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Farmers Sucide in Andhra Pradesh

Kindly read the below and write to the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, India on this subject at [email protected] / [email protected] requesting Dr. Handa, the Chief Secretary to the A.P. government to forward your mails – to the C.M. - on an urgent basis.

Yours in Liberty,

M.P. Rao,

Hyderabad, India.

Tel: 56535128

Fourth Open Letter to The Chief Minister of A.P.

Dear Dr. YSR,

SUB: REMINDER-III: Suicide of Farmers in Andhra Pradesh!

REF: 01) My Emails on this dated, May 21, 24 & 25, 2004.

Today’s Editorial of Deccan Chronicle, dedicated to this issue.

Today’s two editorials of Times of India, discussing related issues.

During the last 24 hours, 10 more Heavily Indebted Farmers have committed suicide, since you announced that infamous relief package, now, making a total toll of 62 farmers. This suicide rate, now, stands @1 farmer for every 2 hours & 24 Minutes. Once again I request you to withdraw your relief package or amend it suitably to prevent any further suicides. While on the subject I wish to add a few more points to 10 points I’ve mentioned in my previous mails:-

11) Please constitute "A.P.S. Farm Sector Reforms Commission" staffed with experts of Agriculture, Meteorology, Hydrology, Irrigation, Marketing, Management, Rural Banking, Social Scientists, Economists and other knowledgeable personalities with the following terms of reference:

To analyze and come out – within six months - with robust solutions to the root-causes of,

Supply of Substandard Seeds, Pesticides & Fertilizers;

Erratic Meteorological predictions and prevention;

A thorough state-level research on Ground Water Table and its proper exploitation as well as to improve the Ground Water Table Levels, in a speedy manner;

Complete all pending Irrigation projects and plan some new ones for chronically drought his districts of Thelengana & Rayalaseema regions;

Free Incompetence & Corruption in the Markets Yards and bring some professional talent with commitment & integrity to run these Yards, not for the traders but for the farmers;

Establish a State-level Farm Banking & Insurance Corporation that underwrites all farm loans of authorized banks and outlaw any and all forms of private lending and also eliminate strong-arm recovery tactics by all types of lenders, including public sector ones.

Bring in Farm Cooperatives minus lacunae that we have witnessed in the sugar cooperatives but adapting the best practices of our Milk Cooperatives, which have been quite successful.

And any others that may bring in a lasting peace to the Farm Sector of our state.

As and when such Commission is constituted, I will make representation to it on behalf of the presently voiceless farmer. And I am sure, many more concerned citizens would come up and throw ample light on the issue to enable us to collectively come out with some enduring solution to this chronic problem of small & marginal farmers of our state and the nation.

With Warm Regards,

M.P. Rao/May 26, 2004.

Third Open Letter to The Chief Minister of A.P.

Dear Dr. YSR,

SUB: REMINDER-II: Suicide of Farmers in Andhra Pradesh!

REF: My Emails on this dated, May 21 & 24, 2004.

During the last 24 hours, eight more Heavily Indebted Farmers have committed suicide, since you announced that infamous relief package making a total toll of 52 farmers. This suicide rate, now, stands @1 farmer for every 3 hours. Once again I request you to withdraw your relief package or amend it suitably to prevent any further suicides. While on the subject I wish to add a few more points to eight points I’ve mentioned in my previous mail:-

09) Apart from the local moneylenders, unscrupulous traders who have been dumping on them rotten seeds and substandard fertilizers & insecticides are victimizing the farmers. This callousness has been actively connived by the officials through omission &/or commission.

10) Even banks have been using strong-arm tactics in recoveries from these already broke farmers.

Inter alia, the above two also must be stopped without any further delay.

While you are still in the process of looking into various suggestions on this subject, many more distressed farmers are bound to indulge in Harakiri. Your yesterday’s Cabinet decision to constitute a Cabinet sub-committee to look into `how & why’ farmers are committing suicide again is no solution to the problem.

You rode to power as a Champion of Farmers and now it appears that you decided to go down in history as a Villain of Farmers.

Kindly announce some urgent and positive measures to prevent any further suicides of distressed formers and attack the rout cause of it all though a comprehensive policy that

Addresses it on a holistic manner.

With Warm Regards,

M.P. Rao/May 25, 2004.

Via the Chief Secretary, Govt. of A.P., India At [email protected]

Second Open Letter to The Chief Minister of A.P.

Dear Dr. YSR,

SUB: REMINDER-I: Suicide of Farmers in Andhra Pradesh!

REF: My Email on this dated, May 21, 2004.

I request Dr. Handa, the Chief Secretary to the A.P. Govt. to bring this to your urgent notice.

Today's newpapers confirm that so far 44 debt-ridden farmers of A.P. have committed suicide, eversince you announced relief package to the survivors of the deceased through these suicides. They also inform that just now you are about convening your cabinet for discussing this issue.

I once again appeal to your good senses that this policy be withdrawn immediately or amend it appropriately to make it applicable only to those farmers who committed suicides - on account of indebtedness prior to this date. The same amendment may kindly be flashed to all Village Heads/Secretaries to publicize extensively in all Villages. Any further delay in this decision would give us century on this front.

While the above is only a relief measure, permanent solution would be to address core issues of Farm Sector, which includes the following:-

Bring in harsh laws against Village level private moneylenders, who have been driving the week & miserable farmers to suicides. A moratorium on all private farm related debts and complete legal and police protection to the affected from the Village Level shylocks and their Goondas.

Bring in greater responsibility and accountability in the state’s Agricultural Department, in terms of well thoughtout and advanced advice to the farmers on what to grow for the season. This should be complemented by the inputs from the local and international commodity market inputs.

Strengthen the Meteorological department through bring back echo-balance in the state. The current level of Echo-Imbalance is our Environment forcing even our meteorological predictions, futile.

Implement all pending, unreasonably delayed Irrigation projects in the state.

Rejuvenate and widen the scope of operations of state’s Hydrology Department to meticulously map the ground-water table of the state and help farmers dig bore-wells where feasible.

Supply not just free power but a steady supply of power for about 8 to 10 hours a day, during farming seasons, without fail

Introduce FARM INSURANCE to all small and marginal farmers, atleast.

Initiate and Implement Cooperative Societies of all small & marginal farmers in each village & hamlet, while taking measures that these Societies are not captured by vested interest, but shall operate strictly under the guidance of Marketing & Management professionals and the state’s Marketing Department, which in turn to be freed from bureaucrats and to be staffed with Seasoned & Committed Marketing & Management professionals.

Thank you and hope to hear from you giving us some prompt and meaningful actions,

With Warm Regards,

M.P. Rao/May 24, 2004.


What Ails the Indian Farm Sector?

It's the Agricultural Scientists who drove the Indian Green Revolution - I & II, White Revolution, Poultry Revolution, et al. All this was achieved on account of right govt. policies (remember Swaminathan?) and correct implementation of the same, mostly, by the extension officers of state agriculture departments, under the active guidance of the meteorological department. Our Agricultural Research Institutions & Satellites have played a powerful and silent role in this revolution. In case of commercial crops corporates from the industries of Tobacco, Paper, Edible Oils, etc. have driven the growth. But, once the markets are opened up and the Indian manufacturer started feeling the heat of the foreign competition, they deserted the Indian farmer. Even otherwise corporates' role used to be more of a bulk buyer than a fair market player is. And the petty buracreats don't know what hit the farmer nor do they care for his fate.

Subsidies or no subsidies, Indian farmers need to be made fighting fit in the current and future scenario. Now, they need Marketing and Management professionals to make them understand the dynamics of the farm markets (both national and international) and manage and market their produce more efficiently. The govt. sponsored "market yards" are, actually, supposed to be doing this, but thanks to the illiterate (no reference to their educational qualifications) and insensitive buracreats, most of who are also hand in glove with the petty trader-wholesalers have been driving them into misery, day by day. This is not to speak of erratic monsoons, not properly channelized irrigation resources and disproportionate investments/funding on location and tapping of ground water resources. This we should do through strong, competent and incorruptible Cooperatives helped by NGOs.

[As an Intl. Trade Executive, my colleagues and I used to prefer Ukrainian Cement and Vietnamese Rice to Indian ones, only to quote two bulk commodities that have been traded extensively. Compared with others, Indian producers have always been cost inefficient. With opening up we could do well without inefficient cement industry or steel industry. But what can we do with over 70 crores of farmers, farm workers and others – solely - dependent on farming activity?]

We need to do something about this, again on a very urgent basis. I am sure none of our political parties, buracreats, general public and even farmers is aware of this. There may be well-researched works by some scholars / think-tanks, buried among the billions of web pages and may be getting dusted on the shelves of policy makers.

- M.P. Rao/May 22, 2004.


An Open Letter to The Chief Minister of A.P.

Dear Dr. Rajasekhar Reddy,

Sub: Suicide of Farmers in Andhra Pradesh! Insensitive and Thoughtless Policies...

While the former CM of A.P. Dr. Chandra Babu Naidu, was too busy cyber-goofing, self-promotion and gross negligence of agriculture, farmers were committing suicides. We know that they couldn’t bear the repeated crop losses and consequent indebtedness, due to inadequate irrigation sources, floods and / or droughts.

Now, you, as if it weren't enough to give free-power to farmers, have announced, rather recklessly, your policy of paying a lakh and odd rupees - directly & indirectly - to the survivors of farmers who commit suicide on account of indebtedness. Lo! the next day what we hear is about a half a dozen farmers committing suicides (many more may follow), with a hope that govt. would release some funds with which the survivors can become debt-free and live happily, ever after.

One thoughtful clause if incorporated in this policy, before it’s announced hurriedly, we could have prevented these latest suicides. That clause should be that this policy doesn’t cover any future suicides. Government relief to the accident-hit is reasonable. But for suicides – for whatever reason – could encourage willful suicides to benefit survivors as well as encourage cold-blooded murders being palmed off as suicides!

I request you to immediately announce this Clause in your above faulty policy. The permanent solution, however, is to make farmer to stand on his own legs and march ahead.

M.P. Rao./May 21, 2004/