300 Maharashtra Farmers Committed Suicide In November, Highest Ever In Single Month
For the first time in four years, as many as 300 farmers in Maharastra committed suicides in November 2019.
The steep rise in suicide cases came after the unseasonal weather conditions that lashed out in Maharashtra in October 2019. The off-season rains in the state destroyed almost 70 percent of the Kharif crops which is the primary reason accounting for the deaths.
As per the revenue department’s data, in October, 186 deaths were recorded, which rose by 114 in November. Drought affected Marathwada recorded the highest number of 120 suicides cases in November 2019, while Vidarbha recorded 112 cases.
Reports suggest that the number has crossed 300 in several months. This is the first time since 2015 when farmer suicides in Maharashtra have crossed the 300 marks in a single month.
According to Times Of India, last year the Marathwada region had a rain deficit in monsoon. The floods that hit Western Maharashtra in July-August damaged four lakh hectares of crops. The unseasonal rain later in October adversely affected 93 lakh hectares of crop.
As per the report, the government is providing compensation to the farmers and has distributed ₹6,552 crores to those affected. The Maha Vikas Aghadi government after coming to power had announced a loan waiver of in December 2019.
But farmer activist from Vidarbha, Vijay Jawandhia, is of the opinion that the government should make the farming more profitable instead of just providing loans. “The cost of farming inputs and labour is so high that the farmer cannot survive a bad season. This is the main reason for the suicides. Farmers need to be able to earn more through the sale of produce,” he said.
In November 2019, a senior adviser to the Ministry of Agriculture had warned that against the rising number of farmer suicides in India. He said that India may soon earn the dubious title of ‘farmer suicide capital of the world‘.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report released in November last year, 11,379 farmers committed suicide in India in 2016. That accounts for 948 suicides per month or 31 suicides per day.