Senior politician and former Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday to seek his urgent intervention in mitigating an agrarian crisis looming over the western part of the country as a result of inclement weather.
Pawar, the leading politician from the state of Maharashtra, submitted a three-page memorandum to Prime Minister Modi in which he sought to update the prime minister about the struggles facing farmers in Maharashtra.
Met @PMOIndia Shri. Narendra Modi in Parliament today to discuss the issues of farmers in Maharashtra. This year the seasonal rainfall has created Havoc engulfing 325 talukas of Maharashtra causing heavy damage of crops over 54.22 lakh hectares of area. pic.twitter.com/90Nt7ZlWGs— Sharad Pawar (@PawarSpeaks) November 20, 2019
Forty-four farmers have committed suicide in the State’s Nashik district alone in the last 10 months while cotton crops grown in over 35,000 hectares of land in Nagpur district have been damaged by unseasonal rains, Pawar added.
"Due to the President's rule in the state, your urgent intervention is highly necessitated. I shall be grateful if you could take immediate steps to initiate massive relief measures to ameliorate distressed farmers," Pawar stated.
Small and marginal farmers have been the worst-hit by the agrarian crisis, with some of them losing their entire crop.
“The real impact of this crisis will start unfolding next month when cities start facing a shortage of vegetables and agricultural produce. There needs to be a long-term plan for the revival of this distressed sector. As of now, this seems to be absent,” Indian daily New Indian Express quoted a Nashik district official as saying.
The Maharashtra government had earlier this month sanctioned the release of $1.39 billion as immediate relief to farmers who have suffered crop loss.