Death in the farmlands: Suicides in agriculture sector decline 32% in 2016

As many as 6,351 farmers/cultivators committed suicide in 2016 across India, or 17 every day, according to the latest home ministry data. Suicides declined 21 per cent from 8,007, or 22 every day, in 2015, data show.

Suicides in the farming sector declined 10 per cent — from 12,602 in 2015 to 11,370 in 2016 – according to this reply to the Lok Sabha by Parshottam Rupala, Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer  Welfare, on March 20, 2018.

The minister’s reply, based on provisional data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a division of the home ministry, did not reveal the causes for suicides in 2016.

“As per the NCRB report of 2015, bankruptcy or indebtedness and farming-related issues are reported as major causes of suicides among farmers/ cultivators,” the minister said. “Family problems followed by Illness are reported as major causes of suicides among agricultural labourers.”

Data and analysis: NCRB, Lok Sabha and IndiaSpend
Suicides by farm labourers increased 9 per cent to 5,019 in 2016 (14 every day) from 4,595 in 2015 (13 every day).

Suicides in the agriculture sector declined 32 per cent in 2016 from 2007, the lowest over the last decade. The most suicides (17,368) over the last 10 years were reported in 2009.

India’s agriculture growth rate has been volatile — from 1.5 per cent in 2012-13 to 5.6 per cent in 2013-14, 0.2 per cent in 2014-15, 4.9 per cent in 2016-17 and 2.1 per cent in 2017-18 (based on the first advance estimate).

Data and analysis: NCRB, Lok Sabha and IndiaSpend

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