Good rains fail to offer respite to farmers in Maharashtra

Published on Oct 18, 2016 12:30 AM IST

As many as 2,307 farmers have killed themselves till now, in 2016. The number is 45 more than number of suicides reported during the corresponding period in 2015.

Hindustan Times | BySurendra P Gangan, Mumbai

Despite satisfactory rainfall this monsoon, farmer suicides have not gone down.

As many as 2,307 farmers have killed themselves till now, in 2016. The number is 45 more than number of suicides reported during the corresponding period in 2015. The rate of farmer suicide in the past four months has reduced marginally — from 1,161 cases during June-September in 2015 to 1,014 during the same period, this year.

In the backdrop of the 3,228 suicides in 2015, the highest ever, the state government seemed hopeful about the reduction in the number of suicides because of the satisfactory monsoon this year. After the drought-like situation in more than two-third of the state in the first five months of the year, the administration had claimed that the suicides will decline once the monsoon set in. However, recent figures collated by the district administration has proved that more than a thousand famers have ended their lives.

The rate of suicides in a few districts of the Vidarbha has been on the rise during monsoon and five districts in Amravati division recorded 125 and 105 suicides in August and September, respectively. The eight districts of Marathwada that was severely affected by the drought recorded more than 90 suicides a month for the past two months, though slightly lesser than April and May this year.

The suicide rate this year has been much higher than that in 2012, 2013 and 2014 — the years of acute war=ter scarcity. 1,473, 1,296 and 1,981 farmers committed suicide in these years, respectively.

“We are aware about the continuing suicides and have asked for reports from district collectors. Most of the suicides are for non-agricultural reasons,” said agricuture minister Pandurang Fundakar. “Except for a few districts in Marathwada where crops have been lost to the drought, sowing has crossed 100% of the cultivable area everywhere and crops are expected to be satisfactory. We will implement measures to reduce the suicides.”

“In many parts of the Vidarbha and Marathwada, standing crops of soybean and other agriculture produce has wilted due to the excessive rainfall. The farmers have not been in the condition to take benefit of the above-average rainfall, as many of them still are indebted. Though the govenrnement announced a restructure of their loans to make them eligible, the new loan has not been passed in many parts,” said Vijay Jawandhia, agriculture expert.

Jawandhia also slammed Fundkar for saying that the reasons for the suicides were non-agricultural. “When in the Opposition, the BJP leaders targetted the then governement for the suicides and now want to shrug off the responsibility by pointing at other issues,” he said.


# 2307 farmers have committed suicides from January to September this year. despite the satisfactory rainfall, the last four months too have not witnessed the fall in the suicides.

# Four months of monsoon- June to September- have witnessed 1014 suicides, though a marginal fall from the rate in last year’s four months of monsoon,when 1163 farmers had ended thier lives.

# 2015 had witnessed highest ever suicides - 3228.

# Between January 1, 2001 and September 30, 2016 as many as 22,811 farmers have committed suicides.

# Yavatmal, Amravati and Osmanabad remaing to be the distrcits with highest number of suicides.


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