VIJAYAWADA: The number of farmer and agriculture labourer suicides in Andhra Pradesh has come down during 2018, which is good news for the State, a predominantly agrarian-based economy.
According to the latest data released by the National Crime Records Bureau on Thursday, there has been a significant drop in the number of farmer and farmhand suicides in 2018 compared to 2016 and 2017.
In 2016, as many as 239 farmers have committed suicide in the State and the number increased to 375 in 2017, but again it came down marginally to 365 in 2018.
A significant decrease was observed in the number of agriculture labourer suicides. From 565 suicides in 2016, the number decreased to 441 in 2017 and 299 in 2018. Thus the number of suicides by the people engaged in farming activities decreased to 594 in 2018 from 816 in 2017 and 804 in 2016.
However, AP is still among the top five States when it comes to farmer suicides. Maharashtra and Karnataka have the dubious distinction of being the first two States in farmer suicides.
The National Crime Records Bureau-2018 report indicates that Maharashtra accounted for 34.7 per cent of the total number of suicides recorded in the country in 2018. Karnataka (23.2 per cent), Telangana (8.8 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (6.4 per cent) and Madhya Pradesh (6.3 per cent) are the other four in the top five.
A total of 10,349 people involved in the farming sector (consisting of 5,763 farmers/cultivators and 4,586 agriculture labourers) have committed suicides during 2018, accounting for 7.7 per cent of total suicide victims (1,34,516) in the country.
In 2017, a total of 10,655 people involved in the farming sector (consisting of 5,955 farmers/cultivators and 4,700 agriculture labourers) have committed suicides during 2017, accounting for 8.2 per cent of total suicide victims (1,29,788) in the country.
A total of 11,379 persons involved in the farming sector (consisting of 6,270 farmers/cultivators and 5,109 agriculture labourers) have committed suicides during 2016, accounting for 8.7 per cent of total suicide victims (1,31,008) in the country.
AP, TS in top 5
As per NCRB reports, the number of farmer suicides in Telangana has increased to 900 in 2018 from 846 in 2017. Even then the total number of suicides (all types and all categories) is taken into consideration, AP with 5,319 suicide cases in 2018 fares better than Telangana, where 7,845 suicide cases were reported.