About 1.98 lakh farmers committed suicide in India between 2001 and 2012 as the benefits of high growth failed to trickle down to the rural areas, says the India Rural Development Report 2012-13 released on Thursday.
Indebtedness and lenders confiscating land have been attributed as the main causes of the farmers’ deaths.
Around two-third of the farmer suicides were reported from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Depicting the darker side of India’s growth story, the report also shows why the poorer states show the smallest improvements in the prevailing multi-dimensional poverty scenario.
The report was prepared by a government-funded Infrastructure Development Finance Company and released by rural development minister Jairam Ramesh.
As per the findings, around 65% of India’s poor lived in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh in 2011-12, against around 50% in 1993-94.
Discussing the report, Ramesh said India had made 'a great but spotty advances'in rural infrastructure.
Around 57% of the land degraded in the country was because of man-made reasons including extensive use of chemicals in farming.
The report also said that from modest two lakh pump sets to extract groundwater exploded to over 20 million in 2009. This has been driven by green revolution policies and subsidies on pumps but it has resulted in one-third of country’s districts been termed 'unsafe' for ground water extraction.