Farmers in India commit suicide over debts.

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Chattisgarh farmers suicide en masse over debts, drought

April 17, 2009 01:52pm

DEBT related to crop failures has driven more than 1500 farmers in the Indian state of Chattisgarh to commit suicide.
...The Indian Government recently waivered $15 billion worth of farmer loans, but it had no effect on those who were forced into private arrangements with local money-lenders. More than 10,000 of India’s farmers have killed themselves in the past decade. http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25346529-23109,00.html Imagine the desperation that brings so many to such an end. Heartbreaking. Answers and Replies That's a surprsingly high number. I wonder if it's some cultural thing that makes Indian farmers more likely to commit suicide, or if we just don't hear about all of the other people who are also in dire financial situations doing the same. Very heartbreaking. I remember reading about it a week ago. National Crime Records Bureau statistics say close to 200,000 farmers have committed suicide in India since 1997. .. "[Lakhbir] has a loan of more than 700,000 rupees ($15,000), which he cannot repay," says Ms Kaur.

Defaulting on payment increases the rates of interest and a farmer is publicly humiliated in the local panchayat (self-governing rural body) if he fails to pay up.

"His elder brother, my father, committed suicide more than a year ago, as his loan had accumulated up to \$20,000," says 15-year-old Jasbir, who discovered her father's body.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7992327.stm

mgb_phys
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That's a surprsingly high number. I wonder if it's some cultural thing that makes Indian farmers more likely to commit suicide,
There are quite a lot of Indians (1.2Bn) and a large number of them are farmers.

I wonder if it's some cultural thing that makes Indian farmers more likely to commit suicide, or if we just don't hear about all of the other people who are also in dire financial situations doing the same.

Very heartbreaking.

It's not really cultural, but the truth is that the financial debts coupled with illiteracy make these farmers vulnerable to those looking to take an advantage. This ultimately drives them to suicide.

misgfool
I thought this thread was about evil Monsanto and the suicides it will cause.

I thought this thread was about evil Monsanto and the suicides it will cause.

I was thinking that it is one of the cause. Small farmers can't survive due to increasing competition from bigger producers. There isn't any cultural thing in here or illiteracy I guess. I don't see one simple solution (like increasing literacy) that can prevent these suicides.

Maybe, encouraging people to work in service sector would reduce the problem.

Suicide rate is usually high when literacy is high and GDP is low. Suicide rate is less if the literacy rate is low.

Maybe, encouraging people to work in service sector would reduce the problem.

Labor is dirt cheap in India. So if they went into the service industry with their background as rural farmers, they would basically be slaves. We used to and still have a few servants like that back home. Not illegal mind you, but the shame, conditions, and social scorn and worth are about equivalent for both.

I was thinking that it is one of the cause. Small farmers can't survive due to increasing competition from bigger producers. There isn't any cultural thing in here or illiteracy I guess. I don't see one simple solution (like increasing literacy) that can prevent these suicides.

Maybe, encouraging people to work in service sector would reduce the problem.

i think some of it may be related to the new way of doing business. used to be that a farmer could keep a bit of his crop to use as seed the next season. this is no longer the case for a farmer that buys proprietary seed. he cannot save seed and must buy it again next year. and once he switched to commercial strains, he lost his heirloom varieties. maybe that heirloom seedstock was even contaminated by commercial strains.

this, of course, puts everyone now on the moneylenders' hamster wheel of dependency. good luck getting off.

Labor is dirt cheap in India. So if they went into the service industry with their background as rural farmers, they would basically be slaves. We used to and still have a few servants like that back home. Not illegal mind you, but the shame, conditions, and social scorn and worth are about equivalent for both.