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Farmers Suicides in Andhra Pradesh

Ramanjaneyulu and Veena Rao


Action 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.
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Farmers suicides in Andhra Pradesh
No. of suicides
Source: NCRB 1995-2011
Total 33,326 in 17 years
Reactions to agrarian crisis
States response
Draft Agricultural policy, 1998
Jayati Gosh Commission, 2004
GO 421
Justice Rama Chenna Reddy
commission, 2006
Technology Mission, 2005
IFPRI report, 2007
Cooperative Farming Act 2008
Mohan Kanda Committee,
2011


What actually done
Technology as solutions: only
industry benefited
All govt schemes used to help
industry
Export markets: traders
benefited
Always blame centre on MSPs
or regulation
Land ownership concentrating
and Land use shift


State Farmer Suicides Difference (2
nd
Avg-1
st
Avg)
1995-2002 2003-2010
Andhra Pradesh 1590 2301 +711
Assam 155 291 +135
Karnataka 2259 2123 -136
Kerala 1292 1071 -221
MP+Chhattisgarh 2304 2829 +525
Maharashtra 2508 3802 +1294
Tamil Nadu 992 866 -126
Uttar Pradesh 640 531 -109
West Bengal 1426 990 -436
The table only includes States whose annual averages have risen or fallen by over 100 farm
farm suicides between the to periods. It also treats Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh as one
unit for data purposes.
Source: NCRB Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India Reports 1995-2010
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 2525
Farmers Suicides in AP (2010)
Source: 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 credit
All 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
FARMERs suicide cases IN ANDHRA PRADESH
G.O No. 421
1. First Information Report (FIR)
2. Panchanama report
3. 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 documents
7. Bank loan documents
8. Land Pass Book
9. Dependents certificate
10. Ration card
11. Three years agriculture pahani
12. 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))

List of Genuine Farmer Suicides by Government of
Andhra Pradesh (January, 1997 to 2011)

District 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Total
Adilabad 9 18 23 25 25 25 2 68 60 83 48 42 18 6 0 452
Ananthapur 9 9 27 35 60 22 13 59 70 65 90 95 40 41 19 654
Chittor 0 6 2 4 1 4 7 33 21 26 24 17 9 0 0 154
East Godavari 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 4 2 3 2 1 0 8 2 24
Guntur 5 12 1 4 5 1 4 69 24 31 22 36 3 20 19 256
Kadapa 0 0 0 0 1 5 3 18 17 9 26 21 10 4 1 115
Karimnagar 12 15 15 36 38 36 11 96 73 48 55 64 42 0 0 541
Khammam 1 7 0 9 4 7 2 37 23 22 7 12 2 0 0 133
Krishna 1 0 2 0 1 0 1 23 13 6 4 2 4 6 2 65
Kurnool 13 6 3 6 11 7 1 77 64 72 68 66 59 22 9 484
Mahaboobnagar 4 15 20 9 22 17 4 112 57 35 30 29 17 4 0 375
Medak 2 1 5 5 11 25 17 92 45 30 28 32 32 21 7 353
Nalgonda 10 9 8 15 19 11 34 53 52 48 13 43 17 11 0 343
Nellore 0 0 0 1 0 2 7 6 7 1 2 2 3 0 0 31
Nizamabad 1 3 6 8 24 9 8 64 27 12 17 7 10 0 0 196
Prakasham 0 4 4 1 1 0 0 44 9 8 10 8 0 9 6 104
Rangareddy 0 4 2 1 6 5 2 56 40 19 21 18 25 0 0 199
Srikakulam 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 4 1 0 0 1 1 2 1 11
Vishakapatnam 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 5 2 1 1 2 3 0 23
Vizianagaram 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2
West Godavari 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 11
Warangal 46 78 79 95 97 77 27 112 45 32 24 11 2 0 0 725
Total 113 188 197 255 327 253 143 1045 655 552 493 509 297 158 66 5251
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 Area
Marginal Farmers
(0-1 ha)
38 8 51 13 62 23
Small Farmers
(1-2 ha)
18 10 22 17 22 26
Medium Farmers
(2-10 ha)
33 44 25 50 16 45
Large Farmers
( >10 ha)
9 38 2 20 <1 6

Source: From Various NSS rounds
Cropping Pattern Changes in Andhra Pradesh for Selected Years
(million Hectares)
1970-73 1987-90 2004-07 2009-11
Rice 3.1
(24.76)
3.9
(30.65)
3.6
(28.54)
4.3
(31.15)
Maize 0.2
(2.12)
0.3
(2.33)
0.7
(5.53)
0.8
(6.16)
Other coarse Grains 4.1
(32.73)
2.1
(16.47)
0.6
(5.05)
0.3
(2.21)
Total Cereals 7.6
(59.61)
6.3
(49.46)
5.6
(39.13)
5.6
(40.57)
Pulses 1.3
(10.79)
1.5
(11.85)
1.8
(14.39)
1.7
(12.3)
Total Foodgrains 8.9
(70.42)
7.8
(61.31)
6.9
(53.52)
7.4
(53.6)
Cotton 0.3
(2.47)
0.6
(4.8)
1.0
(8.23)
1.1
(8.2)
Oilseeds 2.2
(17.51)
3.8
(24.74)
2.6
(20.91)
2.7
(19.5)
Total Non- Foodgrains 3.7
(29.57)
4.9
(38.69)
5.9
(46.94)
4.7
(34.05)
Gross Cropped Area 12.7
(100.00)
12.8
(100.00)
12.8
(100.00)
13.8
(100.00)
Source: DES. AP Govt
Cost of Cultivation per Acre in A.P. in
Rabi 2010-11 in Sample Households (Rs)
District East
Godavari
Krishna Karim
nagar
Mahabub
Nagar
Medak Nalgonda Nizama
bad
Waran
gal
Av
Cost
Cost A1 21643 24623 20196 20909 18162 19725.62 19507 22437 20380
Cost A2 30084 25914 23184 23009 20112 22225 22007 24437 23872
A2+FL 35413 32051 28105 27294 25844 25531 24091 30278 28576
Cost B1 21645 20490 20248 20979 18231 19788 19563 22515 20432
Cost B2 38085 31126 25736 25079 22181 24788 24563 26515 27259
Cost C1 26973 26627 25169 25264 23963 23094 21647 28356 25137
Cost C2 43414 37264 30657 29364 27913 28094 26647 32356 31964
Cost C3 47755 40990 33723 32301 30704 30904 29312 35592 35160
Yield 26 21 27 17 27 25 28 27
Source: Field study; Cost A1: All paid-out costs except rent; Cost A2= Cost A1+Rent on leased-
in land; Cost A2+FL = CostA2+Family Labour; Cost B1 = cost A1+ interest on fixed cost; Cost
B2 = Cost A2+Imputed Rent on Own land; cost C1= costB1+imputed family labour, Cost
C2=Cost B2+family labour, Cost C3 = Cost C2+ 10 percent managerial input.(Cost C2* is also
defined to consider minimum wages in case they are higher than actual labour.) [source: Cost of
Cultivation Manual, published by CACP, 2005]

Prices to Farmers during 2010-11 and
2011-12
Crop 2010-11 Rs/Quintal 2011-12 Rs/Quintal
Cotton 6500 3600
Turmeric 14000 4000
Chillies 12000 5500
Redgram 5000 3500
Blackgram 5200 3500
Bajra 4000 2000
Jowar 2500 1800
Onion 16000 2500
Sweet Organge 75000 60000
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
Today 3,000 mega watts power is supplied freely to agriculture for 29 lakh pump sets


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 distribution
CASE STUDIES: ANDHRA PRADESH
DISTRICTS COVERED
Ananthapur, Nalgonda, Khammam,
Adilabad, Medak, Warangal,
Mehbubnagar.

PROFILE OF THE SUICIDE FARMERS
90% MALE ,10% female farmer
30-45 YEARS
ONE FORWARD & OTHER BACKWARD CASTE GROUP.
TWO SCHEDULED TRIBES
ONE SCHEDULED CASTE
RELIGION: HINDU
AVERAGE FAMILY SIZE: 5 MEMBERS
OWN, SEMI-PUCCA & THATCHED HOUSES.
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.

7
1
2
0
BC
SC
ST
OTHER
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.

PROFILE OF CROPPING PATTERN

1980S: TRADITIONAL, FOOD CROPS, VEGETABLES &
COMMERCIAL CROPS.
1990S: FOOD CROPS, COMMERCIAL CROPS.
2000: COMMERCIAL CROPS, GAVE UP FOOD CROPS.
2000 ONWARDS: ENTRY OF BT. COTTON.
100%
0 0 0
80%
20%
0 0
30%
20%
10%
0%
10%
20%
70%
100%
0%
50%
100%
150%
200%
250%
1980 1990 2000 2010
Commercial Crops
Vegetables
Food Crops
Traditional crop
CROP YIELD
PADDY : 24 QUINTALS/ ACRE : 1980S
PADDY: 18 QUINTALS/ ACRE: 1990S.
PADDY: 14 -15 QUINTALS/ ACRE: 2000S

COST OF CULTIVATION
PESTICIDE, SEEDS, IRRIGATION, INTER-CULTIVATION,
HIGH LABOUR COST (MANUAL WEEDING,
MANUAL FERTILIZER APPLICATION, SPRAYING..)
TRANSPORTATION.

EXAMPLE PADDY CASE

LABOUR COST: 1980S: RS. 1.00 PER DAY.
1990S: 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.
SOCIAL STATUS.
ENERGY SUBSIDIZATION : FAILURE OF BOREWELLS.


7.00
6.00
5.00
4.00
3.00
2.00
1.00
Weather Vagaries
Irrigation
Credit
Girl Child
Land Tenancy
Indirrama Housing
Health
PATTERN OF SUICIDE
CONSUMPTION OF PESTICIDE.
HANGED.
ELECTRICITY.

8
1
1
Pesticide consumption
Electricity
Hanged
IMPACT OF SUICIDES
LOSS OF BREAD WINNER IN THE FAMILY.
PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS TO FAMILY.
INCREASED SOCIAL STIGMA.
IMPACT ON CHILDRENS 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 MEASURES
1. 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 ( FARMERS
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 MEASURES
1. COUNSELLING TO FARMERS 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 serious
intent 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