News Leak Centre

Climate change is Turning the Middle East’s Breadbasket into a Cannabis Farm

Heeding the recommendation of international consulting group McKinsey, which was part of a broader development plan, Lebanon’s parliament is preparing to legalize medicinal cannabis and its cultivation. It’s meant to pave the way to a nearly $800 million industry, according to Economy Minister Raed Khoury, and could serve as a quick fix for some of the country’s many economic woes.

And Lebanon’s farmers say the change can’t come too soon. As in many parts of the region, the country’s farmlands have been disproportionately affected by global warming. The Bekaa Valley, nestled between Mount Lebanon and Syria, is stricken with droughts, and many wells are drying up. Growing potatoes, onions and other produce native to the region has been harder than ever before, experts and farmers say.

But cannabis is a drought-resistant crop, requiring little water and no pesticides. And it flourishes in the high altitudes of the Bekaa plains.

Lebanese officials hope that legalizing the crop will boost exports, helping to jumpstart Lebanon’s moribund economy. It has the world’s third-highest ratio of debt to gross domestic product and suffers from decaying infrastructure and ballooning unemployment. Lebanese agriculture experts say the move could also breathe life into a languishing agricultural sector buckling under the effects of climate change

Farmer shocked: Government making mockery by giving Rs 10 loan waiver to Uttar Pradesh farmers

It looks like Uttar Pradesh government is standing tall on their claim to waive off farmer’s loan amounting to Rs 36,000 crores, however, what the farmers have received so far are loan waiver certificates worth Rs 10 and Rs 215.

In the event organised at Hamirpur in Uttar Pradesh, farmers were in a shock after receiving a loan waiver certificates with amounts as low as Rs 10. The event is witnessed by state Minister for Labour and Employment Exchanges, Manohar Lal (Mannu Kori).

The farmers, who have a debt amounting to Rs 50,000, were left stranded clueless when they were handed certificates worth Rs 10 or 20. The state of confusion gripped the farmers as they were left nowhere to waive-off the remaining amount.

On receiving complaints regarding these faulty loan waiver certificates of Rs 10 and Rs 20, Mannu Kori said, “It might be due to some misprint in the certificate, the matter will be investigated and discrepancies will be corrected.”

The farmers were disgruntled over the administration and expressed their displeasure over the distribution of these certificates and said it was nothing less than a mockery on their plight.

Munni Lal, a farmer from Umri village in Hamirpur, approached the Minister of State and while showing his bank passbook complained that he had a debt of around Rs 50,000 and received a certificate of Rs 215. Another farmer, Babulal, complained of receiving a loan waiver certificate of Rs 28,000 while he had a loan of Rs 50,000

Around 12,460 farmers, just from the Hamirpur district, are supposed to get farm loan waivers in the first phase of the scheme.

MoS Mannu Kori, on Monday, distributed the certificates of farm loan waiver to 5,000 farmers. Many of the farmers among 45, who were called on the stage, complained of getting these low-value certificates.

Such incidents have cropped up in the past too. On 8th September, an incident at Brabanki district, where certificates were distributed to 5,000 farmers. Farmers in Barabanki too complained of receiving waiver certificates of Rs 12 and 24.

Going by the Yogi government’s decision, small and marginal farmers in Uttar Pradesh were to get up to Rs 1 lakh for their losses. There are about 2.15 crore farmers in UP, whose loans amounting to Rs 30,729 crores, are supposed to be waived.

The Rs 30,729 crore debt waiver would benefit farmers who had suffered losses due to drought, flood etc in Uttar Pradesh. Other farmers, whose loans were declared Non-Performing Assets by the banks and are beyond recovery, will also be waived. This would amount to another Rs 5,630 crores, in addition to the Rs 30,729 crore.

Skull Protest By Tamil Nadu Farmers Enters 39th Day. Drinks Their Own Urine.

Tamil Nadu farmers protest at Jantar Mantar had entered its 39th day. The protest, which started from 13th of March, had been taking a momentum since then. In a  mark of protest and to pressurise the government, Rahul Gandhi, too, joined the protest for a day.

However, the protest took an ugly today when the farmers started to drink their own urine. They also threatened the government that if their demands were not met, they will start eating their own stool.

 

To give a background, the farmers are protesting in the capital for drought relief package and to waive the loans of peasants from Tamil Nadu.

Owing to the bad monsoon and drought conditions, several farmers allegedly committed suicide in the state. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) sought a detailed report from Tamil Nadu on farmer suicides based on media reports that estimated 106 farmer deaths within a month in Tamil Nadu.