Skip to main content

"Ruined" Gujarat greenhouse farmers seek loan waiver, threaten suicide, say Modi promise destroyed them

By Our Representative
Stressed for the last several years, hundreds of enterprising Gujarat farmers who took up greenhouse projects are on warpath. Accused the state government for failing to listen to their plight, they have said, they are all “deeply in debt” and would not compromise “anything less than loan waiver”.
Operating under the umbrella of Greenhouse Farmers’ Association (GFA), which has a membership of 750 out of about 2,283, who took up greenhouse projects, farmers’ representatives told a media conference, if the state government does not come to their rescue, they are left with “no other option but to commit suicide.”
Directly taking on Modi, who in 2010 gave greenhouse projects a fresh “impetus” with 50% state government subsidy on greenhouse structure, over and above 25% offered by the Centre on greenhouse development, a GFA statement said, “Many youths were attracted by Modi’s loud talk of providing new opportunity to youths in Gujarat. But it has come to a naught today – the young farmers attracted who took up greenhouse projects are all ruined.”
The statement added, “It is unfortunate that even seven years after the state government began supporting the greenhouse project, it was unable to call it agriculture. The result is, we have failed to get any advantages like crop insurance benefit or term loan.”
Seeking a loan waiver of about Rs 100 crore, five young GFA representatives – Darshan Nagarsheth, Tejas Patel, Jatin Patel, Vijay Patel and Sanket Zaveri – squarely blamed the state government for “completely misguiding” them and “pushing” into the “greenhouse ditch”, from where they have failed to come out.
Nagarsheth, who left a lucrative management job in Mumbai to begin his greenhouse startup in 2012, told mediapersons, they were shown “rosy pictures” of house greenhouse farming would flourish, increasing their farm output by 10 times, “without making any pilot projects.”
Not more than 100 greenhouse farms survive out of a total of 2,283 set up across India
“Lured by huge subsidy offered to us, within one year we realized that the state government took a replica from Israel, and copied things from internet to dupe us. While the first crop was a success, next year onwards, we found, diseases struck our farmhouses, with no way to counter them”, he said.
“It was clear: Gujarat’s environment does not suit greenhouses. We are all in deep debt – on an average about Rs 45 lakh each. High bank interests at compound rate of 14% destroyed us further. Thankfully, last year, the Gujarat High Court gave a stay on banks confiscating our greenhouse farm lands – one acre each”, he added.
Pointing out that as of today “not more than 100 greenhouse farms survive” out of a total of 2,283 set up across India”, Nagarsheth said, “We found to our surprise that we could take up only three crops, capsicum, cucumber and rose. There was no support price to our produce. We were forced to sell cucumber at Rs 2 per kg, destroying all our income.”
GFA’s Jatin Patel added, “We have represented our case to everyone, including former chief minister Anandiben Patel, agriculture minister Chiman Sapariya, senior government officials of the agriculture department, others, but received no firm assurance.”
Earlier, RSS’ farmers’ wing, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), had admitted that almost 90% crops in greenhouses have failed in North Gujarat, as extreme summer heat damage crops grown under in them, with farmers reeling under deep debt. In 2015, BKS demanded full waiver of loans and interests taken for greenhouse farming.

Comments

TRENDING

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Letter to friends, mentors: Coming together of class, communal, corona viruses 'scary'

By Prof (Dr) Mansee Bal Bhargava*
COVID greetings from Ahmedabad to dear mentors and friends from around the world…
I hope you are keeping well and taking care of yourself besides caring for the people around you. I’m writing to learn how is the science and the society coping with the prevention and cure of the pandemic. I’m also writing to share the state of the corona virus that is further complicated with the long-standing class and communal viruses.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.