Bulk of farm suicides occurred in 7 cotton-growing states: NCRB

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on January 05, 2017


Indebtedness behind most deaths

Cotton-growing states in the country continue to remain the most distressed as “bankruptcy or indebtedness” hit the farming community. About 87.5 per cent or 11,026 of 12,602 suicides (which include farmers and farm labourers) were reported from these states in 2015 (12,360 in 2014).

Activists attribute the severity of the agrarian crisis to the cultivation of cotton in areas that were not suitable for the crop.

State-wise figures

Maharasthra topped the list with 4,291 suicides, followed by Karnataka (1,569), Telangana (1,400), Madhya Pradesh (1,290), Chhattisgarh (954), Andhra Pradesh (916) and Tamil Nadu (606), according to the data released by National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB) for the year 2015.

Though the number of deaths remained almost static in 2014 and 2015, the number of suicides by farmers went up by about 40 per cent to 8,000 in 2015 as against 5,650 in 2014. The overall numbers remained static as the number of suicides by farm labourers fell to 4,595 from 6,710.

‘Enormous stress’

Agriculture scientist GV Ramanjaneyulu pointed out that the high number of suicides in the cotton belt showed the enormous stress. “These states continue to see a very high number of suicides. The main reason for their taking the extreme step is indebtedness and bankruptcy. But the state governments continue to turn a blind eye,” he said.

He said the distress was acute in the seven states that grew cotton more, particularly in areas that are not suitable for the crop.

Telangana, which reported 1,400 farm suicides, had also reported a high number of suicides by women. About one-third of 450 suicides by women farmers in the country occurred in the state.

Major reasons

“Bankruptcy or indebtedness and farming related issues are reported to be the major causes of suicides among farmers. These two reasons resulted in 38.7 per cent and 19.5 per cents suicides out of the total 8,000 suicides by farmers,” the report said.

Bankruptcy or indebtedness was more acute in Karnataka, where 79 per cent of the 1,197 suicides were attributed to it.

This was followed by Maharashtra where 42.7 per cent of 3,000 farmers ended their lives because of financial stress.

Published on January 05, 2017
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