NEW DELHI, 10 JAN: Farmers in the sugarcane belt of western Uttar Pradesh have threatened to start a protest as they are burdened with indebtedness which has led to suicides. The state recorded 750 suicides in 2013 which was 6.4 per cent of the suicides that took place in the country. The reason attributed to the increase in suicides in western UP is the inadequate payment for sugarcane that is produced at a high cost. As a result farmers are heavily indebted. Convener of Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan V M Singh said sugarmills are earning superprofits by underpaying the farmers for the sugarcane they have grown at a high cost. The Vidarbha region or the cotton belt of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were earlier known for farmers’ suicides. Forty four per cent of the 11,744 farmers’ suicides in 2013 were in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Navdanya, an NGO working in the area of ecology, came out in support of the sugarcane growers.In a statement, it said the farmers are being paid artificially depressed prices for their sugarcane. The NGO claimed that what is being paid by the sugar mills to farmers is around 16 per cent less than the production cost.
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About Navdanya

Navdanya means “nine seeds” (symbolizing protection of biological and cultural diversity) and also the “new gift” (for seed as commons, based on the right to save and share seeds In today’s context of biological and ecological destruction, seed savers are the true givers of seed. This gift or “dana” of Navadhanyas (nine seeds) is the ultimate gift – it is a gift of life, of heritage and continuity. Conserving seed is conserving biodiversity, conserving knowledge of the seed and its utilization, conserving culture, conserving sustainability.

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