World Bulletin / News Desk
Unseasonal early April rains and hailstorms have destroyed crops in around 30,000 villages in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, devastating the lives of farmers.
Forty-eight-year old farmer Kamal Vishwakarma, had a debt of Rs 250,000 (around $ 4,086), committed suicide after his crop was destroyed. He owned six acres of land in a village called Kulhor in the Bhopal district of Madhya Pradesh. Kamal had two sons and one daughter. The whole family was surviving on agriculture produce.
“Papa (father) had taken a loan from landlords in the village. He had planned to pay back after selling the produce in the market. But hailstorm completely destroyed our crops. It was really difficult for him to pay the loan back,” said Kamal's son, Haricharan.
The state government claims that thousands of villages in all the 51 districts have been affected causing huge financial losses to individual farmers.
Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan told to reporters in Bhopal, “We are with farmers at this time of crisis. We are taking every possible measure to help them but it may take some time due to the magnitude of the affected area.”
In order to stop farmers from taking extreme steps, the state government has also announced that compensation would be paid to farmers half of whose crops have been damaged. Loan recovery from farmers has already been suspended and interest of loan for the period would be paid by the state government. The government also announced that the affected farmers will be given rice and wheat at Rs 1 per kg for the next eight months.
Agricultural welfare and agriculture development secretary Rajesh Rajora said,”All the district officials have been asked to survey the condition of crops so that adequate relief could be provided to farmers at the earliest.”Last Mod: 02 Nisan 2014, 11:12