Suicides by Telangana farmers rise; 1,358 cases recorded in 2015

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Deficit rainfall of minus 21 per cent in the monsoon season till August 2015 caused a major crop failure in the state.

Hyderabad: Telangana has recorded a massive increase in suicides by farmers; it now has the second highest rate of farmer suicides in the country. Recent data released by the National Crime Record Bureau reveals that more farmers ended their lives in TS in 2015 than in previous years.

Failure of their crops, increasing debt, harassment from money lenders, ill health and alcohol addiction have been cited as the main reasons for driving farmers to suicide. NCRB data shows that 1,358 farmers committed suicide in Telangana in 2015; 898 farmers committed suicide in 2014.

Deficit rainfall of minus 21 per cent in the monsoon season till August 2015 caused a major crop failure in the state. There was also a massive shortfall in rice production.

In the kharif season, only 10 per cent of the normal rice production occurred in the state. The area under rice cultivation was also less because of the poor rainfall; official government data shows that only 30 lakh hectares of land was under cultivation as against 42 lakh hectares earlier. As the kharif crop started to fail, the rate of suicides increased. In July alone, 12 farmers killed themselves in five districts.

The decreasing groundwater level has also caused distress as farmers were not able to pull out water using conventional borewells. Many of the farmers were being harassed by illegal money lenders before they ended their lives. A majority of the farmers in Warangal and Medak are tenants, who have to pay very high lease rates.

Governments, at state and central level, sometimes throw compensation packages at debt ridden farmers but do little to actually address the causes of agrarian distress.

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