Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh will hold a meeting with his Maharashtra counterpart Pandurang Phundkar tomorrow against the backdrop of farmers in the state from inhaling toxic insecticide fumes sprayed in farmlands.
"A departmental review meeting is scheduled to take place tomorrow, in which the state minister, along with officials of the agriculture department are asked to remain present. Deaths due to pesticides will be one of the issues that may be discussed," an official from the agriculture department told PTI.
The state government had recently sought a CBI probe into the presence of "herbicide tolerant genes" in BT Cotton seeds, which allegedly caused deaths of several farmers, mainly in Yavatmal district.
"After the tragic incident of pesticide poisoning in Yavatmal district, a detailed study was done by Central Institute of Cotton Research (CISR) and the report is submitted to the state government," a statement issued by the Chief Minister's Office had said.
It had added that such types of seeds are being produced in many other states as well and in accordance with the seriousness of the issue, the government had sought a detailed CBI inquiry into this.
Although the government has not specified the number of deaths caused due to pesticides, it has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh of the families of deceased.
Eminent farm activist from Vidarbha, Kishor Tiwari, has claimed that 48 farmers have lost their lives so far due to the inhalation of toxic pesticides in various regions of the state.
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