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Minister blames crop failures, personal expenses for farmers’ indebtedness

According to Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, the main reason behind indebtedness of farmers is not loans taken by them for cultivation.

In a reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on Friday, the union agriculture minister said that crop failures and expenditure on health and marriages are the major factors for their financial crisis.

To a question on whether the promotion of cultivation of Bt Cotton had lead to increase in indebtedness among cotton growers in Maharashtra, Singh answered in the negative and said Bt Cotton hybrids had been widely accepted by farmers. “The area under Bt Cotton covers more than 90 per cent of the total area under cotton cultivation,” the minister said during Question Hour.

The minister said that government fixes Minimum Support Price of various crops, including cotton after taking into account the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). “Government is also implementing crop insurance schemes to compensate farmers, including cotton growers, against losses in crop yield due to non-preventable risks such as natural calamities, pests and disease and adverse weather conditions,” he said.

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