High farmer suicide rate a result of economic policies: P Sainath

September 7, 2013

Mangalore, Sep 7: Karnataka ranks second for the highest number of farmer suicides in the country with 39,000 suicides since 1995. Overwhelmingly, the suicide-committing farmers are cash crop farmers, said Rural Affairs Editor of The Hindu P Sainath.

Delivering the second oration titled 'Corporate Hijack of Indian Agriculture' in the first B V Kakkilaya Inspired Orations - 2013, P Sainath, recipient of Ramon Magsaysay award, said that this was the result of the huge change that took place in farming, i.e. converting from cultivating food crops to cash crops. As there is greater cultivation of cash crops, there's a greater control by corporates in farming and the costs of cultivation are shooting through the roof as input prices go up. And every damage has been driven by economic policies,” he said, adding that the high farmer suicide rate was a result of growing inequality economic policies.

“The suicide rate is 47 percent higher among farmers than non-farmers. The highest number of suicides is by cotton farmers. Although the official figure states that about 2.85 lakh farmers have committed suicide since 1995, the figure excludes large number of women and Dalit farmers. Thousands of women farmers are excluded while calculating suicide rates, as the society does not consider women as farmers,” he said.

Quoting Ravindranath Tagore, Mr Sainath said that “Food is the source of wealth; food production is a source of endless misery.”

“When the Arab Spring that occurred in countries such as Yemen, Libya, Egypt and Tunisia in 2010, it did not occur due to Twitter. All these countries including India had seen giant increases in food prices since 2008, and all the while food and related companies continued to make profit. Food companies ranked at the top of the Fortune List of most profitable companies in 2009, when the world was hungry. Harvesting crops such as hunger and thirst is what the corporate world and corporate-driven society do,” he said.

He said that the West wanted us to cultivate cash crops to make us more dependent on them, as cash crops commodities are controlled by corporations at the global level. Corporatisation of agriculture is growing worse in India, he said, adding that we have to re-think the entire process of agriculture and move away from extremely critical techniques.

“In growing inequality, what has happened in agriculture is the extreme case of what has been happening in the rest of the country. We need to de-link ourselves from high-input and high-cost economy and lower the cost of agriculture,” he said.

A special 10-day session should be conducted in the Parliament specifically for agriculture, he opined.

The third edition of 'Bara Andre Ellarigoo Ishta', Kannada translation of Sainath's book 'Everybody Loves a Good Drought' was released on the occasion by K Phaniraj.

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June 1,2021

The supply of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) under the central quota to Karnataka, to sustain Covid-19 patients on ventilators, has been way less than the demand of 1,200 tonnes daily.

This is despite Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa's letter to the Centre and the Karnataka High Court directive to supply the state's share of oxygen, officials said.

According to the data shared by the authorities, on May 30, the state received half of the requirement — 545.85 tonnes of oxygen with a shortfall of 654.15 tonnes. Besides, it received 791.85 tonnes on May 29, 686 tonnes on May 28, 730 tonnes on May 27, 875.07 tonnes on May 26 and 728 tonnes on May 24.

The eight oxygen-producing units in Karnataka, which are located in different parts of the state, are the major source of medical oxygen though they too are unable to meet the demand.

On May 30, the state manufacturer supplied 425.85 tonnes of oxygen against the target of 830 tonnes daily, 572 tonnes on May 29, 446 tonnes on May 28 and 730 tonnes on May 27.

Apart from the state oxygen-producing units, Karnataka is receiving oxygen from Tata Angul, Jamnagar and Rourkela Steel plant.

During the second wave of Covid-19, which began approximately in the first week of March this year, the daily infections hovered between 40,000 to 50,000.

Due to stringent restrictions from April 27 which will be in effect till June 7, the cases came down drastically. On Monday, the state reported 16,604 fresh infections and 411 fatalities due to Covid-19 whereas there were 3.14 lakh active cases.

However, the demand for oxygen remained high in view of the high number of active cases in the state.

"We still need 1,200 tonnes of oxygen, but we are getting way less than it," an official told PTI requesting anonymity.

According to him, the Chief Minister has written to the Centre to increase the supply of oxygen and the High Court has also ordered the Centre to give Karnataka its share of LMO.

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News Network
June 15,2021

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Hubballi, June 15: A Hubballi-bound Indigo plane suffered a tyre burst while landing here, airport authorities said on Tuesday.

However, all the passengers and crew members were safe.

In an official statement, Indigo Airlines said, "IndiGo ATR operating 6e-7979 from Kannur to Hubballi reported Tyre Burst at Hubli upon arrival yesterday (Monday) evening. All passengers and crew are safe. Aircraft is currently under maintenance checks at Hubballi."

According to an official at the airport, the plane had touched down first 8.03 pm on Monday but due to crosswind, it took off immediately and went around. It landed again at about 8.35 pm.

"Probably due to hard landing and crosswind, the tyre burst," the official said.

All passengers were disembarked at the airport itself and the runway was cleared by 2 am on Tuesday.

"The flight operations are now normal. We have informed the ATC about the incident," the official added. 

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News Network
June 10,2021

Bengaluru, June 10: Heavy rains are likely to lash the coastal districts of Karnataka for one week starting from Thursday, the Indian meteorological department (IMD) said.

A yellow alert has been sounded for Dakshina Kannada and Udupi on Thursday and Friday. In addition, orange and red alerts are announced for Saturday and Sunday when the region is expected to receive copious amounts of rain.

The new alert is issued in the wake of the low pressure that has developed in Bay of Bengal. Scattered rains are also pouring over old Mysuru districts including the capital city Bengaluru.

Cloudy weather is seen most of the day in these areas, the IMD forecast said.
 

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