The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) said the 10 years of NDA government has pushed the agricultural sector into crisis.

“The Narendra Modi government has failed the farming community. It failed to honour the promises such as doubling the farmers incomes and offering the minimum support prices as prescribed by the Prof MS Swaminathan Commission,” Vijoo Krishnan, a national leader of Samyukta Kisan Morcha, told businessline.

SKM is an umbrella organisation of farmers organisations, non-governmental organisations, agricultural economists and scientists, formed to launch a nationwide campaign during the elections against the NDA government’s “anti-farmer policies”.

The organisation has formed teams with representatives and deputed them to different States to educate the people about the damage done to the primary sector by the lopsided policies of the NDA government.

Krishnan, who was in Hyderabad as part of the delegation, said that as many as 1.12 lakh farmers and agricultural workers committed suicide in the last 10 years. Similarly, suicides by daily wage workers between 2014 and 2023 crossed three-lakh mark, Krishnan, who is also the General Secretary of All India Kisan Sabha, said.

He alleged that several States had not revealed the actual numbers. “You must remember that these numbers do not include women farmers, the landless, tenant farmers, forest workers and others in the agricultural allied sectors,” he said.

Krishnan said the NDA had promised in 2014 that it would procure agricultural produce at the minimum support price (MSP) as recommended by the Prof Swaminathan Commission.

“They said the MSP would be at least one and a half times the comprehensive cost of production following the C2+50 per cent formula (C2=All paid-out costs plus imputed value of family labour plus rental value of owned land and interest on the fixed capital),” he reminded.

The BJP Government failed the farming community on this front. “It submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court that it would not be possible to give the MSP as promised by it as it would distort the market,” he said.

Doubling farmers’ income

The SKM alleged that the Modi government also failed miserably in doubling the farmers’ income as promised by it.

“As per the 77th round of Situation Assessment Survey of Agricultural Households in 2021, the monthly income of farm households in 2018-19 was only ₹10,000 a month as against their promise of increasing it to ₹22,000 a month,” he said.

“The farming community is in a deep financial crisis with an average outstanding debt hovering around ₹74,000. This is an increase of 57 per cent from 2013. The number of indebted farmers went up to 9.30 crore from 9 crore during the 10 years,” the SKM leader said.