Nine more Vidarbha Cotton farmers suicides reported in 72 hours

The ink of news that rocked on official national afrm suicide data of NCRB become official which has reported that the country has seen over a quarter of a million farmers’ suicides between 1995 and 2010. The National Crime Records Bureau’s latest report on ‘Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India’ places the number for 2010 at 15,964. That brings the cumulative 16-year total from 1995 — when the NCRB started recording farm suicide data — to 2,56,913, the worst-ever recorded wave of suicides of this kind in human history and Maharashtra posts a dismal picture with over 50,000 farmers killing themselves in the country’s richest State in that period. It also remains the worst State for such deaths for a decade now. Close to two-thirds of all farm suicides have occurred in five States: Maharashtra, Karnataka, A.P., Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Nine more debt trapped cotton farmers suicides reported in last 72 hours from the dying field of west vidarbha taking toll to 662 in year 2011, ill feted farmers are

1.Gajanan Sawant of Pangara Pole in Buldhana

2.Anata Bhilange of Nivana in Buldhana

3.Vithoba Munde of Sonasi in Buldhana

4.Gajanan Kavate of Palodi in Akola

5.Devrao Nimbolkar in asola in Akola

6.Sukhadev Pawar of amadi in Yavatmal

7.Ashok Chintelwar of karegoan(bandal) in Yavatmal

8.Ramesh Tekam of Mangarda in Yavatmal

9.Dadarao Nage of Lohgoan in Amaravati

Kishor Tiwari, president of Nagpur-based Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, (VJAS), activist group working for cotton farmer rights informed in a Press release today.

A progressive young farmer ended his life by climbing on an electric pole and touching a live wire at Pangra Dole village in Lonar taluka, Buldhana district, on Wednesday. Gajanan Sawant (28), a marginal farmer who owned two acres of land, died as soon as he came in contact with the live wire. He failed to bear the loan burden and took the extreme step. Ashok Chintelwar was facing crop failure after his bt.cotton lost in last week sun outrage Where as Ramesh Tekam debt trapped tribal farmers commuiiteed suicides after police tortured him in case of motor pump theft, Tiwari said.


Maharashtra’s story is alarming. It saw 20,066 farmers kill themselves between 1995 and 2002. That stands dwarfed by the 30,415 farmers who took their lives in the next eight years. The latter period saw an annual average increase of nearly 1,155 such deaths in the State. local leading daily reported today that around 15 lakh Hector Bt.cotton crop has been lost in six district of west vidarbha where in maharashtra most of Bt.cotton crop has been damaged due to delayed rain and erratic weather condition .Mahrashtra is the state where Bt.cotton has crossed 50 lakhs hector this year out of which more than 35 lakhs hector is purely dry land area where rainy water is only source.

Initially Maharashtra Govt. expected yield of cotton was around 450 lakhs quintal that has been revised to 300 lakhs quintal but prevailing crop condition and severe damage to Bt. Cotton crop in region average yield likely to be dropped by 50% .on the expenses front cultivation cost has jumped to Rs.20,000/- per acre from Rs.12,000/-where average yield has come down 2 quintal per acre from 4 quintal per acre  hence accumalted losees are likely to cross more than Rs.5000 crore in vidarbha alone and this is trigger of this restart of farm suicide spiral ,Tiwari addded.


VJAS has urged Govt. of India to  send team of expert to assess the Bt. Cotton crop damage in maharashtra and west vidarbha in particular where cotton afrmers are killing themselves .VJAS has been demanding hike in cotton MSP  Rs.6000/- per quintal and relief package to dying cotton farmers of region , Tiwari added.


Maharashtra leads in statistic of shame-Farmers sucides

P. SAINATH, The Hindu, Mumbai, October 29, 2011

Share of Big 5 rose to 66.49 % of all farm suicides in 2010
Click here to view/download table on Farm Suicides: All India totals and numbers for five worst-affected States, 1995-2010

The five States with the largest share of the quarter-of-a-million farm suicides recorded in India over the past 16 years are Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

While the total number of farmers who took their own life in 2010 showed a dip from the preceding year, the share of the Big 5, in fact, rose to 66.49 per cent of all farm suicides in 2010. It was 62 per cent in 2009. Three of the Big 5 States have shown significant increases over 2009: Maharashtra (+269), Karnataka (+303), and Andhra Pradesh (+111). Nationally, the last eight years have seen on average, farmers killing themselves at a rate of one every 30 minutes.

In all, 14 of 28 States reported increases in 2010, while four have recorded declines of five or fewer suicides. The dip in 2010 comes with big falls in Chhattisgarh (-676), Tamil Nadu (-519) and Rajasthan (-461) and significant falls in Madhya Pradesh (-158), Puducherry (-150), and Uttar Pradesh (-108). West Bengal and Gujarat also report declines of 61 and 65. But the overall trend remains dismal.

In 1995, the first time the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) tabulated farm suicide data, the Big 5 accounted for 56.04 per cent of all farm suicides . In 2010, despite a one-year decline, they accounted for 66.49 per cent. Maharashtra’s story is alarming. It saw 20,066 farmers kill themselves between 1995 and 2002. That stands dwarfed by the 30,415 farmers who took their lives in the next eight years. The latter period saw an annual average increase of nearly 1,155 such deaths in the State. This was also the period when money was poured into relief ‘packages’ of the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister, through the loan waiver of 2008, and other measures.

During the very decade in which it reigned without break as the worst State to be a farmer in, Maharashtra rose to the first position among the big States in per capita income. Overall at Rs. 74,027, it is behind only much smaller States like Haryana and Goa. The Union Agriculture Minister is from this State and has held that post for six of those 10 years.

NCRB reports Maharashtra tops farm suicides in 2010 -VJAS

Owing to rampant corruption in the Bt.Cotton farming sector a recent NCRB report has stated that Maharashtra tops the suicide number followed by four more states

A RECENT NCRB report stated that Maharashtra tops farmer suicides in 2010. It’s official that the country has seen over a quarter of a million farmer suicides between 1995 and 2010. The National Crime Records Bureau’s latest report on Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India places the number for 2010 at 15,964 and Maharashtra has reported maximum 3141 farmers suicides followed by Karnataka 2585, Andhra Pradesh at 2,525 and Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh amounting 10,614.
That brings the cumulative 16-year total from 1995 when the NCRB started recording farm suicide data to 2, 56, 913, the worst-ever recorded wave of suicides of this kind in human history. Maharashtra posts a dismal picture with over 50,000 farmers killing themselves in the country’s richest State in that period. It also remains the worst State for such deaths for a decade now. Close to two-thirds of all farm suicides have occurred in five States: Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti has urged UPA convener Sonia Gandhi to change Maharashtra worst performing Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan as he is failed to protect cotton farmers of region having has ignored main demands of hike in Minimum Support Price-MSP of cotton, soybean and paddy and failed to resolve the issues of the procurement centres along with serious issue of power cut in rural Vidarbha which is more than 18 hours and due to load-shedding, 50 per cent cotton and paddy production of the region has suffered hence it was expected.

The recent announcement of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan yesterday that hiking the of Minimum Support Price-MSP of cotton will hit textile industry and lead to closing of mills has shocked the five million cotton farmers of Maharashtra as this is against the pending demand of congress and NCP party. It was expected that congress leaders of region will take up this serious issue of agrarian crisis with Maharashtra CM but nobody pushed the main demands and all were busy in welcoming him moreover.

As Chief Minister Chavan has given hostile administration to state and administrative corruption is at peaks there is no coordination of ministers with chief minister resulting complete failure of state coalition government hence we are demanding his removal to save dying cotton farmers of Maharashtra.

In Maharashtra alone cotton is cultivated over 52 lakh hectare and the lion’s share of it is in the rain fed region of Vidarbha and Marathwada where Bt.cotton crop has been failed due to long dry spell in September severely effecting the net yield of cotton by 50 per cent resulting another Black Diwali for Bt.cotton growers who are in rip of agrarian crisis and committing suicides since June 2005.

The rain sensitive Bt.cotton seed which has increased almost triple the cultivation cost and drop down the net average cotton production per hector coupled with international market volatility and Indian Govt. export restrictions are the main reasons of prevailing distress and despair in region forcing the cotton farmers to kill themselves which is matter of national shame but complete apathy of Govt. at the centre and state are adding fuel to this on-going farmers genocide, Tiwari said.

Since august party leaders who are in power are found busy in demanding MSP for cotton like public auction from Rs 5,000 or Rs 6000 per quintal and it is countered by the opposition leaders with the demand for Rs 7,000 or Rs 8,000 per quintal for the sake of political mileage making joke of the debt ridden farmers suffering as UPA Congress-NCP government has shamelessly hiked the cotton price from Rs 3,000 to Rs 3,300 a quintal in four years overlooking sky rocketing production cost which is allowing private traders to exploit the cotton farmers hence Maharashtra farmers are demanding state procurement at minimum Rs . 6000 per quintal in order to give bailout relief more than 5 million debt trapped cotton farmers of Maharashtra as there are valid reasons when The Maharashtra State Cooperative Cotton Growers Marketing Federation chairman Dr NP Hirani has demanded Rs 6,000 per quintal while MPCC president Manikrao Thakre urged Congress president Sonia Gandhi to ensure Rs 5,000 MSP followed by social justice minister Shivajirao Moghe took two MLAs along with him to New Delhi and they urged the Party President Smt.Sonia Gnadhiji to lift ban on cotton export permanently and hike the MSP to Rs 7,000 per quintal but in ground reality cotton farmers will another Black Diwali and there are more chances of farm suicides due on going despair and distress, Tiwari added.

Looking at prevailing situation internationally wherein cotton prices are likely to soar to Rs 7,000 a quintal this year too riding on the global scarcity on account of poor crops in the US, China and Pakistan, Indian cotton farmers can hedge these prices only if central government manages to raise the minimum support price to Rs 6,000 level but The government has not responded favourably disappointing cotton farmer hence we urge for urgent intervention to save dying cotton farmers, Tiwari said.

“As the reports from all over are showing world shortage of cotton production, the Indian farmer gets advantage this time as cotton is now placed under open general license (OGL) for exports. But the OGL status should be continued. Last year, the Centre put unnecessary restrictions on exports denying farmers an opportunity to make it big. In the process they lost a market worth Rs 30,000 crore,” said Tiwari.

At the national level Maharashtra is main state which is cultivating Bt.cotton in around 52 lakh hector which is around 40% of Indian cotton cultivation moreover agrarian economy of Maharashtra is completely based on cotton production and prices hence we demand urgent intervention from government.

Vidarbha cotton growers` convention tomorrow in Yavatmal

Nagpur, Oct 12 (PTI) The Bhartiya Kisan Sabha (BKS), a left wing farmers union along with farm activists and economists will be meeting at Wani in Yavatmal district tomorrow for the Vidarbha Cotton growers’ convention. The meet will be working out a strategy on future agitation as more than three million dry land cotton farmers have already lost cotton crop over two million hectares, said, Kishore Tiwari of Cotton Farmers’ advocacy group Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti, which is supporting the proposed cotton conclave. Atul Anjaan, National Convener Bhartiya Kisan Sabha (BKS) noted economist Shirinivas Khandewale and Shivdas Utane Maharashtra unit president of BKS and Namdeo Gwande, General secretary of Maharashtra BKS along with Tiwari will participate in the convention. Anil Ghate is the convener of this cotton conclave, Tiwari said. Cotton is the biggest cash crop grown in Vidarbha region and in some parts of Marathwada and Khandesh. The price the crop gets decides the fate of three million families in the state which has the largest area under cotton crop in the country. Meanwhile, amid reports that private traders have started buying cotton in open market from farmers at prices ranging between Rs 4000-4500 per quintal, the Maharashtra Cotton Federation has demanded the government to raise the Minimum Support price to Rs 6000 against the current Rs 3300. PTI JOE

Bt cotton crop washed away in vidarbha-DNA Reports

Bt Cotton Crop washed away in Vidarbha-DNA
DNA / Yogesh Pawar / Sunday, September 25, 2011 8:00 IST
Step into the fields with your shoes on and you realise why it makes sense to walk barefoot like Rameshwar Golewar of Kolejhari in Kalam tehsil of Yavatmal district in Vidarbha’s suicide country. Your foot slips till the ankle into the soggy clay-like field. “It has rained so much in the last week that my entire crop is ruined,” points out Golewar as he looks around the wilting cotton crop on his 12 acre field.

The rains have brought a double whammy. Not only has the rain halted the flowering midway, but has also led to rampant growth of weeds. “If I employ labour to remove weeds, the cost is prohibitive, so I have decided to use weedicide instead. Even a drop of the strong chemical is enough to destroy whatever is left of the cotton. But what choice do I have?”

Farmers like him are caught in a bind even while agro MNCs with a nod from the government are laughing their way to the bank. Authorities first encouraged farmers in Vidarbha to opt for genetically modified Bt cotton, saying the yield will be huge. Despite initial resistance, aggressive campaigning by brand ambassadors like Nana Patekar saw many a farmer convert in the hope they would make a killing.

“With our native species, even if flowering failed due to excessive rain in the first half of the season, we would still manage at least some yield since the plants flower again. Bt cotton only flowers once and any failure means re-sowing the expensive Rs1,200-a-packet seeds,” says Golewar’s neighbour, Ambadas Rathod, who is also calculating his losses.

The blitzkrieg on high yield hadn’t informed farmers of how high the cost of fertiliser would be or how pesticide-intensive this species is. “At Rs1,000 a kilo, I spent nearly Rs10,000 on fertiliser alone, and a further Rs12,000 per litre on 6-litre pesticide. Now all that money and my hard work has been washed away,” says Rathod.

At the Yavatmal collectorate, a tehsil-wise report submitted to the district collector on rain in the past 24 hours tells a completely different story. The figures for Kalam say 0.00 mm rains. When told of the anomaly between the report and the ground reality, collector Shravan Hardikar has an explanation ready: “The hydrometers which gauge rain are located in the tehsil office. It is impossible to keep track of local instances of high precipitation.”

None of the farmers can seek compensation for their losses until the local tehsildar and collector send a recommendation with a panchanama of the loss. Once the district administration shows on record that rains are normal, farmers are left high and dry with their rotting crop.

Attempts to involve collector Hardikar on this issue are met with resistance. “I go by figures in front of me. There may be claims of heavy rain, but statistics with me show that we have only got 84% of the total rainfall we get by this time of the year,” he insists. “I have visited Yerat and Tipeshwar and the farm produce seems quite healthy. In fact, it looks like we are expecting a bountiful crop this season.”

Even in instances when a panchanama was made, farmers got nothing. Both in Kolejhari and in Baarsa, 80 kms away, farmers are still awaiting compensation for losses in 2005-06. “We know that the funds arrived because compensation was given to farmers in villages with the right political contacts. But we are yet to see any money despite numerous costly reminder trips to the tehsil and collectorate office,” says Namdeo Jindewar of Kolejhari.

Little wonder then that there is such despondence in the region, and Yavatmal continues to remain the capital of suicide country.

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How Green These Barrens

A magical oasis right in the middle of the suicide belt of Maharashtra, Hivre Bazaar village shows what united thought and action can achieve

Trigger Why we are doing this story

In Maharashtra, 79 farmers have killed themselves so far this year, with three indebted farmers committing suicide on Aug 8.

Between the dense outcrop of crooked trees and wild grass, we spot two cheetal deer from the car. In a flash, they are gone, the white underside of their tails flashing as they speed away. Only, we aren’t in a reserve forest or national park. Hivre Bazaar is like a miracle smack in the middle of the driest, most drought-prone and arid areas of Maharashtra. It gets an annual rainfall of 300-400 mm; in comparison, nearby Vidarbha, the ‘suicide belt’ of Maharashtra, gets almost double. Across the village borders, marked by big boulders, the terrain turns barren again, with a few straggly trees fighting for survival. Smooth, paved roads criss-cross the village. There is not one garbage heap in sight, not one plastic bag, no open latrines. There are also no cows, buffaloes or pigs mucking about. The cattle we spot are herded carefully by owners. Instead of rudimentary mud-and-stone huts, there are pucca cottages, all painted in a soothing light pinkish-brown. Hivre Bazaar is the very antithesis of the poverty-stricken, dirty Indian village. A miracle? It is, when you hear its story, for Hivre Bazaar is not far from the state’s suicide belt. But it’s a miracle that’s wholly replicable.

Baba Ramji Pawar, 73, who rides into the village square on his motorbike, stops to chat for a while about the village’s dismal past. “It used to be called a punishment posting by government officers,” he says. “There were no roads or fields here, only stones and dry land. Crops used to fail all the time because of water shortage. Our women had to walk 2 km just to get some drinking water. The men used to be drunk all the time because they were jobless. There used to be gambling and such violent fights!” Since farming provided a meagre living, most families, sunk in debt, opted to migrate to nearby Ahmednagar, Pune or Mumbai to work as casual labourers.

Change master Sarpanch Popatrao Pawar has transformed Hivre Bazaar village. (Photograph by Apoorva Salkade)

This is how Popatrao Pawar found Hivre Bazaar when he came here in the 1990s. He had left the village as a teenager to do his masters in commerce and chase his dream of becoming a cricketer. But as things turned from bad to worse in his village, he decided to return, despite opposition from his parents. Mohan Chattar, an associate, says Pawar’s “madness” infected them all and swept them along towards prosperity.

“Unlike other places, party politics played no role in our village. I was elected sarpanch simply because I was educated and had a plan of action. Instead of being divided by politics, we came together for the good of the village,” says Pawar. His first step was to hold gram sabhas where all the villagers, men, women and the youth used to collect to discuss the problems and possible solutions. Pawar introduced the concept of shramdan (voluntary labour) by everyone to improve the village’s condition. This free labour is what fuelled the tree plantation drive that has now converted it into a green oasis. Now, a quarter of the village is completely covered by dense woods.

“The forest department wasn’t too happy with us to begin with because the villagers used to cut trees indiscriminately and the latter even tied up one of their guards when he tried to stop them,” recalls Chattar. Several meetings later, the department finally agreed on a joint reforestation programme: the plan was to plant only local trees, shrubs and a hardy grass native to the area, which required only a little rainfall to take root. Soon, the greenery started binding the soil and allowed rainwater to percolate to the rocky water table. Cattle wasn’t allowed to graze at will and tree-felling was banned. Branches were allowed to be pruned for firewood, however. And only the top of the long grass was cut for fodder so that the roots remained undisturbed.

Concrete change Baba Ramji Pawar on a well-kept village street. (Photograph by Apoorva Salkade)

The village then decided to dig continuous contour trenches across the hillsides to create water catchment areas. They got technical and financial help from the state government. The next step was to build bunds, percolation tanks and water storage areas that required little maintenance. “Tube wells that suck water out of the ground were only allowed within the village for drinking purposes. The fields were watered from ordinary wells via drip irrigation instead of flood irrigation,” says Pawar. Villagers found the government’s drip irrigation of the “Israel model” not workable; so they worked out deals with local contractors who created and maintained drip irrigation systems suited to the local terrain. “The idea was to save and utilise every bit of rain we got.” So instead of growing thirsty cash crops like sugarcane or bananas once a year, the villagers grew onions, vegetables, fruits, bajra, jowar and wheat through the whole year.

Next, the village put a stop to the thirst of another kind—it banned liquor shops and all tobacco products. The panchayat came up with alternate sources of income for people running the liquor vends by helping them acquire cattle or open village shops. They also started a scheme to support the girl child. If any family had a second girl, her expenses were borne by the village panchayat.

These steps were tough to take and even tougher to implement. But the villagers stuck to them and the gambit has paid off. Today, Hivre Bazaar’s per capita income is Rs 30,000, thrice the national average. Farmers are tilling their land with tractors instead of oxen or buffaloes. Sahiba Chuduman Gaikwad is one of the poorest landless peasants in the village. He works on others’ fields and sells milk to the dairy cooperative, but says he saves Rs 20,000 a year because daily wages in Hivre Bazaar are way above that in other villages.

Gaikwad is a great example of how the inclusive growth model adopted by Pawar has worked. As a landless peasant who found no work in the village, he had left in 1995 with his family to earn a living as a casual labourer in Mumbai. He returned recently as incomes in his village grew. Six months ago, he bought buffaloes by taking a bank loan. “Normally, a bank would never give a loan to a casual labourer like me. But the gram sabha stood guarantor, so I was able to buy these buffaloes,” says Gaikwad. In time he hopes to turn in enough profit to call back his son who is still working in Mumbai. He is among the 100 people who have returned to the village in a case of reverse migration, unheard of in other parts of Maharashtra.

The Bank of Maharashtra opened a branch in the village last year. It has given out Rs 6 crore in loans till now and there has not been a single defaulter. Besides short-term loans for seeds and other agricultural inputs, the bank has also helped “refinance” loans taken from sahukars from neighbouring villages. The moneylenders charge Rs 2,500 a month on a loan of Rs 50,000. The bank charges Rs 3,500 per year for the same amount. It has also collected Rs 3.5 crore in savings accounts maintained by the villagers. There are more than 50 villagers with Rs 10 lakh in their bank accounts. “Ordinarily, a bank takes about 8-10 years to show this kind of growth. We’ve done it in one-and-a-half years,” says A. Bhatamrekar, the manager. “Now I see Std II students opening and operating accounts, saving up their pocket money.” Young Vaibha Vaitkar, only 11 years, remembers his balance by heart. “It’s Rs 7,366,” he chirps.

Acres green A bird’s eye view of the oasis that is Hivre Bazaar. (Photograph by Apoorva Salkade)

As incomes shoot up, several other changes have occurred. Cleanliness is scrupulously maintained. Every house comes with its own attached toilet. Open defecation is banned. Biogas supplied to each home has reduced the dependence on trees for firewood. A constant supply of clean water from hand pumps, not ponds, has led to a fall in malaria and other water-borne diseases that used to plague the village. The school used to be a one-room shack, with classes only up to Std IV. Now, it’s a modern building and has classes till Std XII. The villagers also got together to build a little mosque for the only Muslim family living there.

The next step is to take brand Hivre Bazaar to the world. The village will soon have a market that will sell organic milk and value-added goods like packed chutneys, spreads, pastes, preserves, fresh bottled fruit juices and flour. And Hivre Bazaar hopes the thousands who visit the village to study its success from around the world—MBA students, workers and executives from voluntary groups, farmers from across India and global agencies like the World Bank—will be its customers.

Pawar is now focusing his energies on the nearby Vidarbha region, which has been hit by farmer suicides. “Government subsidies are just handicapping the region,” he says. “Centrally-administered, arbitrarily disbursed loans and packages to individual farmers are simply wasted—on weddings, on alcohol or repaying old debts to moneylenders. The key lies in giving the power back to the panchayats, which will find local solutions instead of leaving it to visiting government officials or worse, the netas.” Starting with Amravati district in Vidarbha, Pawar wants to transform this troubled region, village by village. Like in Hivre Bazaar, hopefully, his madness will soon catch on.

Farmers urge Anand Sharma to lift restriction on raw cotton

Farmers have urged new Textile Minister Anand Sharma to lift all quantitative restrictions on raw cotton and provide export incentives to farmers, so that their economic interest is protected as done by the US govt
IT WAS imposing of quantitative restrictions in 2004 for free cotton import by the NDA government, which allowed dumping of cheapest 20 million cotton bales, resulting in economic recession and start of cotton farmers’ suicide spiral in Vidarbha. It was once again re-imposed in 2009 when present UPA government. introduced stringent cotton export measures. The purpose of such measures was to protect the interest of the handful of textile mill owners, who wanted cheaper raw cotton despite knowing that it was an unfair trade practice and would come at the cost of 1 billion dying cotton farmers.

Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti informed today that the Vidarbha cotton farmers, who suffered major losses and reported more than 10,000 farmers suicides after wrong policies of cotton export and import, have written to new Textile Minister Anand Sharma to lift all quantitative restrictions on raw cotton and provide export incentives to farmers, so that their economic interest is protected as done by the US government.

“India has reported more than 2 lakhs 34 thousands farmers suicides in the last decade, the largest genocide in the history of mankind, and 90% of farmers who killed themselves are mainly cotton growers. Wrong govt. policies related to export and credit and faulty cultivation pattern and input are the main causes of despair and distress which is killing the innocent farming community in India. This is a blot on the face of mankind, and the fact that a country like America is mainly responsible for the farm genocide,” Tiwari said.

The letter written by Vidarbha cotton farmers’ advocacy group Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJAS) has urged new Textile Minister Anand Sharma to examine the fact that there is a surplus stock of at least 50 lakh bales and that his ministry has given it’s node to agriculture and commerce ministry’s demand for additional 50 lakhs bales in order to protect the financial interest of Indian cotton farmers. This is part of textile ministry’s effort to get cotton export curtailed so that it can exploit the situation. It’s unfortunate that the textile minister is involved in this textile cartel that has ruined around one billion cotton farmers to tune of Rs.20,000 crore. The losses are likely to be more if Indian govt. continues with anti-farmer policies.

“Indian textile lobby initially managed to convince textile minister to restrict cotton bales export to 55 lakhs bales from last year’s 84 lakh bales though the country’s cotton production is higher by another 25 lakh bales. Now surprisingly as per Quota Policy of Cotton items has added Cotton Waste (Comber Noil) H. S. Code No. 5202 as Cotton Waste is a ‘By-product’ of Cotton Yarn,” Tiwari added.

“New Textile Minister Anand Sharma should admit that cotton production has grown from a low of 225 lakh bales to 330 lakh bales in last 5 years… and when Indian cotton after lot of hard work and promotion by exporters has found a very stable and regular market in foreign countries, the govt. should ensure that the markets created are not lost to competition due to its faulty policies to protect handful textile mill owners,” he further said.

“We need the urgent central intervention and demand that all export restriction on cotton bales and yarn be lifted so that farmers get higher price for cotton,” Tiwari concluded.