Bargarh: Activists of Navnirman Krushak Sangathan (NKS), a farmers’ body, today met the family of Brunda Sahu, who had committed suicide by consuming poison on November 1, a day after torching his paddy field in Kalapani panchayat of Odisha’s Bargarh district being worried over brown planthopper attack on crops.
Consoling the family of the deceased, NKS advisor Soumya Ranjan Patnaik and NKS national convener Akshaya Kumar held discussion with the locals regarding the problems faced by farmers in the area.
Patnaik demanded Rs 10 lakh from Chief Minister’s Relief Fund as compensation to the family.
“The state government should first admit that farmer suicide is an important issue. More than 200 farmers had earlier ended their lives but the government didn’t pay any attention towards it. I would request the Agriculture Minister to visit the spot and take stock of the situation without waiting for the submission of report over the matter,” Patnaik said.
Notably, 10-15 farmers in Kalapani panchayat, including Sahu, had set their crops ablaze complaining that pesticide supplied to them by the state government’s Cooperation department was of inferior quality and had failed to save their crop from the pest attack.
A day after the incident, Sahu took the extreme step at his paddy field and was immediately rushed to Burla hospital by locals. However, he was declared dead at the hospital.
On the other hand, as farmers in parts of Odisha are torching their pest-affected standing paddy crop, the state government has asked collectors of eight districts– Bargarh, Bolangir, Ganjam, Kalahandi, Koraput, Nuapada, Sambalpur and Sonepur– to submit a detailed report within two days on crop loss due to pest attacks.
The government has also issued a toll-free number — 1800-180-1551 — so as to respond promptly to the farmers seeking help. The toll-free number issued for the distressed farmer would remain open from 6.00 a.m to 10.00 p.m.