Debt-ridden farmers to protest agianst banks
Hozefa Merchant, Nagpur
Six vidarbha farmers comitted suicide on Tuesday bringing the overall suicide toll to about 410 since January 2007. Agitated by the Government's lithargic stand to help the situation, farmers from the vidarbha region have decided to start 'Hallabol agitation' before the banks in order to get fresh crop loan. The 'dharna' would start from 18th June, Kishor Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan samiti informed on Wednesday.
The agitation has been decided due to the fact that the debt-ridden farmers have been denied additional loan because of non-payment of previous loans. There are about 2 million farmers in debt, claimed a local NGO. The Indian Government waived off Rs. 710 crore overdue interest last year and reconstructed crop loan amounting to Rs. 1860 crore bringing around one million farmers under institutional credit. But due to cotton crop failure and poor market price, more than 90% farmers failed to pay their debt.
One of the few reasons for the crop failure is due to the use of 'bollgaurd 2' a genetically improved BT cotton crop manufactured by Mosanto and which is clearly not suitable for the climatic conditions in Vidarbha. More then 3 million Vidarbha farmers are in debt and an overdue loan waiver is the only solution to reduce the suicide rates, claimed Vidarbha Jan Andolan samiti through a press release.