Farmer’s suicide

Why farmers suicides are more concentrated in one particular area?
There are certain pockets in country like Vidarbha region, Marathwada, Northern Karnataka etc. which are more prone to farmer suicides. The primary region is the continuous shift from agro-ecological cropping pattern. Most of these regions come in drought prone areas. Traditionally, coarse cereals like maize , millets, legumes like pulses ,which are drought resistant were cultivated. But, due to flawed support price policies, they have shifted to cash crops like sugar cane, cotton , and input intensive crops like wheat and rice. Thus, they fall in debt to meet the higher input costs, and harvest is subjected to vagaries of nature.
Reasons of suicide?
  • Geographical
    Less than normal monsoon for two years in a row compounded by rain fed nature and less diversification of agricultureStagnating crop yields due to decreasing productivity of soil as a result of irrational use of fertilizers and climate change
  • Institutional
    Poor agro-ecological planning i.e. wrong set of crops being promoted in different regions e.g. sugarcane in water-scarceIn Marathwada, low levels of procurement of crops results in distress sale of crops and hence input costs not being realizedLow penetration of crop insurance schemes and delay in insurance claimsFalling prices of agricultural commodities
  • Technological
    Failure of GM cotton in Punjab as a result of whitefly attacksLow levels of R&D results in poor quality of seeds being used to produce cropsFailure of technological experiments like introduction of Bt Cotton which was good for irrigated regions failed in rain fed regions
How to reduce farmer’s suicide?
Some of the steps to reduce stress could be:
  1. Promotion of dry land farming practices and water conservation and harvesting
  2. Motivating farmers for right crop choice selection
  3. Main-streaming livestock in the agricultural mix
  4. Using technology to devise resistant strains of crops
What has been done?
  • The Reserve Bank of India has allowed State and district level banks to take a lenient view on rescheduling of loans if crop loss is 33% or more.
  • SC has directed government to provide an action plan.
  • PM Fasal Bima Yojana
  • Kisan Credit Card scheme
  • e-National Agricultural Market
US Report on Farmers Suicide:
  • Climate change may have led to over 59,000 farmer suicides over the last 30 years in India.
  • Even a 1°C increase in temperature above 20° C in a single day during the crop growing season results in about 70 suicides on average.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top