Sharp fall in farm suicides in 2016 claims latest NCRB data

Telangana not among top five aby more; Maharshtra, Karnataka still at top

By Jitendra
Published: Saturday 09 November 2019

The Narendra Modi government finally released the farm sector suicide data for 2016 after three years on November 8, 2019. According to it farmers' suicide numbers has declined sharply from previous years though the number of agricultural labourers taking their lives have jumped 11 percent. The 2016 report continued to underline the country's grim agrarian crisis. 

In 2016, 6,270 farmers committed suicide, down from 8,007 in 2015. Suicide by farm workers though increased to 5,109 from from 4595. (see table) 

Those engaged to the farm sector constituted 8.7 percent of the total 131,008 suicides reported in 2016.

Telangana, which usually fared among the worst (including when it was part of undivided Andhra Pradesh) sprang a surprise by not being among the top five.

Industrialised, or relatively better-off states, registered most of the suicides. The trend among states was almost same. Like in 2015, Maharashtra topped the list again followed by Karnataka. Madhya Pradesh, fourth in 2015  moved up a spot to replace Telangana: 

  1. Maharashtra - 32.2 per cent
  2. Karnataka - 18.3 per cent
  3. Madhya Pradesh - 11.6 per cent
  4. Andhra Pradesh - 7.1 per cent
  5. Chhattisgarh - 6.0 per cent

The figures for 2017 weren't released by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), which collates crime data from across the country, though it released most other crime data from that year last month.

The major cause of suicides were cited as bankruptcy / indebtedness, family issues. Prominent cause of farm suicides were crop failure, illness and ‘Drug Abuse/Alcoholic Addiction.

Ofthe  total 6,270 farm suicides, 275 were by women. Out of 5,109 suicides by agricultural labourers, 633 were female. 



No. of farm sector suicides

No. of farmers














According to the report that some states and Union territory registered zero farm sector related suicides, including West Bengal, Bihar, Nagaland, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Delhi and Lakshadweep. 

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