ASHA organised a Round Table on ‘Farmers’ Suicides and Agrarian Crisis’ at Constitution Club on 24th November, 2011. A fact-finding report on the current epidemic of suicides in Andhra Pradesh, data on farm suicides, ASHA’s demands etc., were presented in this Round Table and later in a Press Conference the next day.
The Hon’ble Members of Parliament present were D Raja-CPI, Shivanand Tiwari-JDU, Bhartruhari Mahtab-BJD, Prakash Javadekar-BJP, M B Rajesh-CPM, Dr. T.N. Seema-CPM, Dr. Mysoora Reddy-TDP, Capt Jainarain Nishad-JDU, Hukumdeo Narayan Yadav-BJP. The Round Table was also joined by Harsh Mander, Member of NAC. Annie Raja, General Secretary of NFIW was present. Other prominent people present were Dr. Dinesh Abrol, Dr. Anuradha Prasad from All India Peoples Science Forum, Dr. Vijoo Krishnan, All India Kisan Sabha and Dr Krishanbir Chowdhary of Bharat Krishak Samaj. Adv Pradeep Kumar of Haritha Sena, Kerala joined the Round Table. Brief presentations were made by Kiran Vissa, Dr G V Ramanjaneyulu and Sajaya Kakarla.
It was agreed by everyone present that the anti-farmer policies being pursued by governments were the main reason for the crisis, where the factors can be broadly classified as: faulty agricultural technologies, wrong domestic pricing and procurement mechanisms, anti-farmer international trade processes and agreements and lack of appropriate and adequate mechanisms to support farmers in case of crop failures.