Farmers in India commit suicide over debts.

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In summary: Will they be able to get out of the cycle?I don't think so. They would become indentured servants because labor is dirt cheap in India.
  • #1

LowlyPion

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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.
 
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  • #2
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.
 
  • #3
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
 
  • #4
whybother said:
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.
 
  • #5
whybother said:
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.
 
  • #6
I thought this thread was about evil Monsanto and the suicides it will cause.
 
  • #7
misgfool said:
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.
 
  • #8
Suicide rate is usually high when literacy is high and GDP is low. Suicide rate is less if the literacy rate is low.
 
  • #9
rootX said:
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.
 
  • #10
rootX said:
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.
 
  • #11
Ghost803 said:
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.

How about their children?
 

1. Why are farmers in India committing suicide over debts?

Farmers in India are committing suicide over debts due to a combination of factors including low crop prices, high input costs, and lack of access to credit. These issues are exacerbated by unpredictable weather patterns, government policies, and inadequate support systems for farmers.

2. How many farmers in India have committed suicide due to debts?

According to a report by the National Crime Records Bureau, over 300,000 farmers have committed suicide in India between 1995 and 2015. While not all of these suicides can be attributed directly to debt, it is estimated that a significant portion of them are linked to financial struggles.

3. What is the government doing to address this issue?

The Indian government has implemented various initiatives to support farmers, such as loan waivers and subsidies. However, these efforts have been criticized for being inadequate and not reaching the most vulnerable farmers. There is a need for more comprehensive and sustainable solutions to address the root causes of farmer suicides.

4. Is this issue unique to India?

While farmer suicides have been most prevalent in India, it is a global issue. Farmers in other countries, such as the United States and Australia, have also taken their lives due to financial struggles. However, the severity of the problem in India is particularly concerning due to the high number of smallholder farmers and the lack of a social safety net for them.

5. How can we help prevent farmer suicides in India?

There are several ways we can help prevent farmer suicides in India, such as supporting organizations that provide financial and emotional support to farmers, advocating for better government policies and support systems, and promoting sustainable and equitable farming practices. It is also important to raise awareness about this issue and support initiatives that aim to address the root causes of farmer distress.

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