Farmers' suicides

Farmers' suicides

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According to the Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India 2014 (released in 2015) by National Crime Records Bureau (please click here to access):

• Altogether 1,31,666 persons in India committed suicide in 2014.

• A total of 5,650 farmers have committed suicides during 2014, accounting for 4.3% of total suicide victims in the country. However, 6,710 agricultural labourers have committed suicides during 2014, which is 5.1% of total suicide victims. Therefore, the total number of suicides committed by persons engaged in agriculture (farmers plus agricultural labourers) in India was 12,360 in 2014, accounting for 9.4% of total suicide victims in India (please click here to access).

• A total of 5,178 male farmers and 472 female farmers have committed suicides, accounting for 91.6% and 8.4% of total farmers’ suicides respectively.

• Land holding status of farmers who committed suicide reveals that 44.5% and 27.9% of victims were small farmers and marginal farmers respectively. They together accounted for 72.4% (4,095 out of 5,650) total farmer suicides (please click here to access).

• A total of 2,568 farmers’ suicides were reported in Maharashtra followed by 898 such suicides in Telangana and 826 suicides in Madhya Pradesh, accounting for 45.5%, 15.9% and 14.6% respectively of total farmer suicides during 2014. Chhattisgarh (443 suicides) and Karnataka (321 suicides) accounted for 7.8% and 5.7% respectively of the total farmer suicides reported in the country. These 5 States together accounted for 89.5% of the total farmer suicides (5,056 out of 5,650) reported in the country during 2014.

• ‘Bankruptcy or Indebtedness’ and ‘Family Problems’ are major causes of suicides, accounting for 20.6% and 20.1% respectively of total farmers’ suicides during 2014. The other prominent causes of farmers’ suicides were ‘Failure of Crop’ (16.8%), ‘Illness’ (13.2%) and ‘Drug Abuse/Alcoholic Addiction’ (4.9%).

• During 2014, major causes of suicides among male farmers were ‘Bankruptcy or Indebtedness’ and ‘Family Problems’, which accounted for 21.5% and 20.0% respectively of total male farmers’ suicides.

• Whereas, in female farmers’ suicides, ‘Farming Related Issues’ followed by ‘Family Problems’, ‘Marriage Related Issues’ and ‘Bankruptcy or Indebtedness’ were major causes of suicides, accounting for 21.4% (101 out of 472 suicides), 20.6% (97 suicides), 12.3% (58 suicides) and 10.8% (51 suicides) respectively during 2014.

• Nearly 33.4% suicides in Maharashtra and 23.2% in Telangana were due to ‘Bankruptcy or Indebtedness’. 87.5% of farmers’ suicides due to ‘Failure of Crop’ were reported in Himachal Pradesh. 4.7% farmers in Himachal Pradesh, 4.1% farmers in Jharkhand and 2.7% farmers each in Bihar, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh have committed suicides due to ‘Suspected/ Illicit Relation’. 6.5% suicides by farmers in Sikkim followed by 2.3% in Himachal Pradesh and 2.0% in Puducherry were due to ‘Cancellation/ Non Settlement of Marriage’.


• The states of West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Tripura, Rajasthan, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur, Jharkhand, Goa, Arunachal Pradesh and Bihar have reported no farmers' suicide during 2014. All the Union Territories except Andaman and Nicobar Islands have reported zero farmers' suicide during 2014 (please click here to access).


• The states of Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Goa, Manipur and Nagaland have reported no suicide by agricultural labourers during 2014. All the Union Territories except Puducherry have reported zero suicide by agricultural labourers during 2014 (please click here to access).

• The latest issue of the ADSI report is different from the earlier ones in two ways: a. Apart from the usual male and female break-up of data, one also gets data pertaining to transgenders (please click here to access), which was missing earlier; b. There is a separate chapter (please click here to access) and 3 tables (in the annexure, please click link1, link2 and link3) on farmer suicides in India and at state/UT-level, which did not exist in earlier reports. In the previous ADSI reports, one had to extract data on farmers' suicide from the table on distribution of suicides by profession. Suicides committed by self-employed persons in agriculture gave the proxy of the figure on farmers' suicide.


• Unlike the previous ones, in the present ADSI report suicides by self-employed persons in agriculture has been sub-divided into suicides by agricultural labourers and suicides by farmers. Suicides by farmers has been further subdivided (in the current report) into suicide by farmers having own land and suicide by farmers having land on contract or lease.   



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