Current Affairs

The Crisis in Agriculture and Farmers Suicide in India – APPSC Group 1 – Exam Essays


Causes of Farmer Suicides

India is an agrarian country with around 48.9%* of its people depending directly or indirectly upon agriculture. Nowadays the problem of farmers’ suicides is one of the vital concerns that need to be addressed by the Government. Considering the paramount importance of this issue, the NCRB, for the first time, has collected detailed data on farmers’ suicides. Farmers include those who own and work on field (viz. cultivators) as well as those who employ/hire workers for field work/farming activities. It excludes agricultural laborers.

A total of 5,650 farmers have committed suicides during 2014, accounting for 4.3% of total suicides victims in the country

A total of 5,178 male farmers and 472 female farmers have committed suicides, accounting for 91.6% and 8.4% of total farmers’ suicides. 31.1%, 29.2% 14.1% and 11.0% of female farmers’ suicides, were reported in Telangana (147 out of 472 suicides), Madhya Pradesh (138 suicides), Maharashtra (70 suicides) and Chhattisgarh (52 suicides) respectively. The State/UT and City wise information on the incidents of farmers’ suicides during the year are presented in Table–2.7. A total of 2,568 farmers’ suicides were reported in Maharashtra followed by 898 such suicides in Telangana and 826 suicides in Madhya Pradesh, accounting for 45.5%, 15.9% and 14.6% respectively of total farmer suicides during 2014. Chhattisgarh (443 suicides) and Karnataka (321 suicides) accounted for 7.8% and 5.7% respectively of the total farmer suicides reported in the country. These 5 States together accounted for 89.5% of the total farmer suicides (5,056 out of 5,650) reported in the country during 2014

Causes of Farmer Suicides 
‘Bankruptcy or Indebtedness’ and ‘Family Problems’ are major causes of suicides, accounting for 20.6% and 20.1% respectively of total farmers’ suicides during 2014. The other prominent causes of farmers’ suicides were ‘Failure of Crop’ (16.8%), ‘Illness’ (13.2%) and ‘Drug Abuse/Alcoholic Addiction’ (4.9%)

During 2014, major causes of suicides among male farmers were ‘Bankruptcy or Indebtedness’ and ‘Family Problems’, which accounted for 21.5% and 20.0% respectively of total male farmers’ suicides. Whereas, in female farmers’ suicides, ‘Farming Related Issues’ followed by ‘Family Problems’, ‘Marriage Related Issues’ and ‘Bankruptcy or Indebtedness’ were major causes of suicides, accounting for 21.4% (101 out of 472 suicides), 20.6% (97 suicides), 12.3% (58 suicides) and 10.8% (51 suicides) respectively during 2014.

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