Accusing the Indian Meteorological Department of getting forecasts always wrong, farmers from the Marathwada region have filed a police complaint. Farmers alleged that the IMD was colluding with seed and pesticide manufacturers inflating the monsoon forecast figures.
"Officials of the Pune and Colaba Met Department have colluded with seed and pesticide manufacturers and have caused loss of lakhs of rupees to farmers, who undertook sowing operations based on the forecast," the complaint said. Frustrated with the MET department getting its forecast always wrong, a group of farmers led by Gangabhishan Thaware filed the complaint at Dindrud police station in Majalgaon tehsil of Beed district.
"IMD officials have misled the farmers saying that there would be ample rain during Kharif in June. We undertook sowing operations, based on the IMD forecast but after a brief initial spell, there has been no rain. We are staring at a bleak future, with the sowing operations having gone waste," said Gangabhishan Thaware. The 54-year-old farmer is from Anandgaon in Beed district, one of the worst affected by drought.
Farmers in the region had completed the pre-sowing operations before June based on the IMD forecast. The IMD has predicted that there would be ample rains in June-July this year. "Despite the initial scanty rainfall, farmers in our village undertook sowing operations. We spent lakhs on seeds, fertilisers, pesticides and labourers wages," the farmer said.
The farmers from the region have also written to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis seeking his intervention. The farmers allege that IMD officials and those in seed and fertiliser companies have colluded with each other. "They have given an inflated forecast and are responsible for the plight of farmers," the farmer added.