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                                                  he apex court has made a significant observation on the burning issue of farmers’
                                               Tsuicides and rising rural indebtedness. Paying compensation for farmers’ suicide,
                                               it said, is no solution for rural indebtedness.
                                                  While  hearing  a  public  interest  litigation  (PIL),  filed  by  a  non-government
                                               organization (NGO), the Bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud
                                               observed that  the government’s welfare schemes should not remain only on paper,
                                               and compensation is no solution to  deal with farmers’ suicides, caused mainly due to
                                               the victims’ inability to pay back the loans.
                                                  The Bench agreed with government’s request for a year to show effective results of
                                               its pro-farmer schemes that include Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. “We are of the
                                               view that the issue is serious and things cannot be done overnight . . . We want you to
         Chief editor                          move from paper to implementation.”
         S. Jafar Naqvi                           Attorney-General  KK  Venugopal  told  the  court  that  the  pro-Kisan  schemes  of
         Consulting editors                    the government have covered about 40 per cent of farmers so far, and government
         T.V. Satyanarayanan                   would ensure that the benefits reach at least half of India’s farmers by 2018-19. The
                                               court recorded that out of an estimated 12 crore farmers, 5.34 crore farmers have been
         Chief Co-ordinator
         M.B. Naqvi                            covered  under  the  farmer  welfare  schemes,  including  the  crop  insurance  scheme.
                                               About 30 per cent of the land has been covered under crop insurance and the figure
         editorial Co-ordinator                would go up substantially by end of 2018.
         Syed M K
                                                  The court said nobody had any quarrel with the policies, but “tell us as to how you
         layout & design                       are expediting the implementation of your schemes. . .  “There is a need to “soften”
         Faiyaz Ahmad
         Mohd. Iqbal                           and “minimize” the bad effects of loans.
                                                  The court’s concern is understandable, considering the fact that figures compiled by
         Head Office                           various agencies show that farmer-suicides are on the increase. According to the 49th
         new delhi: : +91-11-29535593 /        annual report of the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), the number of farmers
         64519106 / 65655264                 committing suicides rose more than 41 per cent in 2015 over the previous year. Nor did
                                               farm indebtedness recede after the introduction of the loan waiver s scheme. The 70
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                                               NSSO survey (2014) confirms worsening farm indebtedness. According to the survey,
         Mumbai: 9702903993                    about 52 per cent of the farm households in the country are estimated to be in debt,
                                               with Andhra Pradesh showing highest percentage (93 percent), followed by Telangana
         Pune: 9881137397                      (90 per cent), Rajasthan (62 per cent), Odisha (58 per cent), Maharashtra (57 per cent)                   and Punjab (53 per cent).
         Chennai: 9941130277                      As  far  as  farmer  suicides  are  concerned,  NCRB’s  2014  report  estimated  5650           suicides in that year, with Maharashtra reporting the highest number of 2568, followed
                                               by 848 in Telangana and 826 in Madhya Pradesh.
                                                  An analysis of official data shows that income from cultivation of many cereals
         Admn. & Marketing Office
         MediA todAy PVt. ltd.                 and pulses has declined between 2004-05 and 2013-14, despite considerable increase
         J-73, Paryavaran Complex, neb sarai,   in minimum support prices (MSP) during this period. That is because the increase in
         ignou road, new delhi - 110068 (india)
         Phone : 91-11-29535593 /              support prices has not kept pace with the increase in the cost of cultivation. That is the
         64519106 / 65655264                   reason many farmers’ associations have been demanding fixation of  support prices for
         E-mail:         farm produce at 50 per cent above the cost of cultivation, as suggested by the National
         Web.:                     Commission on Farmers headed by Dr MS Swaminathan.
                                                  There are also suggestions that the MSP should be linked to the Wholesale Price
         india : 1 year rs. 1000/-  by normal Post  Index to offset the impact of inflation. Mere fixation of MSP is not enough; equally
                    rs. 1300/- by Courier      important is to strengthen the procurement machinery. All out efforts must be made
                    2 years rs. 1850/-  by normal Post
                    rs. 2450/- by Courier      to ensure that there are no cases of distress sale of farm produce
          overseas :  us$ 120 for 1 year / us$ 230 for 2 years   For agriculture development and farmers’ welfare, there is no dearth of plans and
         single Copy  in india : rs. 100/-
         single Copy Cost for overseas : us$10  schemes. What is needed is their effective implementation.
                                                  The situation calls for drastic steps, without which we cannot enthuse the rural
         Printed, published and owned by M.B. naqvi,  youth, whose interest in farming seems to be waning.
         Printed at everest Press, e-49/8, okhla industrial Area
         Ph-ii, new delhi - 110 020 and
         Published from e-11/47 A, new Colony,   Comments are welcome at:
         Hauz rani, Malviya nagar, new delhi - 110017 (indiA)  Views expressed by individuals and contributors in the magazine are their own and do not necessarily represent
                                               the views of  “AgriBusiness & Food industry” editorial board.  AgriBusiness & Food industry does not accept any
         Editor : S. Jafar Naqvi
                                               responsibility of any direct, indirect or consequential damage caused to any party due to views expressed by
                                               any one or more persons in the trade. All disputes are to be referred to delhi Jurisdiction only.       .....editor
         Vol 14....... issue 8 ...... August, 2017
        10     August 2017     AgriBusiness & Food  i ndustr yAgriBusiness & Food  i ndustr y
               August 2017
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