A new wave of farmer suicides seems to have surfaced in Telangana. Five farmers from the districts of Adilabad, Mahabubabad, Nalgonda and Yadadri killed themselves on Thursday and Friday, the poor yield in cotton forcing them to take the extreme step.
The victims were identified as Kumra Bhavu Rao, Sigga Padma, Kala Jaipal, Errakunta Sitharam and Bhukya Lacchu.
According to reports, Bhavu Rao, a resident of Balanpur in Naarnoor mandal in Adilabad got just three quintals of cotton from his four acres acreage. Unable to recover his investment, the distressed farmer who was worried about the repayment of loans allegedly committed suicide.
Padma and Iddaiah from Nalgonda cultivated cotton in five acres, the couple had taken a loan of Rs 1 lakh for the cultivation. However, as there was a poor yield, Iddaiah and Padma fought over the issue, after which Padma consumed pesticide and killed herself.
Speaking to TNM, Rythu Swaraj Vedika secretary B Kondal Reddy said that farmers were on the edge owing to the dry spell which has resulted in the poor yield. â€śThough the state received adequate rainfall compared to last year, the dry spell had played spoilsport,â€ť he said.
Appealing the state governmentâ€™s immediate intervention into the impending crisis, he said that the government should announce a reimbursement package, so that the farmers are assured of some support.
Reddy said, â€śThis year, farmers in the state cultivated cotton in 48 lakh acres. But the market rates are very less. Adding to the woes, the untimely rainfall also diminished the quality of the cotton,â€ť he said.
Presently, the Minimum Selling Price (MSP) of cotton determined by the government is Rs 4,320. This is still low say agrarian experts.
Rythu Swarajya Vedika, state committee member Kiran Kumar Vissa, said that the government hasnâ€™t learnt any lesson from the past to avert the crisis. He said, â€śThe farmers and the government are paying insurance premiums for cotton crops. However, the government authorities have no clarity if the Insurance companies will provide compensation for dry spell, which is an adverse weather condition.â€ť
â€śThe government should immediately make an intervention and seek clarity from Insurance companies and relieve the farmers from distress,â€ť Kiran said.
The state witnessed heavy rainfall and also a dry spell.
â€śDue to the heavy rainfall, the cotton became wet, as there are not enough storage facilities to store the crops. At many places, the procurement centres remained closed, which left the cotton to soak the water.â€ť
Appealing the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) to relax its norms of accepting cotton only with a moisture content of 12% or less, he said, â€śThis is an unusual situation and the CCI should make exceptions at this hour. It should consider that the farmers donâ€™t have enough space to dry the cotton and sell them later.â€ť