Dharampal Jarunde, a farmer in Dorli village of Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region, is weighing his options carefully this year. Rains have been scarce and the soya he sowed at the start of this season has dried up.
Jarunde has is no option but to go for another round of sowing—a task which requires money. Jarunde is in a Catch-22 situation: he has to repay part of an old loan but he won’t get money unless it rains and he can't get a new loan till he repays the old one.
“This year too the situation is serious. I have sown seeds for the first time this year but if it doesn’t rain my crop will go bad. How will the rest of the year be? I can't tell right now,” says Jarunde.
In neighbouring Waifad village, farmers throng the nearest bank to avail of new loans. They have already used up their left over money for their first round of sowing, but the government's Rs 71,000-cr farm loan waiver scheme has delayed the disbursement of fresh credit to farmers.
Around Rs 93 lakh worth of loans have been waived in this village alone but farmers complain that they are not able to get new loans despite the waiver.
“I have lost all my crops because of bad rains. When I went to get a new loan, the manager delayed the process,” says Abdul Rahim Sheikh, a farmer in Waifad village.
The traditional moneylender who used to provide quick loans has now become more cautious. Arun Punjab Chamhare, a farmer in Waifad, was forced to mortgage his land to get a loan of Rs 5000 from the moneylender.
“I had taken a loan of Rs 5000. The moneylender first said he didn't want the land but now he says he wants to keep the land. He is now threatening to take me to court,” says Chamhare.
The field is set and the cattle ready for work in Dorli and Waifad villages, but the rain clouds are rare and there is a drought of loans too.