Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar. (PTI)
HYDERABAD: The Centre on Tuesday informed Parliament that farmers' suicides in Telangana witnessed a steep decline since 2015.
Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar gave a written reply in Lok Sabha to this effect to the question raised by Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president and MP A. Revanth Reddy.
Revanth Reddy sought to know the details of the number of farmers who had committed suicide in Telangana since 2014, the major reasons behind such suicides, the details of the steps taken and schemes launched by the Centre to stop such suicides, the number of farmers benefitted from such schemes and whether the Centre had given any compensation to the families of the victim farmers.
Citing the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) under the ministry of home affairs statistics, Tomar replied that Telangana witnessed 898 suicides by farmers in 2014, the year of formation of Telangana state, which jumped to 1,358 in 2015. Later, it fell sharply to 632 in 2016 but rose to 846 and 900 in 2017 and 2018 respectively. However, farmers' suicides again fell sharply to 491 in 2019 and further came down to 466 in 2020.
Tomar said the NCRB compiles and disseminates information on suicides in its publication titled ‘Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India’ (ADSI). The NCRB has published reports up to 2020 which are available on its website. The NCRB does not publish district-wise data of suicides by farmers.
He said the reasons of farmers suicide were given in the ADSI report 2014 and 2015. As per the ADSI reports for the years 2014 and 2015, the major causes of farmers’ suicide were bankruptcy or indebtedness, farming-related issues, family problems and illness, etc, he added.
"Agriculture being a state subject, the state governments take appropriate measures for development of agriculture. However, the government of India supplements the efforts of states through appropriate policy measures and budgetary support and various schemes and programmes," Tomar stated.
The various schemes and programmes of the government of India were meant for the welfare of farmers by increasing production, remunerative returns and income support to farmers. The Centre had initiated various interventions and projects for the welfare of farmers such as PM-KISAN, minimum support price (MSP) by providing minimum 50 per cent return over cost of production, soil health card (SHC), neem coated urea, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinhchayee Yojana (PMKSY), National Food Security Mission (NFSM), National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP), Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Regions (MOVCDNER), Mission Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), Integrated Pest Management, Integrated Nutrient Management, National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA), Watershed Development Project, Sub-mission on Agricultural Mechanisation (SMAM) and Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs), Sub-mission on Seeds and Planting Material (SMSP), Per Drop More Crop (PDMC-PMKSY), Kisan Credit Card (KCC) and Interest Subvention Scheme, he explained.
Further, the Centre supported these schemes by providing higher budgetary allocations, non-budgetary financial resources such as creating corpus funds like micro-irrigation fund, agriculture infrastructure funds, PM matasya sampadana yojana, animal husbandry infrastructure development fund and formation of FPOs, Gramin Agriculture Markets etc.
However, Tomar clarified that agriculture being a state subject, the state governments provide relief to kin of the farmers who committed suicide.