Rural India in crisis as unseasonal rains affect one-third of rabi crop
GN Bureau | April 3, 2015
Unseasonal rains and hailstorms have continued well into April in many parts of the country, much to the dismay of farmers who are suffering heavy losses.
Crops have been destroyed in about 1.81 crore hectares of land in 13 states, according to the initial and conservative estimates of the agriculture ministry. The total area under rabi cultivation is around 6 crore hectares, and thus close to one-third of the rabi crops are destroyed.
Of course, two days after the initial estimates, the government revised the figure to only 1.06 crore hectares, after accusing the states of overestimation and over-reporting.
Various farmer organisations under the umbrella of the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), however, maintain that the magnitude of the crisis is far beyond what the government claims. They say the official estimate does not include crop losses in states like Bihar, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Odisha, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Assam and the other northeastern states – and unseasonal rains are continuing.
At a meeting of peasants, agricultural workers and trade unions, they demanded the following measures to help the farmers:
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