Suicides in the agricultural sector have been steadily declining for four years, according to the latest data released by the National Criminal Records Bureau (NCRB).
- A comparative study of accidental death and suicide data published by the NCRB shows that suicides in the agricultural sector fell by 10%, from 11,379 in 2016 to 10,281 in 2019.
- When farmers and farm labor are taken separately, there is a much more pronounced decline in suicides among the latter.
- According to the data, while suicides among farmers (landowners and rental farmers) decreased by 5%, suicides among agricultural workers decreased by 15%.
- It is important to put the 2016 data into context, as that year saw a 21% decrease in suicides by farmers (cultivators) compared to 2015, but a 10% increase in suicides by agricultural workers.
- Overall, suicides in the agricultural sector in 2016 were down from 2015. With two consecutive years of drought, 2015 saw a sharp increase in suicides among producers.
- There were more than 8,000 suicides that year, an increase of almost 40% from 2014.
- In particular, the NCRB released data for the years 2017, 2018 and 2019 together.
- Data for 2017 and 2018 had been excessively delayed.
- The NCRB's last 2016 report on farmer suicides was released in November 2019.
- The NCRB eliminated the causes of farmer suicides, which included reasons such as “crop failure” and “loans”.
- While data shows that suicides in the agricultural sector decreased by 10% from 2016 to 2019, suicides among producers experienced a steady decline from 2016 to 2018, but registered a marginal increase of 3.4% per year. last year.
- However, suicides among farm workers have steadily declined, from 5,109 in 2016 to 4,324 in 2019.
- In the 2017 and 2018 data released by the NCRB, there is no detailed data on farmer suicides by states. In fact, the 2018 report presented status data for 2008.
- State data for 2019 shows Maharashtra continues to lead with more than 3,900 agricultural suicides, of which 2,680 (65%) are farmers and the rest are agricultural workers.
- Next come Karnataka (1992), Andhra Pradesh (1,029), Madhya Pradesh (541), Telangana (499) and newcomers to the Punjab list (302).
- Madhya Pradesh data shows that the majority of suicides in the agricultural sector have been committed by agricultural workers, not farmers. Of 541 suicides in MP's agricultural sector, only 142 were farmers. This is not true for any state in the top six.
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