More than 5,000 Indian farmers died by suicide every year in 2018, 2019 and 2020

Maharashtra tops the list with over 2,000 suicides every year

Farmer Suicide
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In a submission made before the Rajya Sabha recently, the Agriculture ministry has revealed that every year in 2018, 2019 and 2020 over 5,000 farmers died by suicide across India.

Narendra Singh Tomar, who is the Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare submitted data from the National Crime records Bureau in response to a question raised by Raghav Chaddha. According to the data, as many as 5,570 farmers died by suicide in 28 states and eight union territories in 2020. Of these 2,567 were from Maharashtra alone. Karnataka came in second with 1,072 deaths by suicide.

In 2019, across India, 5,945 farmers died by suicide, out of which 2,680 were from Maharashtra and 1,331 from Karnataka. In 2018, as many as 5,747 people died by suicide, of which 2,239 were from Maharashtra and 1,365 from Karnataka.

States like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Punjab and Chhattisgarh also recorded hundreds of deaths every year during this three-year period.

In 2020, Andhra Pradesh saw 546 suicide deaths, while Telangana saw 466, Punjab 174 and Chhattisgarh 227. In 2019, Andhra Pradesh saw 628 suicide deaths, while Telangana saw 491, Punjab 239 and Chhattisgarh 233. In 2018, Andhra Pradesh saw 365 suicide deaths, while Telangana saw 900, Punjab 229 and Chhattisgarh 182.

No suicide deaths were reported from Haryana, Jharkhand, Goa, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, and the Union Territories of Chandigarh, Delhi, Lakshadweep and Puducherry.

In response to these deaths, the Centre has instituted a variety of relief measures, such as providing loans at lower rates of interest, sometimes free of any collateral. But none of these appear to have helped arrest this tragic trend where those who till the land, are forced to take such a drastic step.

Farmers and agricultural labourers face economic distress on account of various reasons, including but not limited to – crop failure due to natural calamities such as droughts and floods, and subsequent lack of proper compensation, high cost of fertilisers, mounting interest on debts, etc. Moreover, many farmers groups argue that in the absence of Minimum Support Price (MSP) being calculated based on the C2+50 formula that was recommended by the Swaminathan Commission, the inadequate compensation for crops often makes farming as a whole an economically un-viable activity.

The entire answer may be read here:


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