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    In this May 11, 2016, photo, Indian farmer Anant More inspects his destroyed crop of sugarcane due to drought in Marathwada region, in the Indian state of Maharashtra

    Indian Farmers Accuse Weatherman of Faking Rain Forecast, File Police Complaint

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    Farmers from Maharashtra, a state in India, have filed a police complaint against the India Meteorological Department (IMD) accusing it of putting out wrong forecasts to benefit seed and pesticide manufacturers.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Aggrieved by the wrong forecast, the farmers of Majalgaon tehsil of Beed district filed the complaint at the Dindrud police station in the state. In the complaint, they said they had sown crops on the basis of the IMD forecasts, but the crops were damaged due to scanty rainfall.

    Thousands of farmers from Maharashtra have committed suicide over the last few years due to their inability to pay bank loans in the backdrop of crop failure.

    "Farmers undertook sowing operations, based on the IMD forecast. But after a brief initial spell, there has been no rain and farmers are staring at a bleak future, with the sowing operations having gone waste," Gangabhishan Thaware, 54, a farmer from Anandgaon village in Beed district, told PTI.

    Farmers have also written to state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for help.

    "IMD officials and those in concerned seed and fertilizer companies, who colluded with each other and gave an inflated monsoon forecast are responsible for the plight of farmers and should be taken to task," the farmer said.

    Drought-stricken farmers from India's southern state of Tamil Nadu display the skulls of farmers who have committed suicide due to rising debts at a protest in New Delhi on March 27, 2017
    © REUTERS / Thomson Reuters Foundation / Nita Bhalla
    According to the official figures of the Indian government, which promised to double farmers' income in five years, on an average over 12,000 farmers have committed suicide every year. Last decade, only Maharashtra had witnessed a large number of suicides but in the last few years, there are reports of farmer suicide from every nook and corner of the country including states like Punjab and Haryana. Punjab and Haryana are states that had adopted modern agricultural practices since the 1980s and made the country richer in farm production.

    Experts accused wrong practices promoted by the government in the past for the agrarian crisis that is staring at the country. They blamed companies like Monsanto for farmers' debt crisis. Since 1998, cotton seed price been increased by 71000% mainly due to royalties.

    "I do not think there is any nexus between seed companies and IMD officials. IMD's forecasts are based on satellite imagery and other scientific data, and it always has minor discrepancies in the final figure. And there are also private companies which forecast the average rainfall during crop seasons," agricultural expert Durgesh Sharma told Sputnik, demolishing the Beed farmer's accusation.


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