It is sad but true that the cases of farmer suicides in India have increased over the years. There are a number of reasons that contribute to it. These include the erratic weather conditions, debt burden, family issues and change in government policies among others. Farmer Suicides in India has seen an increase over the period of time. The main reasons for this are the growing disparity in weather conditions, high debts, health issues, personal problems, government policies, etc.
Long and Short Essay on Farmer Suicides in India
Essay 1 (250 words)
The cases of farmer suicides in India, just like many other countries, are far higher in comparison to that in other occupations. Statistics reveal that 11.2% of the total suicides in the country are farmer suicides. A number of factors contribute to farmer suicides in India. Here is a detailed look at these reasons as well as the measures being taken by the government to help farmers in distress.
Why are Farmers taking this Extreme Step?
There are a number of reasons why farmers in India are committing suicides. One of the main reasons is the erratic weather conditions in the country. Global warming has led to extreme weather conditions such as drought and floods in most parts of the country. Such extreme conditions lead to damaging crops and the farmers are left with nothing. When the crop yield is not sufficient, the farmers are forced to take debt to fulfill their financial needs. Unable to repay the debt, many farmers usually take the unfortunate step of committing suicide.
Most farmers are the sole earners of the family. They face constant pressure to fulfill the demands and responsibilities of the family and the stress caused by the inability to meet the same often leads to farmer suicides. Other factors responsible for the increasing number of farmer suicide cases in India include low produce prices, changes in government policies, poor irrigation facilities and alcohol addiction.
Measures Taken to Control Farmer Suicides
Some of the initiatives taken by the government of India to control the cases of farmer suicides in the country include:
- The Relief Package 2006.
- Maharashtra Money Landing (regulation) Act of 2008.
- Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme 2008.
- Maharashtra Relief Package 2010.
- Kerala Farmers’ Debt Relief Commission (Amendment) Bill 2012.
- Diversify Income Sources Package 2013.
- 70% cut in Monsanto’s Royalties.
- Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojna (Crop Insurance for Farmers).
- Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojna.
- Soil Health Cards.
It is sad how several farmers commit suicide unable to cope up with financial and emotional upheaval in their lives. The government must take effective steps to control these cases.
Essay 2 (400 words)
It is highly unfortunate that in a country like India where approximately 70% of the total population is directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture, the cases of farmer suicides are increasing by the day. 11.2% of the total suicides in the country are farmer suicides. Several factors contribute towards farmer suicides in India and though the government has taken quite a few measures to control the problem, the initiatives taken do not seem effective enough. The solutions suggested here should help in bringing down the cases of farmer suicides in India.
Agricultural Issues in India
The government has been taking initiatives to support the farmers financially by reducing the interest rates on loans and even waving off agricultural loans. However, these haven’t helped much. It is time for the government to recognize the root cause of the problem and work towards eliminating it in order to control the cases of farmer suicides. Here are some of the issues that need immediate attention:
- Agricultural activities in the country must be organized. Proper planning must be done for cultivation, irrigation, and harvesting of crops.
- The government must see to it that the farmers get the fixed purchase price.
- The exploitation of farmers by the middlemen must be stopped. The government must make provisions for the farmers to sell their products directly in the market.
- The government must ensure that the subsidies and schemes launched to reach the farmers.
- Selling of fertile land to real estate owners must be stopped.
Measures to Control Farmer Suicides in India
Here are some initiatives that the government must take proactively to control the issue of farmer suicides in India:
- The government must set up exclusive agricultural zones where only agricultural activities should be allowed.
- The initiative must be taken to teach modern farming techniques to the farmers to help them increase farm productivity.
- Irrigation facilities must be improved.
- National weather risk management system must be put in place to alert farmers about extreme weather conditions.
- Genuine crop insurance policies must be launched.
- Farmers must be encouraged to go for alternative sources of income. The government should help them acquire new skills.
It is high time the government of India starts taking the grave issue of farmer suicides more seriously. The initiatives taken until now have not been able to bring down these cases. This means the strategies being followed need to be re-evaluated and implemented.
Essay 3 (500 words)
Several cases of farmer suicides are reported each year in India. As per the National Crime Records Bureau of India, the cases of farmer suicides reported in the year 2004 were 18,241 - the highest recorded in a year to date. Statistics reveal that farmer suicides account for 11.2% of the total suicides in the country. A number of reasons such as extreme weather conditions like drought and floods, high debt, unfavorable government policies, public mental health issues, and poor irrigation facilities are said to be responsible for the increasing number of farmer suicide cases in India. The matter is serious and the government is working towards controlling this problem.
Government Initiatives to Stop Farmer Suicides
Here are some of the initiatives taken by the Indian government to help the farmers in distress and rule out suicides:
- Relief Package 2006
In the year 2006, the Indian Government identified 31 districts in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh and introduced an exclusive rehabilitation package to ease a lot of farmers there. These are the states with a high rate of farmer suicides.
- Maharashtra Bill 2008
The state government of Maharashtra passed the Money Lending (Regulation) Act, 2008 to regulate private money lending to farmers. It set the maximum interest rates on the loans given to farmers by private lenders as slightly higher than the money lending rate set by Reserve Bank of India.
- Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme
The Indian government launched the Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme in the year 2008 that benefitted more than 36 million farmers. Under this scheme, a total of Rs 653 billion was spent to write off part of the loan principal and interest owed by the farmers.
- Maharashtra Relief Package 2010
The Maharashtra government made it illegal for the non-licensed moneylenders from procuring loan repayment in 2010. Farmers were entitled to many other benefits under this package.
- Kerala Farmers’ Debt Relief Commission (Amendment) Bill 2012
In 2012, Kerala amended the Kerala Farmers’ Debt Relief Commission Act 2006 to provide benefits to distressed farmers with loans through 2011.
- Diversify Income Sources Package 2013
The government has introduced this package for farmer-suicide prone regions such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala.
- State Initiatives
Many state governments in India have taken special initiatives to prevent farmer suicides. Groups have been dedicated to helping farmers in distress and funds have also been raised to provide monetary help.
More recently, the Modi government has also taken steps to tackle the issue of farmer suicides in India. It has announced a 70% cut in Monsanto’s Royalties, relief to farmers in input subsidy and launched the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojna (Crop Insurance for Farmers) and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojna. The government is also issuing Soil Health Cards that includes crop-wise recommendations of nutrients and fertilizers to help farmers enhance farm productivity.
Farmer suicide is a grave issue. While the government has launched several packages to help the farmers in distress these have not helped much in putting an end to farmer suicide cases. It is high time the government of India should recognize the sensitivity of the issue and work towards it in a way that this problem comes to an end.
Essay 4 (600 words)
Numerous farmer suicide cases are reported each year in India. There are a lot of factors that force farmers to take this stern step. Frequent droughts, floods, economic crises, debt, health issues, family responsibilities, changes in government policies, alcohol addiction, low produce prices, and poor irrigation facilities are among some of the common factors that contribute to farmer suicides in India. Here is a detailed look at the farmer suicide statistical data and the factors that lead to this issue.
Farmer Suicides: Statistical Data
Statistics reveal that farmer suicides in India account for 11.2% of all the suicides. Over a period of 10 years, from 2005 to 2015, the farmer suicide rate in the country has ranged between 1.4 and 1.8 per 100,000 total population. The year 2004 saw the highest number of farmer suicides in India. As many as 18,241 farmers committed suicide during this year.
In 2010, the National Crime Records Bureau of India reported a total of 135, 599 suicides in the country out of which 15,963 were farmer suicides. In 2011, a total of 135,585 suicide cases were reported in the country out of which 14,207 were farmers. 11.2% of the total suicide cases in the year 2012 were farmers - a quarter of which were from the state of Maharashtra. In 2014, there were 5,650 farmer suicide cases. The farmer suicide rate is higher in the states of Maharashtra, Pondicherry, and Kerala.
Farmer Suicides - Global Statistics
The cases of farmer suicides have not only been reported in India, but the problem is also global. Farmers in various countries including England, Canada, Australia, Sri Lanka, and the USA have also been found to be under immense stress due to problems similar to that in India and give in to suicide unable to cope up with the pressure. In countries such as the US and UK also the rate of farmer suicides is higher than that of people in other professions.
Factors Responsible for Farmer Suicides
Here is a look at some of the major causes of farmer suicides in India:
Inadequate rainfall is one of the main reasons for crop failure. The regions that face frequent drought-like situation see a major decline in the crop yields. The cases of farmer suicides reported in such areas are higher.
As much harm as droughts cause to the crops, floods impact them equally badly. Farms are eroded and crops get damaged due to heavy rainfall.
- High Debts
Famers usually face difficulty raising money to cultivate the land and often take heavy debts for this purpose. The inability to pay these debts is another leading cause of farmer suicides.
- Government Policies
Changes in the macro-economic policy of the Government of India that is known to favor liberalization, privatization, and globalization is also said to be a cause of farmer suicides. However, the point is debatable.
- Genetically Modified Crops
It has been claimed that genetically modified crops such as Bt cotton are also a cause of farmer suicides. This is because the Bt cotton seeds cost nearly twice as much as the ordinary seeds. The farmers are forced to take high loans from private moneylenders to grow these crops and the latter force them to sell the cotton to them at a price much lower than the market rate and this leads to increased debt and economic crises among farmers.
- Family Pressure
The inability to meet the expenses and demands of the family causes mental stress and unable to cope up with it many farmers give in to suicide.
Though the government has started taking initiatives to help the farmers in distress, however, the cases of farmer suicides in India do not seem to come down. The government needs to focus on farmer’s income and productivity to ensure their prosperity rather than merely focusing on loan relief or waivers.