What govt can do to help farmers

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:
 

  • Declare the crop loss across the country and floods in Jammu and Kashmir a national calamity and announce a relief package
  • Convene a special session of parliament and a meeting of chief ministers to discuss the situation
  • Form a joint monitoring group to oversee relief and rehabilitation
  • Waive all farm loans and ensure crop insurance payment taking account of losses in each field
  • Provide time-bound compensation for peasants and share-croppers covering cost of production, yield and income loss
  • Provide compensation for agricultural workers equivalent to the prevalent minimum wages for three months
  • Ensure employment under MGNREGA and supply free food grain to all affected families for three months
  • Provide inputs for the next season free of cost, making input providers and insurance companies contribute to a special corpus   fund
  • Waive electricity bills of farmers, share-croppers and agricultural workers


 

Comments

 

Other News

Stories to read over the weekend

At one time these pale rooms of the Delhi commission for women looked like sleepy corners of officialdom; they are now best described as a bustling sarkari office. The woman who transformed this moribund organisation hardly looks like a powerful leader. Dressed in casual blue jeans and loose deni

Tata Trusts, PFA to build state-of-the-art veterinary hospital

Tata Trusts and People For Animals (PFA) announced their collaboration to build a state-of-the-art, multi-specialty veterinary hospital and emergency clinic at Navi Mumbai to serve the needs of all domestic and farm animals at affordable rates.   The hospital will be built in Kala

The shot just got smarter

A long queue of women, infants in their arms, extends outside the immunisation room at the community health centre (CHC) in Bhangel village, Noida, a pink double-storey building beside a bustling market. Unmindful of the chit-chatting and baby babble, Mariamma Samuel, an auxiliary nurse-cum-midwi

Do you think fugitive industrialist Vijay Mallya will be extradited from Britain to India?

Do you think fugitive industrialist Vijay Mallya will be extradited from Britain to India?

Reform first, privatise later: Bibek Debroy to railways

Before privatisation and corporatisation, the Indian Railways need to undertake major reforms including commercial accounting, decentralisation and human resource among others, said Bibek Debroy, economist and member, NITI Aayog at Railways Reforms and Governance Conclave organised by Governance Now on Fri

NTPC plans for 32 GW installed capacity via renewable sources

NTPC Ltd has raised Rs 2,000 crore through green masala bonds in overseas market under its $4 billion medium term note programme, union minister Piyush Goyal informed the Lok Sabha. The proceeds of these bonds will be used for financing renewable energy projects in accordance with applicable

Video

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter