'Despite farm budget, farmers committing suicide'
By Express News Service | Published: 22nd April 2013 08:26 AM |
The State Congress on Sunday demanded the resignation of Agriculture Minister Debi Prasad Mishra for the suicide of a farmer in Keonjhar district.
The farmer, Dhaneswar Majhi, committed suicide by hanging himself after killing his wife and daughter. Alleging that Majhi committed suicide because of distress sale of tomato, chairman of the farmers’ cell of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Amiya Kumar Patnaik criticised the State Government for not reacting to the situation so far.
Amiya alleged that this is the second incident in Keonjhar district where a farmer committed suicide.
Earlier, another farmer, Paban Patra of Patna block of the district, had committed suicide due to the same reasons.
The State Government has initiated no steps to assess why two farmers, who cultivated tomato, committed suicide.
Amiya demanded a compensation of `5 lakh each for the families of the farmers and a high-level inquiry to find out the reasons behind the distress sale of tomato in the district.
He alleged that during the 13-year BJD rule in the State, 2,978 farmers have committed suicide.
In a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the State unit president of Samajwadi Party Rabi Behera said despite a separate agriculture budget, farmers are the victims of distress sale of agricultural produce, fake and poor quality seeds, rising cost of fertilisers, seeds and pesticides and corruption in implementation of agricultural programmes.
Behera said monthly pension is the only solution to save the farmers from frustration and suicide.
He also demanded that minimum support price on agricultural produce and minor forest produce (MFP) should be fixed and distress sale checked.