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Farmer suicides in India

Thursday, March 09, 2017

SC is completely right in its assertion that the burning issue of farmer suicides can’t be addressed by paying compensation to the families of the victims after the suicides. Farmer suicides is a national phenomenon though most cases go unreported. “Health” and “family problems” explain nearly half the suicides in the country. According to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture, the total number of suicides committed by farmers for agrarian reasons in the last three years stands at 3,313. Farmer suicides are a serious issue. It is indeed the farmer that feeds our nation. The suicides occurred overwhelmingly amongst cash crop farmers. Poverty and debts are a large part of the problem. As a percentage of the total populace, farmers declined by 7 percent during the last decade, and they now constitute less than a quarter of India’s population. Indebtedness has been highlighted as the prime cause and leading public intellectuals have called for an end to the “debt deaths”. Addressing very grass root issues of farmers is imperative now. Farmers' distress is financial causing impending struggles. The real compensation would be in the form of effective policies such as a special economic package for the farmer community.

— Vinod C. Dixit, Ahmedabad

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