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RTI Report: 2,498 Farmers Committed Suicide in 11 Months

Despite the government's debt waiver schemes and other similar schemes created by the state government to benefit farmers, a total of 2,498 farmers have died in Maharashtra.

Ayushi Raina
2,498 Farmers Died Due to Suicide in 11 Months in Maharashtra
2,498 Farmers Died Due to Suicide in 11 Months in Maharashtra

An RTI report revealed that in 11 months between January 1, 2021 and November 21, 2021 a total of 2,498 farmers committed suicide in Maharashtra and in 2020, a total of 2,547 farmers had ended their lives in the state. 

According to the state revenue department data, despite the government's loan waiver schemes and other similar schemes to assist farmers, they continue to commit suicide due to their inability to repay the loan. 

Affected Areas 

Vidarbha has always had to bear the brunt, accounting for over half of all suicides in the state. Amravati (331) has surpassed Yavatmal (270) as the district with the greatest number of suicides in 2020, compared to previous year. 

Suicides have already seen a hike in the division of Aurangabad (773–804) and Nagpur (269–309) compared to previous year in 2020. In contrast, there have been no suicides in the Konkan division in the previous two years. 

Countrywide Data 

According to NCRB data from 2020, suicides among farmers and agricultural laborers in Maharashtra are increasing rather than decreasing (2021).

Overall, 10,677 people committed suicide in the country's agriculture industry in 2020, accounting for 7% of the total suicides in the country (153052). It includes 5,579 farmer suicides and 5,098 agricultural laborer suicides. With 4,006 suicides, Maharashtra topped the list. It was followed by suicides in Karnataka (2,016), Andhra Pradesh (889) and Madhya Pradesh (735). 

Despite multiple loan waivers and all of the schemes established in the interest of farmers, the suicide rate continues to rise. 

According to the experts, the government will have to think beyond loan forgiveness. Farmers' mental health is also one of the leading causes of suicide. Instead of loan waivers, the government needs to bring an insolvency scheme for bankrupt farmers.  

Dnyandev Talule, head of the Economics Department, Shivaji University, says that there is a need to promote the cultivation of cereals, pulses, oilseeds and vegetables (shift in cropping pattern) given the climatic conditions of Marathwada and Vidarbha. It will help in improving the state of the farmers. 

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