Indian Agrarian Crisis now moved to www.agrariancrisis.in

Farmer-the most endangered species

403 farmers commit suicide over five years in Gujarat

Posted by Ramoo on October 12, 2007

New Delhi, October 11: As many as 403 farmers committed suicide in Gujarat in the last five years. Junagadh district topped the list with 85 suicides in the state.

The data was furnished by the Gujarat Government to an application filed under Right To Information (RTI) Act by activist Bharatsinh Jhala.

The data informed that there were 62 such cases in Rajkot, followed by 50 in Jamnagar and 48 in Mehsana.

The applicant sought details on the number of farmers suicides in the state where floods had devastated the life and property in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

As per the data, 36 farmers have ended their lives in 2007 itself, Jhala told reporters.

He said he filed the application when he found “discrepancies” in the information provided by the government and a survey conducted in various villages by him along with some NGOs.

“The survey presented a grim picture of the farmers who were reeling under the debt even as the state initially maintained that there were only 148 deaths in the entire period,” he said.

“Our study indicated that the farmers were committing suicide due to cost production exceeding the returns specially when agriculture is the sole source of income,” Jhala said.

He added that the information through RTI substantiated his fears.

The other reasons were non-availability of cheap and ready agricultural credit, lack of investment in rural social infrastructure like health, education, transportation in the context of lack of alternate sources, he stated.

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