Farmer suicides decline by 45% in Karnataka

Image used for representational purpose

BENGALURU: In a major relief to the state government — which has spent most of its first year warding off daily political dangers — the number of farmer suicides in Karnataka has dipped by 45% for year ending March 31, even as one farmer killed himself every 12 hours on average.
In 2018-19, 572 farmer suicides have been accepted as those relating to agriculture, while another 128 are under review. In 2017-18, there were 1,050 accepted cases, which is 45.5% more than the 572. Now, if the 128 cases too are considered as farmer suicides taking the total number to 700, the decline would still be 33%.

Initially, all the reports of farmer suicides as claimed by families are counted. Then a committee examines whether they are farm-related or not. Only those deaths caused by agricultural issues are finally accepted.
“The decline shows farmers are gaining confidence… although we have several initiatives, I can’t claim sole credit; I’d be happy if there was no suicide. Government has taken farmers into confidence while forming programmes,” chief minister HD Kumaraswamy told TOI.
Promise and hope
Farmer leaders, however, say while there has been some revival of hope, there is a lot that’s desired on ground. “The waiver is yet to reach everybody, and there’s nothing done about the sugarcane issue. But there’s some hope after the CM himself took on the banks, we hope he fulfils the promises,” said KS Sudheer Kumar, Mandya district president, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha.
Claiming the government sincerely tried to boost farmers’ morale, Kumaraswamy said the crop loan waiver — 15.5 lakh farmers have benefited so far — was only one such initiative.
Prof MG Chandrakanth, director, Institute for Social and Economic Change (Isec), said: “There are two issues: One, the government must have long-term strategies that include marketplace intervention. There must be a direct link between buyers and sellers. Two, farmers must not over-depend on field crops and must embrace integrated farming and even look at millets that are changing the game.”
Cauvery belt most hit
Overall, 3,737 farmers committed suicide in Karnataka in four years between 2015-16 and 2018-19, which means more than two farmers killed themselves every day.
A region-wise analysis of these deaths shows the five districts in the Cauvery belt — Mandya, Mysuru, Hassan, Chamarajanagar and Ramanagara — are the worst affected collectively. While they make up only 16% of the districts in the state, they account for 24% of the suicides.TOP COMMENTUNDOUBTEDLY, THE CREDIT MUST GO TO THE BRILLIANT CHIEF MINISTER OF KARNATAKA, WITHOUT ANY CORRUPTION ISSUES HE IS HANDLING THE ADMINISTRATION OF STATE SO EFFECTIVELY, HATS OFF KUMARASWAMY… GREAT AND BRILLIANT…William IndiaSEE ALL COMMENTSADD COMMENT
Comparatively, six districts in the Mumbai-Karnataka region — Belagavi, Vijayapura, Bagalkot, Haveri, Dharwad and Gadag — account for 28% of the suicides, while six other districts in Hyderabad-Karnataka —Bidar, Kalaburagi, Raichur, Ballari, Koppal and Yadgir — account for 23% of the suicides.
“We’re trying to bring in significant changes in farming methods and make agriculture profitable. We’ve allocated more than Rs 46,000 crore for agriculture and allied activities and irrigation, energy subsidy and marketing support. We’ve also announced programmes that support farmers at every stage — sowing to marketing his produces,” said Kumaraswamy.

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