Five-fold increase in farmers' protests across India, finds new study

These statistics points that India is sitting atop a massive time-bomb of agrarian crisis and disquiet, and the clock is ticking away. 

Published: 07th June 2021 11:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th June 2021 11:33 AM   |  A+A-

farmers, farming, agriculture

Farmers plant paddy saplings in a field at a village in the Arnia Sector near the India-Pakistan border on Monday. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Farmer protests in India have registered an almost five-fold increase since 2017. From 34 major protests across 15 states in 2017, the number has now gone up to 165 protests across 22 states and Union territories.

Every day, over 28 farm labourers and cultivators commit suicide in our country. In 2019, there were 5,957 farmer suicides, along with an additional 4,324 farm labourers who died by suicide, according to the State of India’s Environment in Figures 2021.

Today, India has more farm labourers than farmers – in 52 per cent of the country’s districts, the population of farm labourers has outstripped that of farmers and cultivators. Bihar, Kerala and Puducherry have more farm labourers than farmers in all their districts.

These statistics points that India is sitting atop a massive time-bomb of agrarian crisis and disquiet, and the clock is ticking away. 

CSE director general Sunita Narain said: “There is drama in numbers, especially when these numbers give you a trend – are things getting better or worse. It is even more powerful when you can use the trend to understand the crisis, the challenge and the opportunity.”

In the case of agriculture and land, things seem to be certainly on the downside. 

“This is evident all the more when you see the condition of land records and their maintenance in the country. Our analysis shows that 14 states in India have witnessed a deterioration in the quality of their land records," says Richard Mahapatra, managing editor of Down To Earth. 

According to Narain, “at a time and age when the quality of data available to us is usually poor – it is either missing, unavailable publicly or of questionable quality – a collection like this can be immensely helpful, especially for journalists. Improving the quality of data can only happen when we use it for policy.”


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp