“Potato glut and price slump drive 8 farmers to commit suicide in Bengal”

Read to know what state interference in economy leads to:

1. When Bengal farmers could have made a killing; because of crop failure in UP, Bihar, and Orissa; in 2013, Mamata Bannerjee banned potato exports out of West Bengal.

2. This year Bengal has seen even better production, but other states, wiser after 2013, made sure that they do not have to depend on Bengal potato. So there are no takers for Bengal potato.

3. There is glut of potato in West Bengal, and prices have crashed. Farmers have incurred huge losses as a result.

4. But remember, giving away land for agriculture would starve us, according to those who are opposing Land Acquisition Bill.

Fact is that there is no shortage of agricultural land in India. In fact, still scope exists for bringing at least two times more area under irrigation than is at present. We alone can feed the whole world. Need is to absorb manpower from farms into industries, so that agriculture stays profitable. For that we need industrialisation, and for that we need Land Acquisition Bill. For example, in the case of West Bengal, if farmers had more area to each, they would sowed many crops, so that failure of one or glut in another would not have bankrupted them.


“KOLKATA: A potato glut and plunging prices have triggered suicides in Bengal’s Hooghly, Burdwan and Bankura districts. Hooghly alone reported six of them. Prices have crashed, one kg of the tuber selling for Rs 3 to Rs 4. With the pressure unlikely to ease in the near future, peasants face an uncertain future and are agitating.

In 2013, Bengal’s farmers reaped a good harvest of 85 lakh tonnes and raked in handsome profits. But prices across the country were volatile because the crop failed in UP, largest producer of potatoes. Bengal, the second largest producer, could have stepped in and eased matters out.” (from the news item)

Read the news item here.