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Corona Woes and Farmer Suicides: A Young Farmer from Karnataka Commits Suicide

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

Just a day after reporting on the dumping of produce by the farmers since a snap in the supply chain, we get to hear that unable to find way to transport his produce to Lathur or Maharashtra the Young Water melon farmer Chandrakant Biradar committed suicide, reports Quint. Burdened by his debt and not getting value for his produce which he must have spent around 3-4 lakhs would have led him to take the dare step of committing suicide. Biradar’s death is the first in the row due to the current lock down due to the COVID-19. I hope I don’t get to hear any. 

Yes People all over has been questioning the system, about  food stocks not allowed to be moved and the lack of  coordination prices hitting  rock bottom and  retail prices  on the increase. 

But it looks as if there is no alternative other than to succumb to the huge losses, says Farmers. It must be heartbreaking for them. Who is to blame here? The government or the farmers? Is there a cropping pattern that the farmers need to follow so that there will never be huge losses in a single crop. Does the farmer need to be educated to avoid a glut and the consequent failures and life saving techniques. If not now when are we going to learn and relearn all these. Situations like these have happened before, but we aren’t learning from any of them. Will the farmer be able to suffer such huge losses like 5-6 lakhs per hectare. Can we at this point also have food shortage and water emergency ? 

Can now at least the government intervene, set up committees that will look into these facts and take up some strong decisions at village level or panchayat level so that we could avoid farmer suicides at this point. Are we thinking about the next crop and the inputs availability, the money they would need to have another crop cycle, sheer dearth of farm labourers as they have all returned to their villages. It looks like things are out of proportion and the government has to intervene. Yes we know their priority is in saving lives and containing the disease, but a cell or committee to avoid failures in this sector would be a bliss at this point. 

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