New Delhi: 34 farmers and farm labourers committed suicide on an average every day in 2014, for reasons including indebtedness and crop failure, reflecting the deepening agrarian distress in several parts of the country.
The number of people committing suicide in the farming community-- farmers and agriculture labourers -- increased to 12,360 in 2014 from 11,772 the previous year, Parliament was informed today.
In 2012, the number of suicides committed by people whose profession was mentioned as 'self employment-farming or agriculture' was 13,754.
"According to the NCRB report of 2014, the major causes of suicides by farmers are: bankruptcy or indebtedness, farming related issues (failure of crops, distress due to natural calamities, inability to sell produce), poverty, family problems, illness and other causes," Minister of State for Agriculture Mohanbhai Kundaria said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
Quoting the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) figures Kundaria said, 5,650 farmers and 6,710 agricultural labourers ended their lives in 2014.
Earlier, NCRB was reporting the suicide cases under the profession 'self employment -- farming/agriculture'. However for 2014, it delineated for the first time the number of suicides under two categories -- farmers and agricultural labourers, the minister added.
On whether the centre has taken corrective measures to prevent farmers suicides, the minister said state governments are primarily responsible for the development of the agriculture sector.
The Centre considers agriculture and allied sectors as highly critical for the welfare of farmers and supplements the efforts of the states through appropriate policy support, schemes and budgetary support.
Asked if funding to states for agriculture development has failed to address the problems of farmers, the minister said the Centre has allocated Rs 9,453.76 crore to them under various agri-schemes for the 2015-16 fiscal.
Several states including Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha frequently report suicide by distressed farmers.