Bangalore; Farmers have had a harrowing time in Karnataka, having had to contend with continuous drought and ever-increasing agriculture input costs. This has driven many farmers to suicide, with the number of deaths touching 100 in the last financial year (2012-13).
More than 16 per cent of sowed crops were affected due to erratic rainfall in the last year.
The State government has declared 157 taluks in 28 districts as drought-hit. A total of 2,986 farmers ended their lives in the last one decade (2003-04 to 2012-13).
As many as 187 farmers committed suicide in 2011-12 and 242 in 2010-11.
In 2012-13, more than 10 famers committed suicides in three districts of Bidar (14), Hassan (10) and Chitradurga (12). The numbers in other districts are: one each in Gulbarga, Kodagu, Ramangaram, Belgaum, and Kolar; Chamarajangar (5); Haveri (6); Uttara Kannada (3); Mandya (2); Chikmagalur (8); Raichur (2); Shimoga (3); Tumkur (4); Mysore (6); Bijapur (6); Gadag (5); Davanagere (7) and Bellary (2), officials in the Agriculture Department said.
No suicide case been reported from nine districts of Bagalkot, Dharwad, Koppal, Udupi, Dakshina Kananda, Chickballapur, Yadgir, Bangalore Rural and Bangalore Urban. No farmer committed suicide in Udupi and Chickballapur districts since 2008-09 and 2010-11 respectively, officials said.
In the last one decade, more than 100 farmers ended their lives in more than 12 districts and they are: Bidar (234), Hassan (316), Haveri (131), Mandya (114), Chikmagalur (221), Tumkur (146), Shimoga (170), Belgaum (205), Davanagare (136), Chitradurga (205), Gulbarga (118) and Bijapur (149). The least number of cases have been reported from Udupi (five) during 2003-12.
Farmers commit suicides primarily due to agrarian distress caused by debts, high farming cost, particularly fertilizers, and low returns due to faulty policies, says R.S. Deshpande, Director, Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore.