Farmer suicides down: Minister

Farmer suicides down: Minister

Minister of State for Agriculture Krishna Byre Gowda on Wednesday claimed that the number of suicides of farmers has come down in the last few months as a result of preventive measures taken by the government.

He told reporters that the number of farmers’ suicide cases has come down to 52 in March 2016. As many as 238 cases were reported in October 2015, he added. He said the highest number of cases were reported in the state in 2015-16. As many as 1,336 distressed farmers ended their lives across the state between April 2015 and March 2016. Ex gratia has been given to the family members of the deceased farmers in 663 cases, he stated.

The minister said an average of 200 farmers’ suicide cases per month were reported between June and September 2015. The government took a number of measures to prevent it. One of the important measures was cracking down on private moneylenders who had been fleecing the farmers. In April 2016, only about 40 cases have been reported, he said.

He said food production is expected to be about 110 lakh metric tonnes in 2015-16 against 126 lakh metric tonnes in 2014-15. The decline will be mainly due to wide-spread drought in the state. Besides, the government discouraged the farmers from going in for summer crops as water level in the reservoirs was low. The state would have faced acute drinking water shortage if the government had not taken this measure, he explained.

Gowda said he has learnt from the media reports that the Centre is likely to sanction Rs 723 crore financial aid to the state for the damage caused during rabi season. But the government has not received any official communication in this regard from the centre, he added.

The minister said charges made by the BJP on delay on part of the government to utilise Rs 1,540 crore aid sanctioned by the Centre are baseless and politically motivated. Though the Centre announced to sanction the money in October last year, the money was released in January 2016. The State government has so far distributed Rs 1,500 crore to about 31 lakh farmers as input subsidy, he added.
DH News Service

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