips Parvispinous, an invasive insect from Indonesia, which was first seen in 2015.

Consequently, as against the expected yield of 25 to 30 quintals per acre, the yield was less than five quintals causing huge losses to the farmers. On average, he said that each chilli farmer had accumulated a debt of ₹5 lakh to 10 lakh. The situation of tenant farmers had become even worse. With no means left to recover the losses or to repay the debt, many farmers were resorting to suicide.

Mr. Reddy said the Chief Minister had been asking paddy farmers to go for alternative crops. But so far he had done nothing to help the crisis-hit chilli farmers. What was the guarantee that farmers would get the required assistance from the government if they go for an alternate crop other than paddy? he asked.

The TPCC chief urged the Chief Minister to send a team of ministers to affected districts to give confidence to chilli farmers or else the Congress would launch a movement to seek justice for mirchi farmers. “Farmers should be supplied with seeds and fertilizers free of cost for their next crop and ₹10 lakh compensation should be given to the families of farmers who have committed suicide,” he demanded. Mr. Reddy said over 40,000 farmers had committed suicide under the TRS rule since 2014 and majority of them had not even received compensation.

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Printable version | May 23, 2022 4:05:13 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/save-chilli-farmers-from-suicide-revanth/article38074140.ece