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

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Haridwar Swamis lead Khudai Khidmatgar peace march in Delhi 'riot affected' areas

By Our Representative
A Khudai Kidmatgar team, which visited the riot-affected regions along with Swami Shivanand Saraswati and Swami Punyanand, has insisted that India's true heritage is the lesson of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam', and it is the responsibility of all to carry froward this legacy. Originally founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1930, also known as Frontier Gandhi, Khudai Khidmatgar is claimed to have been revived by young Gandhian activist Faisal Khan in 2011.