ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Characteristics of the Multipronged Agrarian Crisis in Maharashtra

The agrarian crisis of Maharashtra predominantly comes out in the form of its nationally largest, yet scanty and inefficient irrigation sector, and development backlog faced by about two-thirds (62.10%) of its geographical area, with 57.29% of the total and 45.68% of the state’s tribal population. Low crop yields and net negative returns for cultivating most of the crops across seasons result into the farm household level indebtedness and highest number of farm suicides death toll at the national level for over a period of three and a half decades.

Farmer Suicides in Maharashtra, 2001–2018

Farmer suicides are an unfortunate result of the agrarian distress plaguing the rural economy of many states of the country. Marathwada and Vidarbha regions in Maharashtra have recorded very high numbers of farmer suicides, and an attempt to calculate the number of suicides and the suicide mortality rate is the first step towards gaining an in-depth understanding of the prevalence and seriousness of the issue. An analysis of the data reveals the relationship between farmer suicides and issues such as monsoon failure, water shortage, drought, absence of social security, robust crop procurement mechanisms and increasing debt burdens.

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