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Government Releases Farmer Suicide Data after Three Years Delay; Check State-wise Figures

farmer suicide

In the National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB) accidental deaths & suicides in India report released on 8th November 2019, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has confirmed that 11,379 farmers died due to suicide in India in the year 2016. This means, every month, 948 suicides were committed by farmers.

Last year in the month of July, the Centre had told the Lok Sabha that 11,370 farmers committed suicide in the country in 2016. However, it had clarified that the data was provisional & the NCRB was yet to release the final report.

The long-pending final report of accidental deaths & suicides in India was released yesterday. It was last released in the year 2015.

It is important to mention that the number of farmer suicides has reduced according to government data, coming down to 11,379 in 2016 from 12,360 in the year 2014 & 12,602 in 2015. For 2016, the bureau has not released details for the cause of farmer suicides.

Also, the majority of the farmers who committed suicide in India were males while females accounted for only 8.6 percent of farmer suicides in the country. One of the reasons for this big difference could be that a huge number of women who work on fields are not characterised as farmers.

Farmer suicide in India 

Maharashtra continues to top the list with the highest number of farmer suicides in India with 3,661 in 2016. It had also recorded the highest number of farmer suicides in the previous year’s i.e. in 2014 & 2015. A recent report said that a RTI application filed in Maharashtra showed that 15,356 farmers lost their lives due to suicide in between 2013 & 2018.

Karnataka witnessed the second highest number of farmer suicides in 2016 at 2,079 while in 2015, 1,569 farmers died suicide in the state.

Farmer suicides in Telangana has reduced to half - in 2014 & 2015 the number of farmer suicides stood at 1,347 & 1,400 respectively. In 2016, the number was 645 according to the NCRB data.

West Bengal as usual did not provide data on farmer suicides. In 2015 & 2016, the number of farmer suicides in the state according to data provided to NCRB by West Bengal was ZERO. In the year 2014, West Bengal reported 230 suicides.  Likewise Bihar also reported ZERO farmer suicides in 2016. However, several news reports of farmer suicides have emerged from Bihar as well as West Bengal.

With the 2016 figures, 3, 33,407 farmers have committed suicide in India since 1995, when the NCRB began publishing farmer suicide data.



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