Lift cotton export ban, demand Vidarbha farmers

February 27th, 2011 - 7:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee Nagpur, Feb 27 (IANS) Demanding that the export ban on cotton be lifted, over 2,000 farmers and farm widows Sunday hanged the effigies of union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar in this Maharashtra district. “The farmers demanded lifting of ban on cotton exports, a bailout package for dying cotton farmers and rehabilitation of 10,000 farm widows,” said Kishor Tiwari, president of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), who spearheaded the agitation at Pandharkawada village, 150 kms from Nagpur,

“Free trade and BT cotton seed has killed more 2,00,000 farmers in Indian in last the last decade. We are protesting this genocide and we have hanged the effigies of the killers,” he added.

Tiwari lamented that the ban is forcing more farmer to commit suicide and feared this trend will continue till the ban is lifted

“These suicides are being triggered due to recent imposition of quantitative restriction of export of cotton and paddy. Farmers were forced to sell cotton at Rs.4,000 per quintal whereas paddy was sold at Rs.850 per quintal, much less than MSP (minimum support price) of Rs.1,050, which is also less than the production cost,” he said.

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