The Bombay High Court has suggested Maharashtra government to provide space to farmers in government markets so that they can directly sell their produce to consumers, thereby eliminating middlemen.
This way they can get more money for their produce and thereby improve their financial stability, a bench said while hearing a public interest litigation taken up suo motu (on its own by the High Court), an increase in cases of farmers’ suicides.
The suggestion was on December 18 given by a bench headed by Justice Naresh Patil, who opined that farmers should be given space measuring 200 to 500 square feet in government markets to sell agricultural products directly to people.
Farmers commit suicides due to financial constraints, but if measures are taken to improve their economic well-being then cases of suicides may drop, the bench opined.
The judges also asked the government what steps it had taken to prevent suicides among farmers.
An officer from Akola district told the court that the authorities have introduced various schemes for the farmers.
Besides, officers are educating them and asking the farmers to take a pledge that they would never commit suicide. They also provide sewing machines to the families of farmers so that they can have an alternate source of livelihood.
Expressing concern over unceasing farmer suicides in Maharashtra, the High Court suggested that the state government should frame policies for their welfare. The division bench also asked the government to ensure that the benefit of such policies and schemes reach the intended beneficiaries.
The court has taken cognisance of the issue following media reports stating that over 600 farmers have committed suicide in the state this year alone.