August 23, 2019
Latest News

Farming crisis looms large on India's ongoing general elections

Mathura, India, Apr 20 (efe-epa).- The discontent of farmers, the largest workforce in India, might prove decisive in the ongoing general elections, where the ruling right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is looking to win a second term in power.

In the rural areas of the Mathura district in northern India, voting day - earlier this week - had coincided with the harvesting period of the wheat crop, but could not deter angry farmers from queuing up to vote.

Their discontent is at its peak with mounting debts, poor crop prices and an uncertain future.

The agrarian crisis has forced farmers to abandon farming for other low-paying jobs and the farming sector, that feeds more than two-thirds of India's 1.25-billion population, is under serious threat.

"I faced a lot of losses in my crop and my farm has been surveyed (for compensation) a lot of times but to no avail. The farmers have not received anything. Some people say 80, 000 rupees (around $1150) are coming, others say we will receive 15,000 rupees," Radhe Shyam Rawat, a resident of Mathura district's Nagariya village said.

After a year of losses, the 32-year-old farmer with parched, sunburnt skin, is unable to contain his fury against Modi.

Rawat, who had made time to vote despite the harvesting season, said Modi’s term in power was the worst period ever for India’s farmers.

After massive protests in New Delhi and the financial capital Mumbai by thousands of farmers, the government had announced compensations and loan waivers for farmers just before the elections, which are being held between Apr. 11 and May 19.

However, Rawat said that "only some people" had received a paltry sum of 2,000 rupees.

Farmers' sentiment could play an important role in the elections and was one of the key factors which had allowed the opposition Indian National Congress to defeat the BJP in provincial elections in 2018, after they promised loan waivers for farmers.

India is primarily an agricultural country, where around 75 percent of the population depends on the sector - according to the World Bank - which also accounts for 18 percent of its GDP.

"If someone else comes to power, we can only hope that they will help us. Even if Modi comes back, we will keep on asking that farmers should receive some help," Radhe said.

While farmers can avail of loans at relatively low interest rates, the amounts are often very small, leaving them at the mercy of private lenders who charge high interest, and the loans become untenable in case of losses caused by drought or excessive monsoon rains.

Owing to a paucity of storage facilities, small farmers also have to depend on intermediaries, who buy their produce at lower rates, often below the minimum support prices determined by the government.

Thus, farmers such as Radhe are forced to sell wheat at a price as low as 1,840 rupees ($26.5) per quintal (100 kilograms or 220 pounds).

"We have a lot of problems. There are no facilities. The water channels are not cleaned. The (dirty) water stagnates and destroys the crop," said Rameshwar Singh, a farmer, who had queued up outside a polling booth.

By Indira Guerrero

News history
Mexican president: Legal sabotage being mounted against new airport

Mexico City, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday complained that the political opposition has been engaging in...

Giraffes get protection on international trade for 1st time

Geneva, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Giraffes were added on Thursday for the first time to a protection mechanism that restricts their international trade in response...

Brazil's president doubles down on criticism of NGOs operating in Amazon

Brasilia, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- President Jair Bolsonaro said Thursday that while he did not have evidence that non-governmental organizations were behind the...

Italy's president gives parties more time to form gov't

Rome, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- President Sergio Mattarella said Thursday that he will give Italy's political parties until early next week to try to form a new...

4 dead, 100-plus injured by lightning in Poland

Warsaw, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Four people, including two children, died on Thursday and more than 100 were injured by lightning strikes during a thunderstorm...

Macron: Irish backstop indispensable

Paris, Aug 22 (efe-epa) .- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson met Emmanuel Macron in France Thursday for Brexit talks during which the French President...

Protect Paradise, the hope to end plastic pollution in Venezuelan beaches

By Héctor Pereira

Hong Kong gov't: protesters ad campaign gross exaggeration

Hong Kong, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- A campaign launched by Hong Kong activists to rally international support for anti-Beijing protests that have gripped the city...

Seoul believes US, North Korea talks will soon resume

Seoul, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Seoul on Thursday said negotiations between North Korea and the United States may resume soon, following a visit to South Korea by...

North Korea not interested in talks amid 'military threats'

Seoul, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- North Korea said Thursday that it was not interested in dialog while the United States and South Korea were engaged in "military...

Still unsafe for Rohingyas to return to Myanmar, Amnesty warns

Bangkok Desk, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Human rights organization Amnesty International warned Thursday that it was still unsafe for members of the Rohingya ethnic...

Rohingyas refuse to return to Myanmar

Teknaf, Bangladesh, Aug 22 (EFE).- A second attempt to repatriate some 1,037 Rohingya refugee families who live in Bangladesh following a mass exodus from...

Police killings of civilians reaches new heights in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- Rio de Janeiro recorded a 49 percent increase in civilian deaths at the hands of police in July compared to the...

Nur-Sultan, Aug 21 (EFE).- The foreign ministers of the five Central Asian countries met here Wednesday with US Under Secretary of State David Hale to...

Putin says Russia must respond to threat of new US missile

Helsinki, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- Russian President Vladimir Putin made an appeal here Wednesday to the United States to resume arms-control negotiations even as...

Czechs denounce current leaders during rally to mark 1969 crackdown

Prague, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- Tens of thousands of Czechs held a demonstration here Wednesday in which they remembered countrymen who were killed or injured on...

Merkel, Johnson maintain stances on Brexit but say exit accord possible

Berlin, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday maintained their respective stances on...

Children's chorus revitalizing indigenous language in Panamanian capital

By Maria M. Mur

Brazil's president points finger at NGOs in Amazon fires

Brasilia, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- President Jair Bolsonaro insinuated on Wednesday that non-governmental organizations may be behind the fires in the Amazon, the...

Kathmandu, Aug 21 (EFE).- Nepal will make the Everest region a plastic-free zone by 2020 by banning single-use plastics, a move that will curb excessive...

Death toll in Kabul wedding bombing rises to 80

Kabul, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- The death toll following an attack on a wedding party in the Afghan capital Kabul has gone up to 80, police sources said on...

Bilateral deal reached on Mexican tomato exports to US

Mexico City, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- A bilateral agreement has been reached on Mexican tomato exports that will bring a halt to a United States anti-dumping...

Hong Kong activists demand release of arrested UK consulate worker

Hong Kong, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- A group of Hong Kong citizens demonstrated outside the British Consulate Wednesday afternoon urging the British government to...

Nepal bans single-use plastics in Everest region

Kathmandu, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- Nepal will make the Everest region a plastic-free zone by 2020 by banning single-use plastics, a move that will curb excessive...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.