Sowing the seeds of despair

Sowing the seeds of despair
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First Published: Thu, Jul 10 2008. 08 14 PM IST
Updated: Thu, Jul 10 2008. 08 14 PM IST
As in the rest of the country, small and marginal farmers’ debts in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal district too have been written off. So, why are they not rejoicing? That’s because they are resigned to the fact that they can never break the cycle of debt.
By the time the waiver comes through, many would have already become burdened with fresh loans.
Officially, banks were supposed to notify beneficiaries of the waiver by 30 June. But Vidarbha’s farmers were notified only on the last day. Since the beneficiaries of the waiver were defaulters before that date, the banks would not have extended loans to them. As a result, many farmers have been forced to buy seeds on credit from shopkeepers and dealers, or have borrowed from the local moneylender to pay for them.
In the absence In the absence of proper irrigation facilities, the farmers rely on timely and adequate rains. But this year, the weather gods too have not been kind and the seeds bought with borrowed money are again likely to go waste.
Around 609 farmer suicides have been reported from Yavatmal in the last five years. With farmers forced back into the hands of unscrupulous moneylenders, that number could well go up.
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First Published: Thu, Jul 10 2008. 08 14 PM IST