Lalitpur, Mar 11 (UNI) Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) president and former union minister Ajit Singh today lamented that the Indian farmers continued to face hardships, although agricultural technology had developed manifold since Independence.
''This is the prime reason that 70 per cent of our farmers want to give up agriculture, while 50 per cent of the community is debt ridden,'' he said, addressing a farmers' rally here.
He said the condition was farmers was deteriorating and several of them were committing suicide in the Vidarbha region. ''Some are even selling their kidneys to make the two ends meet.'' The RLD chief claimed even in a prosperous state like Punjab, every farmer, on an average, owed a debt of Rs 66,000.
Advocating the need to create smaller states for development, Mr Singh said Bundelkhand should be carved out as a separate state.
He also criticised the WTO regime, saying it would ensure that Indian farmers were deprived of subsidies.
''While developed nations extend subsidy worth Rs 4,500 crore to their farmers, they want our farmers to fend for themselves.'' UNI XC-VS VD BS1931