The IUP Journal of Applied Economics
Research Note
Farmers' Suicides in United Andhra Pradesh and Telangana: A Quantitative Exploration

Article Details
Pub. Date : Jan, 2023
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Applied Economics
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJAE040423
Author Name : Nagaraju Thota
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Economics
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 13



does not matter whether it is a single reason or multiple reasons that led a farmer to commit suicide; once a life is lost, it is lost forever. Unlike other professions, in the farming family (where agriculture is the main source of income), the loss of the household head (i.e., the breadwinner) will have countless repercussions on the surviving family members, such as loss of income, inability to meet the basic needs, increased debt burden, mental trauma, loss of social respect, school dropouts, the burden of elderly, inability to cultivate the land due to the loss of farming skills of the departed, etc. Between 1995 and 2018, 353,778 farmers committed suicide in India. This number highlights the level of agrarian distress in India during the last two decades. Approximately 75 to 80% of farmer suicides were committed in a few states only, such as erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Punjab.


Analysis of the data on farmer suicide accrued from empirical literature and the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) indicates that increasing indebtedness due to the rising cost of cultivation (higher input costs, lower yields, and declining produce prices) and crop failures, family issues, alcohol addiction, illness, and social ceremony expenses are the major reasons for farmer suicides. In other words, it is a complex phenomenon that involves socioeconomic, cultural, and psychological factors (Nagaraj et al., 2014). The All-India Debt and Investment Survey [70th round of the National Sample Survey (NSSO) on the situation assessment of agricultural households, 2013] reveals that not only on average, 52% of agricultural households in India are indebted but also the aforementioned suicide-prone states have the highest indebtedness in India [for example, Andhra Pradesh (93%), Telangana (89%), Tamil Nadu (83%), Kerala (78%), and Karnataka (77%)]. Therefore, one should not be surprised by the fact that increasing indebtedness leads farmers to commit suicide.