After 3-Year-Delay, Government Data Reveals 31 Farmer Suicides Per Day In 2016
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data has revealed that 11,379 farmers died in 2016 – averaging to 31 deaths by suicide per day.
The report states: “A total of 11,379 persons involved in farming sector (consisting of 6,270 farmers/cultivators and 5,109 agricultural labourers) have committed suicides during 2016, accounting for 8.7% of total suicides victims (1,31,008) in the country. Out of 6,270 farmer/cultivator suicides, a total of 5,995 were male and 275 were female, in 2016. Out of 5,109 suicides committed by agricultural labourers during 2016, 4,476 were male and 633 were female.”
Apart from painting a dire picture for Indian agriculture, it also shows how efficient the government’s policies and implementation is. This is data beyond numbers as it shows the serious shortfalls of MSP (Minimum Support Price) and other schemes such as crop insurance.
Numbers like these make the government offer loan waivers, but most farmers are out of formal loan net and such ‘relief packages’ only add more strain to the banking system.
Farmer suicides have very serious ramifications as their families are left alone, with added loans and responsibilities, and with little or no support from the government.
But on the bright side, the number of farmer suicides has shown a decline as per government data, coming down to 11,379 in 2016 from 12,360 in 2014 and 12,602 in 2015.
However, for 2016, the NCRB has not released information on the cause of farmer suicides.
A majority of the farmers who committed suicide in India were men as women accounted for only 8.6% of farmer suicides. One of the reasons for this discrepancy could be that a large number of women who work on farms are not identified as farmers.
An RTI application filed in Maharashtra revealed that 15,356 farmers died by suicide in the state between 2013 and 2018.
With the data for 2016 in hand, 3,33,407 farmers have died by suicide in India since 1995, when the NCRB started publishing farmer suicide data, The Wire reported.