Monthly Archives: February 2007

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It's suicidal not to address real problems of farmers… ABHIRAM GHADYALPATILTIMES NEWS NETWORK[ WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2007 03:23:50 AM] MUMBAI: The state government’s claim that farmers’ suicides in Vidarbha region are in decline has been called into question by the local NGOs and social activists. Though the figures for the past three months offer some solace, the slump in numbers hides the real agrarian crisis and the catastrophe could revisit Vidarbha in 2007 as well, they point out. According to the government website that has been tracking the issue in six districts of Vidarbha, more than 1,450 farmers had ended their lives in 2006 alone. It claims that the number has come down in the recent months. “Farm […]


India’s Dam Shame • Polavaram Dam is economically unviable. • It will adversely affect the Andhra Pradesh budget for decades. • The dam will take resources from other vitally needed infrastructure. • The supposed benefits of the dam will be reality only to a few people in Andhra pradesh. • Politicians and bureaucrats who do not want to tackle the tougher issues of failing infrastructure and inadequate services hope the dam project will make people feel they are doing something about water problems in Andhra Pradesh. • Polavaram Dam will dislocate the lives of at least one million people. • The proposed compensation package is inadequate and will not be delivered […]

Failure in Irrigation…. Business Standard / New Delhi February 21, 2007 Farmer suicides and distress in the countryside have taken on the dimensions of a national scandal. What farmers need most of all is assured water for irrigating their crops; indeed, many suicides by farmers have been traced to the disastrous drilling of bore wells that turn out to be dry or to crop failure because the rains did not come. That is why the rapid expansion of irrigation was made one of the six components of the ambitious Bharat Nirman project. So it is a tragedy that the objective has been lost sight of when it comes to budgets and programme execution. […]

India Not Shining?… There have been a lot of dissapointing news for the nation in the past month or so:1. Farmer suicides -> Despite government interventions, farmers in Vidarbha and elsewhere continue to kill themselves. Reasons? Governments not doing enough to solve their problems. Aam admi’s party no longer cares for the poor. Solutions? Eliminate private money lending. Do away with BT Cotton and similar sinister schemes. Waive farmer loans in a manner similar to that of waiving industrial loans.2. Inflation -> Spiralling costs of essential commodities. Reasons? Might be out of the control of the government. Solutions? No short term remedy in sight. Medium and long term controls already in place. […]

Burden of credit for Punjab farmers

Arijit Barman… CNN-IBN Posted Tuesday , February 20, 2007 at 20:03 Updated Tuesday , February 20, 2007 at 20:41 LOAN MOAN: Stats show an average farming family in Punjab has more to repay than families anywhere else in India. Punjab: Naseeb Kaur is a widow. Her husband committed suicide almost a decade ago, to escape the Rs 7 lakh debt burden. Kaur managed to marry off three of her daughters, but in the bargain, she had to part with the one hectare acre land she owned for she had to give that as dowry. Today, her daily existence is a continuous struggle and the debt the last thing on […]

Cotton prices wrecking Indian Farmers… By B. GAUTAM Special to The Japan Times MADRAS, India — The western Indian state of Maharashtra, whose capital is the nation’s financial capital Bombay, has made great strides in lifting cotton production. Land dedicated to growing cotton increased from 92,000 hectares in 2003 to 480,000 hectares in 2004, according to government sources. As more and more land continues to be planted in cotton, India has now joined the list of “biotech” mega-nations (those growing at least 50,000 hectares of biotech crop) — along with the United States, Argentina, Canada, Brazil, China, Paraguay and South Africa. Yet there is no sign of farmer suicides abating. In January alone, 62 […]

India-the land of contradictions

From Alternative Perspective by Madhukar ShuklaNOTE: 1 crore = 10mn; 1 lac = 0.1mn; $1 = about Rs.45India is world’s 2nd largest exporter of rice, and world’s 5th largest exporter of wheatOver past 5 years, on average 15,000 farmers have committed suicide every year (i.e., 4-5/day) due to poverty and indebtness. An Indian farmer household has an average debt of Rs 12,585 – 82% farmer households in Andhra Pradesh, 74.5% in Tamil Nadu, 65.4% in Punjab, 61.1% in Karnataka, 54.8% in Maharashtra, etc. live in debt.India is world’s 2nd largest fruit and vegetables producer, and the largest producer of milkOne third of India’s population goes hungry to bed everyday.India is […]

Desparate Indian Farmers Kill themselves in ‘Free’ Market Economy…. Siliconeer, News Feature, Siliconeer Report, Posted: Feb 19, 2007 You watch “I Want My Father Back,” Suma Josson’s poignant documentary film on the misery of small-scale farmers in Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region, and it breaks your heart.Academics may argue about economic statistics, ideologues can engage in polemical debates, but Suma Josson has actually been there, and documented the suffering first hand.I Want My Father Back was screened recently in the Bay Area at the University of California at Berkeley, Fremont and Santa Clara in association with the India Relief and Education Fund (, a 12-year-old Bay Area organization, which works towards increasing awareness about social justice issues in India. Whether […]

Punjab and Gujarat-Rich states, rich politicians, poor track records, negative images… The NDTV show on the Punjab farmer’s suicides came as a rude shock! The heart-breaking scenes, the tears and misery of the women who lost their husbands were too much to bear viewing for long. Yet, the feature did a great national service for highlighting what is held back from the public view the many contradictions and distortions that have come to characterise Punjab agriculture. What was often highlighted, made great public displays in the newspapers and TV channels is the Bharti Mittal’s Wal-Mart foray or Pepsi Company’s entry into the agri sector. The Green Revolution creates a false image and that false image had stuck in public memory, […]

Killer Policies… 70 Farmer Suicides in Vidarbha in 2007. In the last three days, nine more farmers have committed suicide in Vidarbha. This brings the number of suicides in six districts of Vidarbha to 1000 – after the visit by the PM and an announcement of a special package of Rs 3750 Crores on July 1st, 2006. Even official data shows that the state of cotton growers in west Vidarbha has worsened with the wrong policies of the state, and free trade policies tied to economic liberalization. –, 11 February 2007

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