Demystifying The Curious Case of Farmers Suicide in India

'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan', emphasized the importance of the soldiers and farmers, but in the present scenario, the farmers commit suicide every day and Indian soldiers are being killed by terrorists. The government has failed miserably in making and implementing better policies for agriculture, farmers, and farming.

Demystifying The Curious Case of Farmers Suicide in India

The government says that the priority of farmers is of utmost importance, the years are passing, but there is no change in the condition of the farmers. In the meantime, if the insensitive statement of minister comes for the farmers, it seems that the farmer is only a political issue on which the country’s politics is running. Farmers suicide has been increasing every year, but the government does not consider as a problem. When the government does not consider the problems of the farmers, then how and why will the government make a solution. Recently, during the countrywide farmer’s movement started from Madhya Pradesh, 16 farmers committed suicide due to debt. But the Cooperative Minister of Madhya Pradesh made the statement to the media that the farmers did not commit suicide due to debt. Whatever the reason was, but it is the duty of the government to investigate the causes of the farmers’ suicide.

After 2014, the BJP government made many promises in the development of farmers and the removal of poverty. Also, the Modi government has made several schemes for the welfare of the farmers, which is really worthy of praise. The Government has rolled out a number of new initiatives like Soil Health Card Scheme, Neem Coated Urea, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), National Agriculture Market (e-NAM), Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and Interest Subvention Scheme.   These are all big plans which are being run all over the country but how many such schemes are implemented at the grass root level? Despite so many schemes being run, Why the 130 farmers union need to start the movement today?

Suicide rate Increased after the Implementation of New Economic Policy

The condition of the farmers of the country has started to deteriorate after the introduction of the New Economic Policy since 1992. The development model adopted by the Central and State government after the independence of the country and it is entirely based on the Capitalist Economy, which is central to the rich corporate houses of the cities and the situation is still the same, due to which the condition of the farmers would be obstructed. After the implementation of the new economic policy, the farmers of the country have been forced to commit suicide.

If you talk about the country’s suicide rate, then it has increased steadily If we look at the suicide rate of the farmers, in 2013, 11772 farmers have committed suicide, 12360 in 2014, 12602 in 2015. According to the latest data from the Ministry of Home Affairs, in 2016, at least 6,351 farmers have committed suicide in India.

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Farmers’ movement after 2014 and the falling income

The farmers have demonstrated their demands on such a large scale under the current Government. According to the data of the NCRB report, the number of farmers protests demonstrations increased from 628 in 2014 to 2,683 in 2015 and 4,837 in 2016.  Under UPA, the growth rate in agriculture between 2004-05 and 2012-13 increased from 1.76% to 3.84% per annum. Talking about the current situation, India’s agricultural growth rate fell to 4.5 percent in the January-March quarter of the fiscal year 2017-18. It was 7.1 percent in the same period last year. In the 1950s, the agricultural sector of India’s GDP, the share was 50 percent. When new economic policies were implemented in 1991, the agriculture sector’s contribution to GDP at that time was 34.9 percent. Presently it is around 13 percent, while nearly half the population of the country is still dependent on agriculture. In the past 10 years, the production doubled but the debt has more than doubled. Increasing inflation, demonetization, GST, cost of cultivation (seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, electricity prices), due to a continuous decrease in the farming land, the income of the farmers are continuously decreasing. And this is the reason why they are being forced to leave the farm. Statistics shows that due to the ban on cotton, the farmers got less than 40 percent of the cost of agricultural product. Due to the privatization of education, health, traffic and other public utility facilities, it has become frustrating to live a respectful life for farmers, but government is not ready to listen to their problems.

The profits of farming are being taken away by companies. In India, the capital has not yet been directly invested, so businesses engaged in farming and farming are growing rapidly. The experiences of the old capitalist countries show that, in the end, small and medium farmers have lost their jobs.

Are the farmers really on the priority list of the government?

Recently, the farmer’s movement started from Madhya Pradesh was being seen throughout the country. Farmer’s condition is bad all over the country, but Madhya Pradesh is at the top of the list of farmers suicides. The seasonal sensitivity of the government is seen every year for the farmers. To prove this, the affidavit filed by the government in the Supreme Court on June 3, 2018, shows that in the state of Madhya Pradesh, 1 thousand farmers commit suicide every year. According to the farmers, their biggest problem is of debt, which they cannot recover from time. Secondly, it is difficult for farmers to buy seeds because they are very expensive for them and thirdly, when the crop is ready to sell in the mandi, then they cannot get the reasonable price. According to the 70th round of the NSSO survey, 7.81 crores (i.e. 86.6 percent) out of 9.02 crore agricultural households in the country cannot earn enough that they can fulfill their family’s expenses. The cost of farming is continuously increasing and cultivation for farmers is becoming increasingly difficult.

Farmers in our country are the part of a vote bank half of the country’s population are dependent on agriculture. The government needs to take the farmers suicides as a challenge to the country and make a strong economic policy in the development and interest of the farmers.