557 farmers commit suicide in Maharashtra’s Amravati division in first half of 2024: Report
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557 farmers commit suicide in Maharashtra’s Amravati division in first half of 2024: Report

557 farmers commit suicide in Maharashtra’s Amravati division in first half of 2024: Report

An alarming government report has revealed that 557 farmers committed suicide between January and June 2024 in Amravati division of Maharashtra. The division comprises Amravati, Akola, Buldhana, Washim and Yavatmal districts.

According to the report, the highest number of suicides took place in Amravati district with 170, followed by Yavatmal with 150, Buldhana with 111, Akola with 92 and Washim with 34. The main reasons for these suicides are crop failure, insufficient rainfall, overwhelming debt and lack of timely farm loans. The report notes that the government has extended assistance to the families of 53 deceased farmers. However, 284 cases are still pending.

Balwant Wankhade, Congress MP from Amravati, expressed deep concern over the figures, noting that Maharashtra has consistently reported one of the highest numbers of farmer suicides in the country, with Amravati leading the way. He stressed the need for the government to fulfil its promises to double farmers’ incomes and provide necessary support.

“Crop losses, lack of adequate rainfall, existing indebtedness and lack of timely farm loans are forcing farmers to take such extreme steps,” Wankhade told news agency PTI. “The government must keep its promises to support our farmers.”

Nilesh Helonde-Patil, the head of the Vasantrao Naik Shetkari Swavlambi Mission in Maharashtra, described the situation as serious and detailed the ongoing efforts to address the crisis. “Our local administration is actively reaching out to farmers through various government schemes to increase their income, support their children’s education and meet medical expenses,” he explained. “We are also working on ensuring better communication between farmers and insurance companies,” he was quoted as saying by the news agency.

Both Wankhade and Helonde-Patil stressed the urgent need for comprehensive measures to prevent further farmer suicides. The combined efforts of local administration and missions like Shetkari Swavlambi are aimed at providing the necessary support and solutions to help farmers overcome these challenges.