Farmers Suicides In India

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1 Research Paper - Economics Farmers Suicides In India Vol. 1, Issue. 1 / February 2011, pp Dr. P. V. Deshmukh Dept. of Economics, Dr. Babasaheb Amedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad Agriculture sector has a pivotal role in Indian economy. The share of agriculture sector in G.D.P. of India was 44.0% during Agriculture provides the principal means of livelihood for over 60 percent of India's population. There a significant increase in production between to was due to favorable monsoons and expansion of acreage not yield. In Indian planning agriculture sector ignored except few five years plan. Indian planning has not be given appropriate priority to agriculture. There are lot of limitations for protection to agriculture in new economics policy. In globalization era grant in aid of agriculture were drawn and in other hand import of agricultural products allowed without restrictions at large amount. In the processes of industrialization there are drastic changes in climate, due to this agriculture productivity suffered. Banking sector is not ready to provide credit /loan to Agriculture for avoiding risk.farmers were trapped by private debt. Maharashtra is suffering with same problem.maharashtra Government took some decision tackle this problem. But unfortunately decisions taken by Maharashtra Government are not effective because after the legal provision taken by Government there is no development in farmer's life. According to some economist and socialist Agriculture sector is a bone of Indian Economy therefore farmer's must have some protection but lack of protection and favorable policies to agriculture, lead to suicides of farmers at large On this background, in the present paper I have focused on the causes of farmer's suicide, nature of problem, consequences,and remedies. Causes : There are various economic,social, political, individual and environmental causes of farmer's suicide in India. The causes of this crisis are complex and manifold, they are dominantly related to public policy and economic strategy. Absence of adequate social support infrastructure at the level of village. Uncertainty of agricultural enterprise in India., Indebtedness of farmers. Rising cost of cultivation. Lack of credit availability for small farmers. There has been minimal financial support from the government for small farmers. Lack of irrigation facilities. Lack of Government Vision and clarity of intention to benefit the poor and small farmers. Reduction of agriculture subsidies. Environmental pollution. Exploitation of natural resources (water, Indian Streams Research Journal / 113

2 Farmers Suicides In India forest) Unfavorable international policies. Lack of increasing in the prices of agricultural products compare to agricultural inputs. Indian farmers are facing is the dramatic fall in prices of farm produce as a result of the WTO's free trade policies. Monocultures and uniformity increase the risk of crop failure, as diverse seeds adapted to diverse to eco-system are replaced by the rushed introduction of uniformity and often untested seeds into the market. When Monsanto first introduced Bt Cotton in 2002, the farmers lost 1 billion rupees due to crop failure. The drinking habit which atrophies the productivity of the farmer. Extravagant expenditure on marriages. Bad health and illness and inability to meet the necessary expenditure on medicine and health services. Government has destroyed Important public institutions. Rehabilitation packages e.g. Package of Central Government, Package of State Government, Lone Waiver Proposal, etc are not implementing in proper way to relief needy farmers. Public expenditure on rural development fell during this period from 14.5 percent to G.D.P. in 1991 to 5.9 percent I 2004 (P. Sainath, The Hindu -2/2/2010 Intensity of the problem : There were lot of studies have been done by various social workers N.G.Os, Economist, Institutions, journalist ( P.Sainath),etc. But there are different approaches to understand the nature,causes and rehabilitation packages which are announced by governments.the states Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh,Karnataka Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are suffering from this problem especially. According to P.Sainath, the number of farmers who have committed suicide since 1997 to 2008 in these five state was and all India level was Prof. Nagraj proved that the farmers suicide rate was 12.9 between the period 1997 to 2005 and one farmer committed suicide every 53 minutes in India. On the basis National Crime Records Bureau, it is possible that at least two lakh farmers committed suicide in the last 12 years. Most of experts are agree with the seriousness of concern problem.i had tried to focus on farmer's suicides in India with some statistics which are published by various expert committees and thinkers. Trends of farmers suicides : Vol. 1, Issue. 1 / February 2011 T.1: Farmers suicides : Big five states and India Year Maharashtra Andhra Karnataka Madhya Total of All India Pradesh Pradesh & 5 states Chhattisgarh Total Aver age Source: Date: 3/11/2010 P. Sainath has focused with above statistics on farmers suicide in the five big states. In the Indian Streams Research Journal / 114

3 period from 1997 to 2008 average of farmers suicide in these five state is per year and all India level the average suicides of farmers suicide is Maharashtra is known by progressive and developed state but in other side number of farmers suicide is maximum in India because the average of farmers suicides in Maharashtra is which is more than other four states due to failure of cotton crops and increasing debt during the period State-wise distribution of farm suicides : All states of India are facing the problem of farm suicides. We can get idea of state-wise number of farmers committing suicides with the 2001 Census. T2 : State-wise number and rate of farmers suicides (2001) Sr. No State Number of suicides Among farmers Among all population % of farm suicide to total suicide Suicide rate (per members) Among Farmers In general population With all cultivator With only main cultivator 1 Maharashtra Karnataka Andhra P Chhattisgarh Madhya P West Bengal Kerala Tamil Nadu Uttar P Gujarat Rajasthan Orissa Assam Haryana Pondicherry Bihar Punjab Tripura Himachal P Goa Jammu & Kashmir All India C.V.(%) Maximum states are facing this problem at different level. Maharashtra is a progressive state but unfortunately Maharashtra was a leading state in farm suicides in 2001.The coefficient of variation of farms suicide was more than general suicides in India. The farmers suicide rates were very high compare to general suicide rate.it is noted that suicide rate of only main cultivator was high in all states. State-wise position of suicides in other state in critical was Andhra Pradesh,Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. According to Prof. Nagraj on an average one farmer took his life every 53 minutes between according to another study on an average there has been one farmer's suicide every 32 minutes since 2002.In India 86.5 percent of farmers who took their own lives were financially indebted during 1997 to 2002 ( 21/11/2010). Consequences :. The government must amend laws that are governing the farmers in the Indian agricultural sector. If the government does not make any urgent recommendations or legal provisions to offer relief to the trend of farmer suicide in the affected states, the whole country will suffer the consequences. Some of these are given below: * National disaster as farmer suicides increase every day. * Food productivity will be hit badly. * Food inflation will rise at an alarming rate. * Severe food crisis. * The intensity of unemployment problem will be increase. * Family problems, Social problems, Physiological problems. Indian Streams Research Journal / 115

4 Remedies: Farmers need protection through protective legislation as nothing is typically done to help them settle their debts or tackle the unprecedented price rise that leads them to commit suicides. Mere lip sympathy by political parties and government officials is not enough to bridge the widening demand-supply gap in the agricultural sector. 1. Minimum Support Price mechanism for agricultural produce should appropriate with consideration increase in agricultural inputs. 2. Increase import duty on cotton: Tariff barriers should used to discourage import 3. To integrate surface and groundwater irrigation schemes and integrate the line department in order that the schemes are implemented efficiently. 4. Ensure that the formal banking system in the rural areas covers all the credit requirements of farmers and others, and that the coverage of the formal financial system is extended to all rural households. 5. Set up a Distress Fund that will provide support to banks in chronically drought prone areas, and permit some debt relief to cultivators in extreme distress. 6. Focus on increasing agricultural productivity with sustained growth and lower costs of production. 7. Develop a land use strategy with particular reference to drought-prone areas. 8. Promote and provide incentives for sustainable agriculture 9. Identify input needs and monitor the provision of inputs to farmers 10. Promote relevant public research in agriculture, particularly dry land agriculture, for the development of drought and disease resistant seeds of cereals and pulses. 11. Analyze the relationship between input costs and market prices, and suggest appropriate and timely interventions by the state/central government agencies, in order to ensure remunerative prices to the farmers 12. Monitor the adverse effects of droughts and pests on agriculture and bring in the required initiatives by the appropriate agencies to mitigate distress on account of these calamities. 13. Oversee the settlement of land records, registration of all tenancies, and issue of passbooks to all cultivators including tenants. 14. Improve infrastructure for crop markets and the post-harvest management of the produce 15. Identify proper opportunities to promote rural employment, including nonfarm employment, encourage diversification within and out of agriculture; develop value addition activities such as agroprocessing in rural areas in a way that benefits farmers. 16. Crop failures are a disaster for farmers and their families. Therefore government should make legal provision about crop insurance because they needy farmers Indian Streams Research Journal / 116

5 take money from private lenders or banks or other finical institutions but when the crops fail, they are left with no option other than death. 17. Set up a commission with statuary powers that takes decisions on the issues such as genetic modification technology and its impact on Indian agriculture, agriculture pricing policy and cropping pattern. 18. Government should increase public expenditure on rural development. Bibliography 1. Prasad C.V; Mathur V. Chatterjee-Sixty years of Indian Economy 1947 to 2007,New Century Publication.New Delhi, Chandra S.P.-Economic Survey of India to , New Century Publication.New Delhi, Narendra Jadhav Report on Farmers Suicide in Maharashtra, Vandana Shiva-Why Are Indian Farmers Committing Suicide & How can We Stop This Tragedy, 16/11/ Wakude S.M.-Suicide of farmers in Maharashtra-Causes & Remedies, /11/ P.Sainath - 3/11/ The Hindu 2/2/ Meeta And Rajivlochan-Farmers Suicide,YASHADA, Pune,2006 Indian Streams Research Journal / 117

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