Hassan, Bidar stand out in this hall of shame

Farmers suicides continue despite govt measures to prevent them

Hassan, Bidar stand out  in this hall of shame

Bidar district has the dubious distinction of farmer suicides crossing the double century mark since 2003-04. Also, it occupies the second position in the State in the number of farmer suicides, while Hassan has the ignominy of being in the first place. Belgaum is a close third with 191 farmer suicides during the period.

According to official figures, 202 farmer suicides have taken place in Bidar district in the last eight years. Following is the list of districts that have recorded more than 100 farmer suicides since 2003-04: Chikmagalur (186), Chitradurga (167), Shimoga (156), Haveri (108), Bijapur (124), Tumkur (122), Gulbarga (109) and Mandya (104).

Chikkaballapur, Udupi, Ramanagar and Bangalore Rural have recorded the least number of farmer suicides, with the figures not crossing the two-digit mark.

Small, marginal farmers

In Bidar district, six farmers have taken their lives since January 2011. Significantly, these farmers are either small and marginal farmers.

The government has taken several steps to prevent suicides like providing sowing seeds at subsidised rates to small and marginal farmers, encouraging organic farming to bring down costs, steps to increase fertility of soil based on soil tests and fixing low interest rates for farm loans.

But the failure to implement these measures properly has resulted in the facilities not reaching those entitled to them. This has resulted in farmer suicides continuing, say farmer leaders.

They point out that government must ensure that the farmers get suitable prices in the market for the crops grown by them. This is more important than providing other facilities, they said.

The government stops at announcing the support price for the crops. It should come forward to buy the produce, so that there is a control over the market, say the farmer leaders.

Progressive farmer Bheemaraya said that in the absence of control over the market, farmers are forced to sell their produce for less than the support price.

Suicide rate

Hassan    268
Bidar    202
Belgaum    191
Chikmagalur    186
Chitradurga    167
Shimoga    156
Bijapur    124
Tumkur    122
Gulbarga    109
Haveri    108
Mandya    104

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