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Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Abdul Sattar has said that farmers committing suicide is not a new problem and that such incidents have been happening for many years.
He was responding to a query from reporters who asked for his comment on suicides committed by farmers in his constituency, Sillod, in the Aurangabad district recently.
“The issue of farmer suicides is not new. Such incidents have been happening for many years. I feel that farmer suicides should not happen anywhere in Maharashtra, including my constituency,” said Sattar, a member of the Shiv faction. Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
At least two farmers had ended their lives in Sillod between 3 and 12 March, the police said. However, sources claimed that at least six farmers ended their lives in Aurangabad district of Marathwada region during the same period, prima facie due to debt.
He said that a committee had been established under the Commissioner of Agriculture to study this matter.
Sattar on Sunday inspected losses caused to crops in Sillod due to unseasonal rains last week.
The minister said that the government will work on the recommendations of the committee once it presents reports on the farmers who take the extreme step.
“The state government has taken several initiatives for farmers. We are giving the crop insurance for just one rupee,” he added.
In its first budget presented on March 9, the Eknath Shinde-BJP government has offered Rs 6,000 assistance to farmers and a Re 1 crop insurance scheme.