As per one estimate so far 673 farmers have committed suicide, and the number is growing day by day. Why the governments failed to put a stop to this heart-breaking truth, that the very person who feeds the nation, takes away his life in desperation. One can name a number of reasons for this ..... Opposition blames ruling party for its policies, and in return the ruling party blames his predecessor for their wrong priorities.. The blame game goes on. But the solution is elusive, and the plight of the farmer continues.
Basically the fault lies with the governments in power and with the opposition parties as well. While electioneering to garner the large chunks of votes, the parties promise the moon and after occupying the seat, they conveniently forget to fulfil their promises. The loan waiver scheme announced to get the votes of the farmers, filled the hopes of the farming community but in reality nothing of that sort happened.
The statistics show that, almost all the farmers who killed themselves so far in the last one year are either marginal or small farmers including tenant farmers highlighting the need for the government to focus on providing the basic necessities to the farmers to make them understand that suicides are not the solution to their problems.
The government should fill the confidence of the farmers and show them a way that give the marginal and small farmers a new lease of life that may prevent unnecessary loss of precious lives. Some small but urgent steps from the government need to be done immediately to end this menace:
To ensure timely and adequate credit to reduce the cost of cultivation in the sector
Paying the insurance premium for the lakhs of farmers in the state, whose loans it promised to waive
Creating awareness to reduce the cost of cultivation of the major crops in the region - cotton, paddy and maize (incidentally the cost of production is much higher in the State compared to the nation's average).
Fixing the MSP (minimum support price) is based on nation's average and not depending upon the local conditions and expenditure, even this is not giving any relief either. If reduction in production is not possible alternate method of fixing of the pricing structure needs a close look.
85% of farmers are either marginal or small with poor conditions coupled with high cost of cultivation mixed with non-availability of affordable labour burdened the farming community further and made their life worse.
Governments in power should first set their house in order, rather going on foreign jaunts inviting the corporate to invest, conveniently forgetting the ground reality at home, is not excusable. The farming community that occupies majority chunk of people, need the government's intervention at this dire hour and it is the responsibility of the governments in power to take care of them.
A clear cut plan is needed - to improve the morale of the farming community. From providing quality seeds, availability of fertilizers, educating them of the viability of crops and its produce, getting them the best price by avoiding middlemen providing marketability for their produce, and in case of drought conditions, the government should provide remedial measures to dent the debt burden on the farmers, so that they should not resort to the drastic step of ending their lives in desperation.
When the country's back bone is farmer - to take care of him should be the utmost priority of any government. Unless the farming community is healthy, the nation will not survive. The first priority of any government is to take care of the hand that feeds them, until and unless they drive things in that direction, the country's hopes of creating a healthy society becomes a mirage.
--Vasireddy Sivaram prasad