NCRB points out decrease in toll since 2013
In 2017, 10,655 people involved in agriculture committed suicide in India, according to data released January 2, 2020 by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB). The official agency, however, highlighted that the toll was the lowest since 2013.
Among those who took their lives, 5,955 were farmers / cultivators and 4,700 agricultural labourers — both lower than in 2016. They comprised 8.2 per cent of all suicide cases in the country in 2017.
In 2016, 6270 farmers killed themselves, down from 8,007 in 2015, while 5,109 farm hands committed suicide, up from 4,595.
The number of women farmers committing suicide, however, jumped to 480 in 2017 from 275 in ’16.
The most vulnerable
In 2017, the most number of farm suicides were reportedly in Maharashtra (34.7 per cent), followed by Karnataka (20.3 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (9 per cent), Telangana (8 per cent) and Andhra Pradesh (7.7 per cent).
The trend was quite similar to previous year: In 2016, Maharashtra accounted for 32.2 per cent, Karnataka 18.3 per cent, MP 11.6 per cent, Andhra 7.1 per cent and Chhattisgarh 6 per cent. In 2015 too Maharashtra tops in farmers suicides followed by Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh in 2016.
Major causes of farm suicides were reportedly bankruptcy / indebtedness, problems in the families, crop failure, illness and alcohol / substance abuse.
West Bengal, Odisha, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Delhi, Lakshadweep and Puducherry reported zero suicides by farmers or agricultural labourers.
NCRB collates data on various types of crimes for every year from across the country.
Farm suicides over half a decade
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