Farmers Suicides in Andhra Pradesh Ramanjaneyulu and Veena RaoAction Aid Centre for Sustainable Agriculture AP Rytu Swarajya Vedhika
Jayati Gosh Commission,2004• The economic strategy of the past decade at both central government and state government levels – has systematically reduced the protection afforded to farmers and exposed them to market volatility and private profiteering without adequate regulation, – has reduced critical forms of public expenditure, – has destroyed important public institutions, and – did not adequately generate other non-agricultural economic activities.• While this is a generalised rural crisis, the burden has fallen disproportionately on small and marginal farmers, tenant farmers and rural labourers, particularly those in dryer tracts. The most extreme manifestation of the crisis is in the suicides by farmers.
Farmers suicides in Andhra Pradesh30002500200015001000 500 0 year 1995 1996 1998 1999 2000 2001 2003 2004 2006 2007 2008 2009 2011 1997 2002 2005 2010 No. of suicides Total 33,326 in 17 years Source: NCRB 1995-2011
Reactions to agrarian crisisStates response What actually done• Draft Agricultural policy, 1998 • Technology as solutions: only• Jayati Gosh Commission, 2004 industry benefited• GO 421 • All govt schemes used to help• Justice Rama Chenna Reddy industry commission, 2006 • Export markets: traders• Technology Mission, 2005 benefited• IFPRI report, 2007 • Always blame centre on MSPs or regulation• Cooperative Farming Act 2008 • Land ownership concentrating• Mohan Kanda Committee, and Land use shift 2011
State Farmer Suicides Difference (2nd Avg-1st Avg) 1995-2002 2003-2010Andhra Pradesh 1590 2301 +711Assam 155 291 +135Karnataka 2259 2123 -136Kerala 1292 1071 -221MP+Chhattisgarh 2304 2829 +525Maharashtra 2508 3802 +1294Tamil Nadu 992 866 -126Uttar Pradesh 640 531 -109West Bengal 1426 990 -436The table only includes States whose annual averages have risen or fallen by over 100 farmfarm suicides between the to periods. It also treats Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh as oneunit for data purposes.Source: NCRB Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India Reports 1995-2010
Farmers Suicides in AP (2010) Female Male Total upto 14 years 12 4 16 15-29 years 165 563 728 30-44 years 137 824 961 45-59 years 40 573 613 60 years & above 41 166 207 Total 395 2130 2525Source: NCRB, 2010 Centre for Sustainable Agriculture
Farmers Suicides Distribution, 2010 Female Male Total % upto 14 years 12 4 16 0.63 15-29 years 165 563 728 28.83 30-44 years 137 824 961 38.06 45-59 years 40 573 613 24.28 60 years & above 41 166 207 8.20 Total 395 2130 2525
Jayati Gosh Commission Recommendations• correct spatial inequities in access to irrigation and work towards sustainable water management• bring all cultivators into the ambit of institutional credit, including tenant farmers• shift policies to focus on dryland farming through technology, extension, price and other incentives• encourage cheaper and more sustainable input use, with greater public provision and regulation of private input supply and strong research and extension support• protect farmers from high volatility in output prices• emphasise rural economic diversification, to more value- added activities and non-agricultural activities.
Deep economic crisis• Reducing incomes• Yield stagnation• Increasing costs of cultivation• Increasing small holdings• Increasing tenancy• Reducing institutional creditAll the policy supports are skewed towards large farmers,large farms, few cash crops and high external input based production systems
Check list for verification of FARMER’s suicide cases IN ANDHRA PRADESH G.O No. 4211. First Information Report (FIR)2. Panchanama report3. Post Mortem Report (PMR)4. Forensic Science Lab Report (FSL report)5. Final report (These five documents are available from police station)6. Private loan documents7. Bank loan documents8. Land Pass Book9. Dependents certificate10. Ration card11. Three years agriculture pahani12. Mandal level verification committee report (MLVC). (Three Member Committee consists of Mandal Revenue Officer (MRO), Police Sub Inspector (SI) and Agriculture Officer (AO))13. Division Level Verification Committee Report (Three Member Committee consists of Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO), Deputy Superendent of Police (DSP) and Assistant Director of Agriculture (ADA))
SERP Study, 2012• 5241: Total farmers suicides recognized as genuine• 4879: Total families the study team met• Caste wise distribution – Backward classes: 2594 – Other classes: 1362 – Scheduled castes: 590 – Scheduled tribes: 382• 3284: families receiving widow pension• 561: families do not have ration card• 2358: families not having pucca house, no sanction under INDIRAMMA housing scheme• 1109: families benefited under INDIRAMMA• 3787: families still struggling to earn their livelihoods• In the one lakh rupees paid as exgratia expenditure was • 46% to pay old loans • 22% agriculture investments • 17% miscellaneous expenditure – In the 50 thousand as loan resettlement 45% was to clear off bank loans
Class-wise Relative Shares of Operational Holdings in A.P(percentages)Source: From Various NSS rounds 1956-57 1980-81 2005-06 Holdings Area Holdings Area Holdings AreaMarginal Farmers 38 8 51 13 62 23(0-1 ha)Small Farmers 18 10 22 17 22 26(1-2 ha)Medium Farmers 33 44 25 50 16 45(2-10 ha)Large Farmers 9 38 2 20 <1 6( >10 ha)Source: From Various NSS rounds
Credit still a mirage• Decreasing rural branches, increasing share of loans of more than a crore, villages left to high cost Microfinance• No credit access to tenant farmers who form more than 25% of cultivators• During 2012-13 against the target of Rs. 37,127.77 crore (Rs. 23,827.50 cr kharif target) loans disbursed were 23,282.82 cr.• Target was also to cover 12 lakh tenant farmers (2000 cr) but only Rs. 183 cr was sanctioned.• Among the 12 lakh tenant farmers loan elgibility cards were given only to 3.88 lakhs (1.57 lakhs new and remaining 2.31 were renewed)• Only 85,000 tenant farmers have got access to credit• Total amount sanctioned as loan is Rs. 183.03 and more than half of it goes to West Godavari district
Lift Irrigation Schemes in AP • By 2012 AP needs 12,682 Megawatt power • 47 lakh ha would be brought under irrigation • Seven and half horse power motor will be used for every 10 acres and five lakh such motors have to be installed in the next four years • Needs 37.5 lakh HP electricity (2775 mega watt) • Major lift irrigation schemes needs 6407 mega watt • Minor lift irrigation schemes needs 500 mega watt • to produce and supply one mega watt power • Rs. 4 cr to create infrastructure to produce • Rs. 4.5 cr for transmission and distributionToday 3,000 mega watts power is supplied freely to agriculture for 29 lakh pump sets
PROFILE OF THE SUICIDE FARMERS• 90% MALE ,10% female farmer• 30-45 YEARS 0• ONE FORWARD & OTHER BACKWARD CASTE GROUP.• TWO SCHEDULED TRIBES 2• ONE SCHEDULED CASTE BC• RELIGION: HINDU SC 1• AVERAGE FAMILY SIZE: 5 MEMBERS ST• OWN, SEMI-PUCCA & THATCHED HOUSES. OTHER 7• OWN AGRICULTURE IMPLEMENTS I.E, TILLER.• WOMEN FARM LABOUR• RABI SEASON.• COMBINATION OF OWN LAND & LEASED• DEBT BURDEN RANGE BETWEEN RS. 30,000 TO 3,00000 /-.• MULTIPLE LIVELIHOODS (FARM LABOUR, DAIRY, SELLING VEGETABLES, NREGA)• NO LEGAL TITLE TO LAND OWNERSHIP AMONG SC & ST FARMERS.• NO CROP INSURANCE OR LIFE INSURANCE.• BENEFICIARIES OF INDIRAMMA HOUSING SCHEME.
PROFILE OF THE VILLAGES• DROUGHT PRONE REGIONS OF TELANGANA.• LAND OWNERSHIP PATTERN: OWN/ LEASED.• RAINFED AGRICULTURE/ SCARCITY OF GROUNDWATER.• MIGRATION.• POOR EXTENSION AGRICULTURE SERVICES.• SHIFTED TO COMMERCIAL CROPS & GAVE UP TRADITIONAL CROPS.• LIMITED ACCESS TO FORMAL CREDIT SOURCES.• LARGER ROLE OF PRIVATE MONEYLENDERS.• WEAKENING OF SOCIAL SUPPORT SYSTEMS.• ACCESS TO MARKET SERVICES IS POOR.
STATUS OF LAND/ CROPPING PATTERN• LAND HOLDING SIZE: 2AC – 5 AC.• TYPE OF LAND: DRY LAND• TYPE OF SOIL:• LAND LEASED: 3 AC – 10 AC ( WET LAND)• LEASE RENT: RS. 6,000/- TO RS. 13,000/- PER ACRE.• NO DOCUMENTATION OF THE LEASED LAND: SC & ST FARMERS.
COST OF CULTIVATION PESTICIDE, SEEDS, IRRIGATION, INTER- CULTIVATION, HIGH LABOUR COST (MANUAL WEEDING, MANUAL FERTILIZER APPLICATION, SPRAYING…..) TRANSPORTATION. EXAMPLE PADDY CASE• LABOUR COST: 1980’S: RS. 1.00 PER DAY.• 1990’S: RS. 5300/- (SOWING TO HARVEST).• 2000: RS. 13,000/- (SOWING TO HARVEST).
CAUSES NATURAL AND MAN MADE WEATHER VAGARIES SPELLS OF DROUGHT. SPELLS OF RAINFALL (UNSEASONAL RAINFALL…..JUST BEFORE HARVEST). LACK OF TIMELY POWER SUPPLY. SELECTION OF CROPS. LAND TENANCY RATES. SCARCITY OF GROUNDWATER. LACK OF TIMELY AND ADEQUATE CREDIT SUPPLY FROM FORMAL SOURCES. CROP FAILURE. LABOUR SUPPLY, HIGH LABOUR CHARGES INCREASED PRESSURE ON PAYING OTHER LIABILITIES ; NAMELY INDIRAMMA HOUSING. PERCIEVED FAMILY RESPONSIBILITY OF GIRL CHILD (TEENAGE DAUGHTERS). HEALTH ISSUES. 1.00 SOCIAL STATUS. Weather Vagaries 2.00 ENERGY SUBSIDIZATION : FAILURE OF BOREWELLS. 7.00 Irrigation 3.00 Credit Girl Child 4.00 Land Tenancy 6.00 Indirrama Housing 5.00 Health
PATTERN OF SUICIDE• CONSUMPTION OF PESTICIDE.• HANGED.• ELECTRICITY. 1 1 Pesticide consumption Electricity Hanged 8
IMPACT OF SUICIDES• LOSS OF BREAD WINNER IN THE FAMILY.• PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS TO FAMILY.• INCREASED SOCIAL STIGMA.• IMPACT ON CHILDREN’S EDUCATION.• LOSS OF ASSETS: DOMESTIC ANIMALS, AGRICULTURE IMPLEMENTS.• MOVING FROM OWN FARM LABOUR STATUS TO PERMANENT LABOUR STATUS.• FAMILY MEMBERS ATTEMPTING SUICIDE.• CHILD LABOUR.• PHYSICAL HEALTH.
WAY FORWARD• PREVENTIVE MEASURES1. AGRICULTURE EXTENSION SERVICES.2. PROVIDE FINANCIAL LITERACY ( HOW TO USE CREDIT, WORK OUT ON COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS OF INVESTMENT, RISK COPING MECHANISM I.E., INSURANCE – CROP & LIFE, INCREASING SAVINGS).3. BUILDING SOCIAL SYSTEMS & STRENGTHENING THEM ( FARMER’S GROUPS EXPOSURE TO DIFFERENT COPING MECHANISMS, BEST AGRICULTURE PRACTICES).4. FOCUS ON CREATING ALTERNATE LIVELIHOODS.5. ENCOURAGE MULTIPLE CROPPING.6. GENERATE AWARENESS ON PESTICIDE USAGE.7. PROVIDE TIMELY GOVERNMENT INPUT SUBSIDY TO THE FARMERS.8. PROVIDE QUALITY OF SEEDS.9. GOVERNMENT IN ADVANCE SHOULD STATE THE PREMIUM PRICE FOR THE CROPS.
WAY FORWARD….• REHABILITATIVE MEASURES1. COUNSELLING TO FARMER’S FAMILY.2. FACILITATE IN ACCESSING BENEFITS OF VARIOUS GOVERNMENT SCHEMES.3. PROVIDING GUIDANCE ON BUILDING ALTERNATIVE LIVELIHOODS (NON-FARM EMPLOYMENT) TO FAMILY DEPENDENTS.4. PROVIDE HEALTH INSURANCE SERVICES.5. PROVIDE SEED SUPPORT.6. INTEREST FREE LOAN.7. PROVIDE COST OF CULTIVATION SUPPORT (MANURE).8. PROVIDE TANK SILT (RED SOILS).
Main Causes• Rising costs of cultivation; high dependence on external inputs• Unremunerative prices – do not cover costs of cultivation, let alone rising living costs• Unsustainable cropping patterns and production practices• Trade liberalization and export-import policies• Lack of support systems like credit, insurance, markets, storage, farmer collectives• Neglect of rainfed agriculture
What government can do?Immediate Measures• Immediate compensation for crop failure• Remunerative prices, direct procurement from farmers• Modify export/import policies and tariffs in favour of Indian farmers• Provide ex-gratia and loan repayment support for all families of farmer suicides in time-bound manner
What government can do?Addressing Root Causes• Price Compensation system for all food crops: when MSPs or market prices are less than Target Price (Cost of Cultivation + 50%), the difference should be paid directly to farmers• Guarantee minimum living incomes to all farmers• Promote sustainable agriculture which reduces cost of cultivation and crop risk• Comprehensive rainfed agriculture mission based on diverse cropping systems, protective irrigation and livestock systems
What government can do?Addressing Root Causes (contd)• Bank credit to all farmers with adequate scale of finance• Effective crop insurance to cover all crops and all farmers• Inclusion of tenant farmers in all support systems
What government can do?Parliamentarians should demonstrate their seriousintent of addressing agrarian crisis• Day-long joint session of Assembly/Parliament to discuss farmer suicides and agrarian crisis• Constitute a Parliamentarians’/MLAs’ Forum on Agrarian Distress to address the causes of the crisis