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Farmer-the most endangered species

Maha tops list of farmers’ suicide

Posted by Ramoo on November 5, 2008

Press Trust Of India / New Delhi November 03, 2008, 0:09 IST

Maharashtra tops the list of farmer suicides with over 5,000 peasants under duress from crop failure and indebtedness ending their lives in the last four years, a study by the Agriculture Ministry said.

About 5,045 farmers have taken their lives in Maharashtra, while in Andhra Pradesh about 1,313 have killed themselves between 2005 and 2007, the study said.

The ministry, which has taken data provided by state governments, said a total of 1,003 farmers in Karnataka took their lives since 2005-06 till August 2008.

There were about 905 cases of suicide by farmer registered in Kerala, 387 in Gujarat, 75 in Punjab and 26 in Tamil Nadu in the same period, the study said, adding, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala reported comparatively higher number of suicides by farmers.

The study noted — crop failure, indebtedness, drought and social and economic insecurity — as primary reasons for farmers suicide.

Pointed out the measures taken by the government to stop farmers from committing suicide, the study said the Centre has approved a rehabilitation package of Rs 16,978.69 crore for 31 districts in four states where maximum suicide cases were reported.

The package aims to provide debt relief to farmers by establishing a sustainable and viable farming. It would also support their livelihood by providing institutional credit, assured irrigation and subsidiary income opportunities through horticulture and dairying, it said.

To address indebtedness of farmers, the government has also waived off agriculture debt of over Rs 70,000 crore in the Budget 2008-09, it added.

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