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557 farmers died by suicide in Maharashtra in first 6 months of 2024: State government report

NEW DELHI: Over 557 farmers died by suicide from January to June this year in five Maharashtra districts, a government report revealed.

The report stated that of the 557 deaths, highest was recorded in Amravati with 170 suicides, followed by 150 in Yavatmal, 111 in Buldhana, 92 in Akola and 34 in Washim.

The report was prepared by Amravati divisional commissionerate.

Listing out some of the reasons behind high suicide rates, Congress MP from Amravati seat Balwant Wankhade said, "Crop losses, lack of adequate rainfall, existing debt burden and absence of timely farm loan are some of the major reasons that drive farmers towards taking the extreme step."

"The government should fulfil its assurances of doubling the income of farmers and provide assistance to them," he added.

Talking about the steps taken by the government, Vasantrao Naik Shetkari Swavlambi Mission chairperson said, "The local administration is reaching out to farmers at the gram panchayat level with various government schemes to help them increase their income, and also in the education of their children and the medical cost of the family members. The government is standing behind the them."

"Suicide by farmers is a serious matter and the mission is working on finding solutions to curb such deaths," he added.

Last year, 2,851 farmers in Maharashtra took their own lives amid financial distress, as reported by the state's relief and rehabilitation department. In 2022, the figure rose to 2,942, while in 2021, it was 2,743.