Why farmers in Marathwada are committing suicide
Villages now have to depend on water tankers for their daily water supply. Households leave their empty barrels along the road so that water tankers may fill them as they pass through villages
The absence of irrigation has aggravated the crisis. From January 2014 till the first week of April this year, more than 800 farmers committed suicide due to crop failures. Today, Marathwada reports the highest number of suicides in the state
Cotton is the traditional crop of Marathwada. But the promotion of Bt cotton has led to a steady rise in input cost and drop in yield
Failed monsoons and heavy unseasonal rains have ravaged thousands of hectares of crops in Marathwada, leaving farmers severely debt-ridden. Unfavourable weather and government apathy are driving farmers to take the extreme step (Photos by Vikas Choudhary)
Farmers are moving to the more lucrative sugarcane, hoping to sell it to the many sugar factories in the region and recover from their losses. But sugarcane is a water-intensive crop, requiring irrigation for more than a year
33-year-old Sahibrao Athole of Talavada village in Beed district was found lying unconscious by his brother here in his field. He had consumed a litre of pesticide. Since the drought of 2012, every attempt Athole made to pay back loans from his harvest failed
With no guarantee of a normal monsoon and erratic water supply from dams, farmers have installed pumps to bring water from surface and groundwater sources. This has resulted in the depletion of the water table in the parched region
The left bank canal of Jayakwadi dam in Aurangabad, one of Maharashtra's largest dams, was built to provide irrigation to farms in drought-prone Marathwada. But the canal is almost always empty
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