Farmers Should Be Given Financial Aid Before Crop Seasons To Prevent Suicides: Maharashtra Official

Kendrekar said the administration studied the socio-economic condition of farmers and their families in the eight districts of Marathwada.

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The Aurangabad divisional commissioner has suggested that in order to stop farmers in Marathwada from committing suicide, they should be provided a financial assistance of Rs 10,000 per acre before the commencement every crop season.

This conclusion has been made after the revenue department reached out out nearly five lakh families of farmers in the region as part of a survey conducted in December last year, Divisional Commissioner Sunil Kendrekar told reporters on Tuesday.

The Marathwada region, which comprises Aurangabad, Beed, Hingoli, Jalna, Latur, Nanded, Osmanabad and Parbhani districts, reported 1,023 farmer suicides in 2022. As many as 10,431 farmers committed suicide in this region since 2001, as per figures provided by the divisional commissioner's office.

Kendrekar said the administration studied the socio-economic condition of farmers and their families in the eight districts of Marathwada. "The survey was conducted to find the families where farmers were vulnerable to taking the extreme step due to various conditions. The farmer suicide rate in Marathwada is more (compared to other parts of Maharashtra," he said. 

"Less crop yield, no good returns on crops, climatic conditions, problems due to wild animals and costly farming inputs were some of the main reasons for farmer suicides in the region. We called four such families and had discussions with them," the official said. He said the families get aid after they lose their member to suicide. 

"To find such suicide vulnerable farmer families, we decided to reach out to the cultivators through a survey comprising 104 questions. It was like a psychological test," the official said. Through this survey, the farmers families were found that were tired of their (socio-economic) condition, he said.

"The situation is serious. There are families with girls to be married, children who have left their education. If a family has five-seven acre of land and doesn't have ample water, it yields less crop. They take loans from banks and private money lenders," he noted. Kendrekar said farmers need money in this "risky" business of farming. 

"Like the Telangana government, I think the farmers should be given an aid of Rs 10,000 per acre before a crop season. They can purchase seeds and make their farms ready for sowing. After this, they can purchase other farming essentials without any debt and interest. We will recommend this to the state government soon," the official said. Market reforms are also necessary to prevent farmer suicides, he added.