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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Farmer Suicides Statistics 2015 (The Hindu , Indian Express)

    Maharashtra saw 3,228 farmer suicides in 2015

    With 610 deaths in just two months, State records highest ever suicides by farmers.

    Suicides by farmers touched a grim high in 2015. The year that had recorded 2,590 suicides until October -- the higher ever since 2001 -- went on to register 610 more deaths in just the last two months. The death toll on December 31, 2015 stood at 3,228, indicating that the slew of measures the government undertook through the year failed to arrest the disturbing trend.
    Maharashtra has recorded 20,504 farmer suicides since 2001. Data obtained from the government shows Vidarbha, the region Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis hails from, was the worst hit last year, with around 1,541 farmers from Amaravati and Nagpur division committing suicides. As many as 1,130 farmers ended their lives in the Aurangabad division of Marathwada. Nashik in North Maharashtra witnessed 459 cases of farmer suicides.
    Figures indicate that that Pune division, which covers the state’s prosperous Western region, too recorded 96 suicides of which 27 were registered in the last two months of the year.
    Of the 3,228 suicides, the state has found only 1,841 eligible for government aid, while 903 were found ineligible. While 484 cases are pending for inquiries, ex-gratia aid has been extended to 1,818.
    “Packages will no longer work for farmers and the government seems to be missing this point completely. There is a need of farmer oriented policy and not packages,” said Chandrakant Wankhede, an activist from Vidarbha working on issues of farmers’ suicides. He said when loan waivers were announced in 2008, there was a drop in suicides. But since 2011, no such steps have been forthcoming. “The number may only increase in the coming years.” Maharashtra had recorded a 75% deficit in rainfall between June and September last year. While the CM had announced a Rs 10,512 crore package of farmers in December 2015, he had refrained from announcing any loan waivers. On Wednesday, Mr Fadnavis thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for launching the PM Crop Insurance Scheme, which assures covering over 50% of the farmers under the insurance scheme in the coming three years. Under this scheme, 90% premium money will be paid by the Centre and not just the fully grown crop but even the stem will be insured.
    In the last three to four years, Maharashtra witnessed extreme weather conditions that have either destroyed crops or left them damaged.

    2,016 farmer suicides in Maharashtra till September, highest in five years

    Over the past few years, Maharashtra has been topping the list of states in the country when it comes to farmers committing suicide.

    - See more at:
    With 2,016 reported cases of farmers committing suicide till the end of September, the current year has earned the dubious distinction of seeing the highest number of farmer suicides in the past five years. The state government has rolled out a special mission to control the crisis, but agricultural experts and farmer leaders have called for an intensive study into the issue. Over the past few years, Maharashtra has been topping the list of states in the country when it comes to farmers committing suicide. Frequent droughts, crop failure, non-realisation of prices for agricultural products are some of the reasons which drive farmers to take the extreme step. In 2009, the state had seen 1,600 cases of farmer suicides which rose to 1,740 in 2010. The next three years had seen relatively better rains and subsequently the number of farmer suicides had seen a dip. 2011 had recorded 1,495 cases, 2012 and 2013 had seen 1,467 and 1,298 cases of farmer suicides, respectively. The number of farmer suicides rose to 1,949 in 2014 and this year the figure has touched 2,016 by September end, according to data released by the state government. - See more at: and Marathwada have reported maximum number of suicides in the state. Till September this year, Vidharbha has seen 1,010 cases of farmer suicides and Marathwada has recorded 695 cases. A total of 19 districts come under the above two regions. Districts of Yavatmal, Osmananbad, Beed have seen maximum concentration of such cases. There had been a spurt in cases of farmer suicides in March, April and May. August and September had also seen a rise in the number of cases. -
    Swabhimani Paksha MP Raju Shetti said this trend was due to the failure of the crop cycles of last year and this year. “Maharashtra has been seeing drought and unseasonal rains over the past two years. Early this year, much of the crop had been wasted due to sudden rains. The rains had ruined the Rabi crop and lack of timely intervention by the state government had resulted in a rise in the figure in May,” he said.
    He said the monsoons had started on the right note and farmers had taken up massive plantation, but the subsequent lack of rains had prompted re-sowing in over 20-lakh hectare in the state. “The second spurt in suicide cases started August onwards as the withdrawal of monsoons also failed to bring adequate rains,” he said.
    Activist Kishore Tiwari who is heading the state government’s mission to reduce farm distress said, “The problem has got acute given that proper attention was not paid to it in the past 15 years. The government machinery which was supposed to be looking into the matter has been riddled with corruption,” he said. Tiwari said the government had identified families in distress and the administration had been asked to provide all possible help to them under the distress management programme. “Medical, educational and other help are being provided to over 6 million families in the 14 suicide-prone districts. We hope the trend will go down in the months to come,” he said.
    Shetti said in order to solve the problem of farmer’s suicide once and for all, a holistic approach had to be taken. He said that would involve assuring competitive pricing of agricultural produce and access toMARKET. “The start of the farm land crisis is the failure of the farmer to realise competitive pricing for his produce. With input costs going up, the cost of the output should commensurate that. Once this is assured, the farmer will be able to take care of adverse climate also,” he said.


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