Farmer suicides up in Maharashtra; average of eight farmers die daily over financial distress

According to the state government data, as many as 1,203 farmers have died by suicide in the last seven months under the Eknath Shinde administration's rule.

Published: 10th March 2023 08:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th March 2023 10:31 AM   |  A+A-

Farmer suicide

Image used for illustrative purposes only. (Express Illustrations)

Express News Service

MUMBAI: Death by suicide among Maharashtra's farming community continues to be an area of concern with an average of eight farmers ending their lives every day due to several factors including economic distress and falling crop prices.

According to the state government data, as many as 1,203 farmers have died by suicide in the last seven months under the Eknath Shinde administration's rule, while 1,660 farmers died in the two-and-a-half-year period under the Uddhav Thackeray-lea MVA administration.

As many as 5,061 farmers died by suicide during the Devendra Fadvais-led BJP administration between 2014 and 2019, as per the data.

Citing the data, senior NCP leader and Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar said that farmer suicides had increased under the Shinde-Fadnavis administration and accused the ruling government of being insensitive to farmers' problems.

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"We do not want to blame any individual or any particular chief minister, but it is the harsh reality that the farmers are ending their lives in the Shinde government in large numbers. Financial distress among farmers is one of the major reasons behind farmer suicide. The cotton, onion, and Soyabean growing farmers did not get fair prices for their crops this year. We have seen how onion farmers are throwing the products on the road while some of them are burning them on farms. The farmers are unable to recover their input cost and expenses as well," Pawar said.

"In the Marathwada region, 62 farmers committed suicide in the last two months, while a total of 22 farmers ended their lives in the Beed district," he added.

The criticism comes amid Finance Minister Devendra Fadnavis' slew of farmer welfare schemes as part of the state budget for 2023-24 including an additional financial assistance of Rs 6000 annually, along with the Rs 6000 per year provided by the Union government.

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Meanwhile, NCP state president Jayant Patil said that farmers were being discriminated on the basis of their caste under the ruling government. Patil was referring to an incident in the Sangli district where farmers were allegedly being asked about their caste before buying chemical fertilizers.

"Now while buying the fertilizers on a government site, the farmer's caste has been asked. It is bizarre how they can humiliate the farmers by asking about their caste. A Farmer is a farmer, please do not divide them on the basis of caste and religion," he said 

Criticising the caste discrimination incident, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar said, "It is wrong to ask the farmers' caste. Such a thing has never happened before in the history of this country or in the state. If farmers are being asked about caste, what is the reason for this? This should come up."

The NCP chief also targeted the state and central government for failing to help or provide subsidies to onion farmers. "The Govt should either buy the farmers' onions or give them adequate compensation. Other neighbouring states like Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are helping the farmers but our state is only making empty promises, nothing has been done on the ground that will arrest the anger of the farmers and pull them from the distress," Pawar said.

ALSO READ | Maharashtra farmers make bonfire of onions in protest against govt as prices tumble

Farmer deaths by suicide in Maharashtra

  • A total of 7,444 deaths in the last eight years
  • 5,061 deaths between 2014-19 under the BJP administration
  • 1,660 deaths between 2019-21 under the MVA administration
  • 1,023 deaths between July 2022 - Jan 2023 under the Shinde administration

Discussing suicides can be triggering for some. However, suicides are preventable. In case you feel distressed by the content or know someone in distress, call Sneha Foundation - 04424640050 (available 24x7).

India Matters


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  • K.Jayakrishnan

    2 months ago reply
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