Farmers’ suicides rose by 32% in Karnataka in 2016 over the previous year, Union Agriculture Minister Radhamohan Singh told Parliament on Friday.
Singh, quoting from provisional data gathered by the National Crime Records Bureau, said the farm sector in Karnataka witnessed 2,079 suicides in 2016 as against the 1,569 in 2015.
Of the 2,079 suicides, 861 were agricultural labourers while 1212 were farmers/cultivators, according to the data submitted by the agriculture minister in the Rajya Sabha.
The trend in Karnataka was in contrast with the national statistics which indicated to a nearly 10% decline in suicides in the farm sector.
“The number of suicide by farmers and agricultural labourers during 2016 has come down from 12602 to 11370 approximately by 9.77%,” Singh said in reply to a question put by Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut.
The maximum numbers of suicides in the farm sector were reported from Maharashtra. In 2016, the state witnessed 3661 suicides â€“ 1111 by farm labourers and 2550 by farmers and cultivators as against the 4291 suicides witnessed in 2015.
Madhya Pradesh ranked third with 1321 persons from the farm sector resorting to suicide in 2016 as against 1290 in 2015. Of the 1321 committing suicide, 722 were farm labourers and 599 were farmers and cultivators. In 2015, 709 farm labourers and 581 farmers or cultivators committed suicide.
In Andhra Pradesh, of the 804 suicides reported in the farm sector in 2016, 565 were agricultural labourers and 239 were farmers or cultivators. This is a decline from the 916 suicides reported in 2015.
The NCRB publishes a report on Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India (ADSI) every year. However, it is yet to publish the ADSI report for the year 2016 and had provided “provisional data” to Parliament.
As per NCRB report of 2015, ‘bankruptcy or indebtedness’ and ‘farming related issues’ were reported as major causes of suicides among farmers/ cultivators.
Since 2014, the NCRB has divided suicides in the agriculture sector in two categories â€“ farmers and agricultural labourers.