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Farmer suicides: Why India's agriculture is in crisis? Make agriculture profitable

Posted By - Admin 29 September 2017
29
Sep

A country where 70% of the entire population is dependent on farming and agriculture, farmer suicides are still continuing to be a major menace.

The statistics related to farmer suicides are exceedingly shocking.  

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) commenced monitoring farmer suicides since 1995; back then the number stood at 10,720, the lowest ever. Since 2005, the rate of farmer suicides ranged from 1.4 to 1.8 for every 100,000 individuals over a 10-year stretch. The highest numbers of farmer suicide came in the year 2004 with a record of 18,241.     

Of the total suicides committed in India in 2015, farmer suicides contributed around 9.4% to it.

The Government of Indian in 2015 reported a total of 12,602 suicides of individuals related to the agricultural sector. Out of these 4,595 were agricultural labourers and 8,007 were farmers.

This number increased by 242 since 2014 ere the total number stood at 12,360. 

However, farmer suicides decreased a minor amount in 2016 to 11,458. The prime reason for this according to the government was a standard performance of the monsoons.

While the monsoons are a genuine cause for farmer suicides in India, there also exist other reasons as well.

Activist and experts blame numerous reasons like government policies, public mental health, high burden of debt, and family and personal problems. These conflicting reasons collectively contribute to this significant mortality rate of Indian farmers. In 2006, the prime causes of suicides in a rural region of Maharashtra – Vidarbha were low economic status (74%) and high debt (87%). Six years later, in 2012, the reasons increased and now were:

  1.             Low profitability and productivity.
  2.             High cultivation costs.
  3.             Family responsibilities and stress.
  4.             Crop failure.
  5.             Substandard irrigation.
  6.             Low selling prices.
  7.             High debt.
  8.             Government apathy.
  9.             Pressure from private money lenders.

Zakeer Shaikh, founder of Market Galee said, “India despite being the second largest agricultural producer in the world has unfortunately been unable to provide a safe and secure future to its farming community. Suicides by farmers due to debt are often norms and forgotten headlines every day”

Shaikh, with his close ties with the Indian agriculture eyes to make it profitable with his Market Galee initiative. He added that high debt burden and reliance both form two of the prime reasons for suicide among farmers. His team at Market Galee conducted a survey in Belgaum; the farmers here said that they would never want their children to face the same challenges as them.

The highest numbers of farmer suicides come from the states of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Bihar, and Oriss