Farmer’s suicide in India
Nov 14, 2021
Farmer’s suicide in India
Q What is the context ?
A The number of agricultural labourers who died by suicide in 2020 was 18% higher than the previous year, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report.
Q What is state of Farmers suicide in 2020 ?
- In 2020, 5,098 of these agricultural labourers died by suicide, an 18% rise from the 4,324 who died last year.
- Overall, 10,677 people engaged in the farm sector died by suicide in 2020, slightly higher than the 10,281 who died in 2019.
- They made up 7% of all suicides in the country.
- Most of these deaths were among those whose primary work and main source of income comes from labour activities in agriculture or horticulture.
- However, among farmers who cultivate their own land, with or without the help of other workers, the number of suicides dropped 3.7% from 5,129 to 4,940.
- Among tenant farmers who cultivate leased land, there was a 23% drop in suicides from 828 to 639.
- The worst among States continues to be Maharashtra, with 4,006 suicides in the farm sector, including a 15% increase in farm worker suicides.
- Other States with a poor record include Karnataka (2016), Andhra Pradesh (889) and Madhya Pradesh (735).
- Tamil Nadu also bucked the national trend; although the total number of farm suicides in the State was slightly higher.
Q Why more suicides despite a boom?
- The farm sector was one of the few bright spots in the Indian economy since a year.
- It recorded growth on the back of a healthy monsoon and the continuation of agricultural activities during a lockdown that crippled other sectors.
- Hence, suicides among landowning farmers dropped slightly during the pandemic year.
- Landless agricultural labourers who did not benefit from income support schemes such as PM Kisan may have faced higher levels of distress during the pandemic.
Q What are reasons of farmers suicides in India ?
Suicide victims are motivated by more than one cause however the primer reason is the inability to repay loans.
- Debt trap: Major causes reportedly are bankruptcy/indebtedness, problems in the families, crop failure, illness and alcohol/substance abuse.
- Lack of credit: Low access to credit, irrigation and technology worsens their ability to make a comfortable living.
- Responsibility burden: In other words, debt to stress and family responsibilities as reasons were significantly higher than fertilizers and crop failure.
- Disguised unemployment: This remains high. Fragmentation of land holdings has left far too many farmers with farms that are too small to be remunerative.
- Mental health: One of the major causes behind suicidal intent is depression. Farmers are often subjected to fear of boycott due to societal pressures.
Q What are main functions of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) ?
- The NCRB is an Indian government agency responsible for collecting and analysing crime data as defined by the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Special and Local Laws (SLL).
- It is headquartered in New Delhi and is part of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
- It was set-up in 1986 to function as a repository of information on crime and criminals so as to assist the investigators in linking crime to the perpetrators.
- It was set up based on the recommendation of the Task force, 1985 and National Police Commission, 197.
- It merged the Directorate of Coordination and Police Computer (DCPC), Inter State Criminals Data Branch of CBI and Central Finger Print Bureau of CBI.