Alappuzha: Omana, the wife of Prasad, a farmer from Thakazhi in Alappuzha who tragically took his own life, expressed her dismay, stating that the Agriculture Minister lacks a true understanding of the struggles faced by real farmers. She emphasized that those comfortably seated and working in a fan-cooled environment do not understand the challenges faced by farmers. Omana tearfully highlighted that in Kerala, only those with a fixed monthly income can afford farming. She attributed the problems her husband faced to delays in receiving payment for rice procurement.
“Even though the rice was given, it was too late to get the money. This forced Prasad to borrow at high interest rates. He tried to take a loan by pledging the land for farming purposes.He didn’t get the loan because he had PRS loan arrears. No one from the government side has come here yet. No help is expected from the state government”, Omana said adding that the government itself is in debt.
Prasad’s tragic decision to take his life was driven by his inability to secure a bank loan because of the PRS arrears. The voice message he sent to his friend before his death was very poignant. As the Pinarayi government’s mismanagement is the cause of the farmer’s death, public anger is strong that the government officials did not come to meet or console the farmer’s family.
Last week, at an inaugural function, the Cultural Minister Saji Cherian made disparaging remarks about farmers, questioning the significance of agriculture and stating that as long as Tamil Nadu produces rice, Kerala won’t face famine. The Agriculture Minister P. Prasad was also present during this event.