Every hour, a farmer committed suicide in 2015

87 per cent of total number of suicides were reported from well-off states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu

By Jitendra
Published: Monday 02 January 2017
Credit: Heather Cowper / Flicker
Credit: Heather Cowper / Flicker Credit: Heather Cowper / Flicker

In the middle of the din over doubling famers’ income, the trend of farmer suicide has also witnessed a steep rise. The latest data shows that farmers’ suicide in the country rose by 42 per cent between 2014 and 2015. Out of 12,602 persons who committed suicide in 2015, 8,007 were farmers/cultivators and 4,595 agricultural labourers. It means every hour, one farmer committed suicide in India in 2015. If we consider the total suicides in farming sector, more than one farmer committed suicide per hour.

Agriculture is still the mainstay of the Indian economy which engages more than 50 per cent of total workforce, contributing 14 per cent of country’s GDP. The suicide trend in farm sectors is an indication of how this sector has been ignored by government.

The causes of majority of suicide are farm-related issues and debt. 

According to the National Crime Records Bureau report titled 'Accidental deaths and suicides in India 2015', the overall suicide in farming sector has increased by 2 per cent from 12,360 in 2014 to12, 602 in 2015.  In 2013, the number was 11,772.

The states that headed towards industrial development has been seen more suicide.

The state-wise analysis reveals that 87 per cent of total suicides were reported from seven states: Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.

Maharashtra at the top of the table

In 2015, only seven states accounted for 11,026 out of 12,602 suicides. Maharashtra stood at the top of the table followed by Karnataka, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh.


Number of suicides




Madhya Pradesh


Andhra Pradesh

Tamil Nadu








Causes of suicides

Farming related issues and piling debt are contributing 60 per cent of total suicide. It is followed by family problems (12 per cent), illness (11 per cent) and drug addiction (4 per cent). Poverty is contributing only one per cent of total number of suicide.

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