A distressed farmer ended his life by jumping into a river at Sujapur village near Ludhiana on Sunday.
Sujapur sarpanch Gurjinder Singh said the farmer, identified as Kuljeet Singh, was under Rs 5-lakh debt. "He owned six-kanal agricultural land and had suffered huge crop losses," said Gurjinder.
Kuljeet is survived by his wife and two young daughters. He could not even finish the construction of his house due to paucity of funds, said the sarpanch.
Chief agriculture officer Sukhpal Singh Sekhon said the body was fished out around 1:30 pm and the police was informed.
On being asked, how the state government can curb the rising suicides by farmers, Sekhon said farmers should opt for crop diversification that can fortify their economic status.
Rather than just being dependent on wheat-paddy cycle, farmers must explore other crop options, said Sekhon.
Moreover, most farmers spend lavishly on various social functions, including weddings, said the officer. "There is need for farmers to chalk out ways to save money. They should not come under social pressure and spend lavishly on functions," he said.
The last suicide survey was conducted by the state government in 2011. In 2012, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reported 13,754 farmer suicides in the country. It said 46 farmers commit suicide daily in the country.