Farmer suicides decline in K'taka

Farmer suicides decline in K'taka

Against 143 in 08, only 14 cases reported

Karnataka, one of the worst-hit states in the country as far as farmers’ suicides are concerned,  has reported just 14 incidents in 2009-10 (up to December) against 143 in 2008-09, according to the information provided by the Union Ministry of Agriculture.

While 2006-07 witnessed 320 farmers’ suicides, only 182 cases were reported in 2007-08.

According to the ministry’s statistics, the number of farmers’ suicides across the country has come down from 3,166 in 2006-07, to 177 in 2009-10 (up to December 31).

Along with Karnataka, three other farmers’ suicide-prone states –– Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Kerala –– have also reported a decline in suicides, a senior official in the Ministry told Deccan Herald.

In Andhra Pradesh, the incidence of farmers’ suicide declined to 77 as on December 31, 2009 from 390 in 2008-09. In Maharashtra, too, the suicide cases have come down to 71 from 622 the previous year. The Ministry of Agriculture attributed the decline to the successful implementation of several Central schemes in rural areas. After the increase of farmers’ suicides in the country, particularly in Karnataka, AP, Kerala and Maharashtra, the ministry had announced a slew of welfare measures with a financial assistance of Rs 16,978 crore.

The ministry claimed that out of the entire package, 99.8 per cent of the funds had already been released to the four states and several schemes had been implemented in 31 suicide-prone districts in the States including six districts in Karnataka–Belgaum, Hassan, Chitradu- rga, Chikkamaglur, Kodagu and Shimoga. The ministry also shared the views of the Veeresh Committee report that attributed the suicides not only to crop failure but also factors such as drought, indebtedness and socio-economic conditions.