Farmers' suicides in India
In 2012, the National Crime Records Bureau of India reported 13,754 farmer suicides. The highest number of farmer suicides were recorded in 2004 when 18,241 farmers committed suicide. The farmers suicide rate in India has ranged between 1.4 to 1.8 per 100,000 total population, over a 10-year period through 2005.
India is an agrarian country with around 60% of its people depending directly or indirectly upon agriculture. Farmer suicides account for 11.2% of all suicides in India. Activists and scholars have offered a number of conflicting reasons for farmer suicides, such as monsoon failure, high debt burdens, genetically modified crops, government policies, public mental health, personal issues and family problems. There are also accusation of states fudging the data on farmer suicides.
- 1 History
- 2 Reasons
- 3 Statistics
- 4 Responses to farmers' suicides
- 4.1 2006 relief package
- 4.2 Agricultural debt waiver and debt relief scheme, 2008
- 4.3 Regional initiatives
- 4.4 2013 diversify income sources package
- 4.5 Effectiveness of government response
- 5 International comparison
- 6 In popular culture
- 7 See also
- 8 References
Historical records relating to frustration, revolts and high mortality rates among farmers in India, particularly cash crop farmers, date back to the 19th century. The high land taxes of 1870s, payable in cash regardless of the effects of frequent famines on farm output or productivity, combined with colonial protection of usury, money lenders and landowner rights, contributed to widespread penury and frustration among cotton and other farmers, ultimately leading to Deccan Riots of 1875-1877. The British government enacted the Deccan Agriculturists’ Relief Act in 1879, to limit the interest rate charged by money lenders to Deccan cotton farmers, but applied it selectively to areas that served British cotton trading interests. Rural mortality rates, in predominantly agrarian British India, were very high between 1850 to 1940s. However starvation related deaths far exceeded those by suicide, the latter being officially classified under "injuries". Death rate classified under "injuries", in 1897, was 79 per 100,000 people in Central Provinces of India and 37 per 100,000 people in Bombay Presidency.
Ganapathi and Venkoba Rao analyzed suicides in parts of Tamil Nadu in 1966. They recommended that the distribution of agricultural organo-phosphorus compounds be restricted. Similarly, Nandi et al. in 1979 noted the role of freely available agricultural insecticides in suicides in rural West Bengal and suggested that their availability be regulated. Hegde studied rural suicides in villages of northern Karnataka over 1962 to 1970, and stated the suicide incidence rate to be 5.7 per 100,000 population. Reddy, in 1993, reviewed high rates of farmer suicides in Andhra Pradesh and its relationship to farm size and productivity.
Reporting in popular press about farmers' suicides in India began in mid 1990s, particularly by Palagummi Sainath. In 2000s, the issue gained international attention and a variety of Indian government initiatives.
National Crime Records Bureau, an office of the Ministry of Home Affairs Government of India, has been collecting and publishing suicide statistics for India since the 1950s, as annual Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India reports. It started separately collecting and publishing farmers suicide statistics from 1995.
|Reasons for farm suicides.¶
|Habits like drinking, gambling, etc.||20.35|
|Failure of crops||16.81|
|Other reasons (e.g. chit fund)||15.04|
|Family problems with spouse, others||13.27|
|Marriage of daughters||5.31|
|Borrowing too much (e.g. for house construction)||2.65|
|Losses in non-farm activities||1.77|
|Failure of bore well||0.88|
|¶Note: "Reasons were given by close relatives and friends.
There are multiple reasons for suicides.
Not even one case was given only one reason."
Various reasons have been offered to explain why farmers commit suicide in India, including: drought, debt, use of genetically modified seed, public health and government economic policies. There is no consensus on what the main causes might be but studies show suicide victims are motivated by more than one cause, on average three or more causes for committing suicide. Panagariya states, "farm-related reasons get cited only approximately 25 percent of the time as reasons for suicide", and, "studies do consistently show greater debt burden and greater reliance on informal sources of credit" amongst farmers who commit suicide.
A study conducted in 2014 found that there are three specific characteristics associated with high risk farmers: "those that grow cash crops such as coffee and cotton; those with ‘marginal’ farms of less than one hectare; and those with debts of 300 Rupees or more." The study also found that the Indian states in which these three characteristics are most common had the highest suicide rates and also accounted for "almost 75% of the variability in state-level suicides." 
A 2012 study did a regional survey on farmers suicide in rural Vidarbha (Maharashtra) and applied a Smith's Saliency method to qualitatively rank the expressed causes among farming families who had lost someone to suicide. The expressed reasons in order of importance behind farmer suicides were – debt, alcohol addiction, environment, low produce prices, stress and family responsibilities, apathy, poor irrigation, increased cost of cultivation, private money lenders, use of chemical fertilizers and crop failure. In other words debt to stress and family responsibilities were rated as significantly higher than fertilizers and crop failure. In a different study in the same region in 2006, indebtedness (87%) and deterioration in the economic status (74%) were found to be major risk factors for suicide.
Studies dated 2004 through 2006 identified several causes for farmers suicide, such as insufficient or risky credit systems, the difficulty of farming semi-arid regions, poor agricultural income, absence of alternative income opportunities, a downturn in the urban economy which forced non-farmers into farming, and the absence of suitable counselling services. In 2004, in response to a request from the All India Biodynamic and Organic Farming Association, the Mumbai High Court required the Tata Institute to produce a report on farmer suicides in Maharashtra, and the institute submitted its report in March 2005. The survey cited "government apathy, the absence of a safety net for farmers, and lack of access to information related to agriculture as the chief causes for the desperate condition of farmers in the state."
An Indian study conducted in 2002 indicated an association between victims engaging in entrepreneurial activities (such as venturing into new crops, cash crops, and following market trends) and their failure in meeting expected goals due to a range of constraints.
As much as 80% of India's farmland relies on flooding during monsoon season, so inadequate rainfall can cause droughts, making crop failure more common. In regions that have experienced droughts, crop yields have declined, and food for cattle has become scarcer. Agricultural regions that have been affected by droughts have subsequently seen their suicide rates increase.
New Economic Policy
Left leaning economists like Utsa Patnaik, Jayati Ghosh and Prabhat Patnaik suggest that structural changes in the macro-economic policy of Indian Government that favoured privatisation, liberalisation and globalisation is the root cause of farmer suicides. Others dispute such views.
A number of social activist groups and studies proposed a link between GM crops and farmer suicides. Bt cotton (Bacillus thuringiensis cotton) was claimed to be responsible for farmer suicides. The Bt cotton seeds cost nearly twice as much as ordinary ones. The higher costs forced many farmers into taking ever larger loans, often from private moneylenders charging exorbitant interest rates (60% a year). The moneylender was claimed to collect his dues at harvest time, by compelling farmers to sell their cotton to him at a price lower than it fetches on the market. According to activists, this created a source of debt and economic stress, ultimately suicides, among farmers. Scholars claim that this Bt cotton theory made certain assumptions and ignored field reality.
In 2008, a report published by the International Food Policy Research Institute, an agriculture policy think tank based in Washington DC, noted that there was an absence of data relating to "numbers on the actual share of farmers committing suicide who cultivated cotton, let alone Bt cotton." In order to evaluate the "possible (and hypothetical)" existence of a connection the study employed a "second-best" assessment of evidence relating to farmer suicides firstly, and to the effects of Bt cotton secondly. The analysis revealed that there was no "clear general relationship between Bt cotton and farmer suicides" but also stated that it could not reject the "potential role of Bt cotton varieties in the observed discrete increase in farmer suicides in certain states and years, especially during the peak of 2004 in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra." The report also noted that farmer suicides predate the official commercial introduction of Bt cotton by Monsanto Mahyco in 2002 (and its unofficial introduction by Navbharat Seeds in 2001) and that such suicides were a fairly constant portion of the overall national suicide rate since 1997. The report noted that while Bt cotton may have been a factor in specific suicides, the contribution was likely marginal compared to socio-economic factors. Elsewhere, Gruere et al. discuss the introduction and increase in use of Bt cotton in the state of Madhya Pradesh since 2002, and the observed drop in total suicides among that state's farmers in 2006. They then question whether the impact of the increase in use of Bt cotton on farmers suicide in Madhya Pradesh has been to improve or worsen the situation.
In 2011, a review of the evidence regarding the relationship between Bt cotton and farmers' suicides in India was published in the Journal of Development Studies, also by researchers from IFPRI, which found that "Available data show no evidence of a 'resurgence' of farmer suicides. Moreover, Bt cotton technology has been very effective overall in India." Matin Qaim finds that Bt cotton is controversial in India, irrespective of the scholarly evidence. Anti-biotech activist groups in India repeat their claim that there is evidence of link between Bt cotton and farmers suicides, a claim that is perpetuated by mass media. This linking of farmers suicide and biotech industry has led to negative opinions in public policy making process.
Stone suggests that the arrival and expansion of GM cotton led to a campaign of misinformation, by all sides, exacerbating the farmer's situation; activists have fuelled the persistence of a legend of failure and rejection of Bt cotton with sensational claims of livestock death and farmer suicide, while the other side has been incorrectly pronouncing Bt cotton a major success based on literature that is actually inconclusive. The cotton cash crop farmer's situation is complex and continues to evolve, suggests Stone. Gilbert, in a 2013 article published in Nature, states, "contrary to popular myth, the introduction in 2002 of genetically modified Bt cotton is not associated with a rise in suicide rates among Indian farmers".
In another 2014 review, Ian Plewis states, "the available data does not support the view that farmer suicides have increased following the introduction of Bt cotton. Taking all states together, there is evidence to support the hypothesis that the reverse is true: male farmer suicide rates have actually declined after 2005 having been increasing before then".
Patel et al. find that southern Indian states have ten times higher rates of suicides than some northern states. This difference, they claim, is not because of misclassification of a person's death, for example as homicide, but because of regional causes. The most common cause for suicide in India's south are a combination of social issues, such as interpersonal and family problems, financial difficulties, and pre-existing mental illness. Suicidal ideation is as culturally accepted in south India as in some high-income countries. The high suicide rates in southern states of India may be, suggest Patel el al., in part because of social acceptance of suicide as a method to deal with difficulties.
State government field surveys
The Government of Maharashtra, concerned about the highest total number of farmer suicides among its rural populations, commissioned its own study into reasons. At its behest, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research in Mumbai did field research and found the top causes of farmers suicides to be: debt, low income and crop failure, family issues such as illness and inability to pay celebration expenses for daughter's marriage, lack of secondary income occupations and lack of value-added opportunities.
The National Crime Records Bureau of India reported in its 2012 annual report that 135,445 people committed suicide in India, of which 13,754 were farmers (11.2%). Of these, 5 out of 29 states accounted for 10,486 farmers suicides (76%) – Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala.
In 2012, the state of Maharashtra, with 3,786 farmers' suicides, accounted for about a quarter of the all India's farmer suicides total (13,754). From 1995 to 2013, a total of 296,438 Indian farmers committed suicide. During the same period, about 9.5 million people died per year in India from other causes including malnutrition, diseases and suicides that were non-farming related, or about 171 million deaths from 1995 to 2013.
Farmer suicides rates in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh – two large states of India by size and population – have been about 10 times lower than Maharashtra, Kerala and Pondicherry. In 2012, there were 745 farmer suicides in Uttar Pradesh, a state with an estimated population of 205.43 million. In 2014 there were eight farmer suicides in Uttar Pradesh.
According to IFFRI study number of suicides during 2005–2009 in Gujarat 387, Kerala 905, Punjab 75 and Tamil Nadu 26. While 1802 farmers committed suicide in Chhattisgarh in 2009 and 1126 in 2010, its farmers suicide dropped to zero in 2011, leading to accusations of data manipulation.
According to the 2012 statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau, the farmer suicides statistics are as follows (Note: The NCRB lists suicides in the different employment categories, but it is not necessary that farming or crop-failure is the cause of the suicides listed in the "farmer" category):
Farmers versus other professions
Patel et al., using a representative survey sample based statistical study from 2001 and 2003, extrapolated likely suicide patterns in 2010 for India. They claim suicide deaths in India among unemployed individuals and individuals in professions other than agricultural work were, collectively, about three times more frequent than they were in agricultural labourers and landowning cultivators. Even across professions in rural areas, Patel et al. find suicide among agricultural workers (including farmers) in India is not more frequent than any other profession.
The suicide incidence rate in India, on 100,000 farmers basis, is unclear. All estimates are speculative, because actual total number of farmers by state or India in each year are not available. Farm suicides per 100,000 farmers can be reliably calculated for 2001, because accurate data on number of farmers in the country and states is available for 2001 from the Census of India. The farm suicide rate was 12.9 suicides per 100,000 farmers, which was higher than the general suicide rate at 10.6 for 2001 in India. By gender, the suicide rate was 16.2 male farmer suicides per 100,000 male farmers compared to 12.5 male suicides per 100,000 for general population. Among women, the suicide rate was 6.2 female farmer suicides per 100,000 female farmers compared to 8.5 female suicides per 100,000 for general population.
Total number of farmers
Annual farmers' suicide incidence rate data on 100,000 farmers basis, depend on estimated total number of farmers for that year. Estimates for total number of farmers in India vary widely. Some count the total number of cultivators, some include cultivators and agricultural laborers in their definition of total farmers, while others include anyone engaged in any form of farming and agriculture activity. Estimates for total number of farmers in India, for 2011, accordingly range from 95.8 million (8%) to 263 million (22%) to 450 million (38%), out of a total population of over 1.2 billion. Others estimate the total number of farmers in India to be about 600 million (50% of total population). With about 14,000 suicides in 2011 by those engaged in farming and agricultural activities, the different estimates of total farmers has led to different suicide incidence rate estimates on per 100,000 farmers basis. Additionally, the reliability of official statistics has been questioned. K Nagaraj suggests that official data may be overestimating the number of total farmers in India, and undercounting the total number of farmer suicides every year. Tom Brass, in contrast, suggests that official census and surveys in India systematically underestimate the total number of people engaged in agriculture in India.
Responses to farmers' suicides
The government appointed a number of inquiries to look into the causes of farmers suicide and farm related distress in general. Krishak Ayog (National Farmer Commission) visited all suicide prone farming regions of India, then in 2006 published three reports with its recommendations. Subsequently Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Vidarbha in 2006 and promised a package of ₹110 billion (about $2.4 billion). The families of farmers who had committed suicide were also offered an ex gratia grant of ₹100,000 (about $2,000) by the government, though this amount was changed several times.
2006 relief package
In 2006, the Government of India identified 31 districts in the four states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Kerala with high relative incidence of farmers suicides. A special rehabilitation package was launched to mitigate the distress of these farmers. The package provided debt relief to farmers, improved supply of institutional credit, improved irrigation facilities, employed experts and social service personnel to provide farming support services, and introduced subsidiary income opportunities through horticulture, livestock, dairying and fisheries. The Government of India also announced an ex-gratia cash assistance from Prime Ministers National Relief Fund to the farmers. Additionally, among other things, the Government of India announced:
- In the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, that had received considerable mass media news coverage on farmer suicides, all farmer families of Vidarbha in six affected districts of Maharashtra were given a cash sum of ₹05 million (US$75,000) each, to help pay off the debt principal.
- ₹7.12 billion (US$110 million) in interest owed, as of 30 June 2006, was waived. The burden of payment was shared equally between the Central and the State government.
- The Government created a special credit vehicle for Vidarbha farmer, to the tune of ₹12.75 billion (US$190 million). Special teams comprising NABARD and banks were deputed to ensure fresh credit starts flowing to all farmers of the region.
- An allocation of ₹21.77 billion (US$330 million) was made to improve the irrigation infrastructure so that the farmers of Vidarbha region had assured irrigation facilities in the future.
Agricultural debt waiver and debt relief scheme, 2008
The Government of India next implemented the Agricultural debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme in 2008 to benefit over 36 million farmers at a cost of ₹653 billion (US$9.9 billion). This spending was aimed at writing of part of loan principal as well as the interest owed by the farmers. Direct agricultural loan by stressed farmers under so-called Kisan Credit Card were also to be covered under this Scheme.
Various state governments in India have launched their own initiatives to help prevent farmer suicides. The government of Maharashtra set up a dedicated group to deal with farm distress in 2006 known as the Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission, based in Amravati. A group to study the Farmers Suicides was also constituted by the Government of Karnataka under the Chairmanship of Dr Veeresh, Former Vice-Chancellor of Agricultural University and Prof Deshpande as member.[full citation needed]
Maharashtra Bill to regulate farmer loan terms, 2008
The State government of Maharashtra, one of the most farmer suicide affected states, passed the Money Lending (Regulation) Act, 2008 to regulate all private money lending to farmers. The bill set maximum legally allowed interest rates on any loans to farmers, setting it to be slightly above the money lending rate by Reserve Bank of India, and it also covered pending loans.
Maharashtra relief package, 2010
The State Government of Maharashtra made it illegal, in 2010, for non-licensed moneylenders from seeking loan repayment. The State Government also announced that it will from Village Farmer Self Help Groups, that will disburse government financed loans,a low rate Crop Insurance program whose premium will be paid 50% by farmer and 50% by government, launch of alternate income opportunities such as poultry, dairy and sericulture for farmers in high suicide prone districts. The government further announced that it will finance a marriage fund under its Samudaik Lagna with ₹10 million (US$150,000) per year per district, for community marriage celebrations, where many couples get married at the same time to help minimise the cost of marriage celebrations – a cause of suicides among farmers as identified by its own study.
Kerala Farmers' Debt Relief Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2012
Kerala, in 2012, amended the Kerala Farmers' Debt Relief Commission Act, 2006 to extend benefits to all distressed farmers with loans through 2011. It cited continuing farmer suicides as a motivation.
2013 diversify income sources package
In 2013, the Government of India launched a Special Livestock Sector and Fisheries Package for farmers suicide-prone regions of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala. The package was aimed to diversify income sources of farmers. The total welfare package consisted of ₹912 million (US$14 million).
Effectiveness of government response
The government's response and relief packages have generally been ineffective, misdirected and flawed, states Surinder Sud. It has focused on credit and loan, rather than income, productivity and farmer prosperity. Assistance in paying off outstanding principal and interest helps the money lenders, but has failed to create reliable and good sources of income for the farmer going forward. The usurious moneylenders continue to offer loans at interest rates between 24 to 50 percent, while income generating potential of the land the farmer works on has remained low and subject to weather conditions. Sud states that the government has failed to understand that debt relief just postpones the problem and a more lasting answer to farmer distress can only come from reliable income sources, higher crop yields per hectare, irrigation and other infrastructure security. Golait, in a Reserve Bank of India paper, acknowledged the positive role of crop diversification initiative announced in government's response to reports of farmer suicides. Golait added, "Indian agriculture still suffers from: i) poor productivity, ii) falling water levels, iii) expensive credit, iv) a distorted market, v) many middlemen and intermediaries who increase cost but do not add much value, vi) laws that stifle private investment, vii) controlled prices, viii) poor infrastructure, and ix) inappropriate research. Thus the approach with mere emphasis on credit in isolation from the above factors will not help agriculture". Furthermore, recommended Golait, a more pro-active role in creating and maintaining reliable irrigation and other agriculture infrastructure is necessary to address farmer distress in India.
Farmers suicide is a global phenomenon. Outside India, studies in Sri Lanka, USA, Canada, England and Australia have identified farming as a high stress profession that is associated with a higher suicide rate than the general population. This is particularly true among small scale farmers and after periods of economic distress. Fraser et al., similarly, after a review of 52 scholarly publications, conclude that farming populations in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, Canada and the United States have the highest rates of suicide of any industry and there is growing evidence that those involved in farming are at higher risk of developing mental health problems. Their review claims a wide range of reasons behind farmers suicide globally including mental health issues, physical environment, family problems, economic stress and uncertainties. Significantly higher suicide rate among farmers than general population have been reported in developed countries such as the UK and the US.
In popular culture
Summer 2007 by producer Atul Pandey, focused on the issue of farmer suicides in Maharashtra's Vidarbha region, as did the 2009 Bollywood film Kissan. Prior to this The Dying Fields, a documentary directed by Fred de Sam Lazaro was aired in August 2007 on Wide Angle (TV series). The 2010 award-winning film Jhing Chik Jhing is based around the emotive issue of farmer suicides in Maharashtra. It looks at how the farmer has very little in his control and looks at the impact of indebtedness on his family.
In 2006, a documentary by Indian film maker Sumit Khanna titled Mere Desh Ki Dharti, did a comprehensive review of the way we grow our food. A well researched and in-depth understanding of the agrarian crisis, it won the national award for the best Investigative film.[relevant? ]
In 2009, the International Museum of Women included an examination of the impact of farmers' suicides on the lives of the farmers' wives and children in their exhibition Economica: Women and the Global Economy. Their slideshow "Growing Debt" and accompanying essay by curator Masum Momaya entitled "Money of Her Own" showed how many widows were left with the burden of their husbands' debts, and were forced to work as indentured servants to repay the debt. The widows were also unlikely to remarry, because other men in the community were unwilling to take on the widows' debts for themselves.
- Peepli Live (2010 film)
- Battle in Seattle, (a 2007 film that quotes the Indian suicide statistic in the end credits)
- Farmers Suicide in Western Orissa
- P. Sainath, a journalist who covered the Covering farmers' suicides in India, later won the 2007 Ramon Magsaysay Award
- National Crime Reports Bureau, ADSI Report Annual – 2012 Government of India, Page 242, Table 2.11
- "NDA, UPA failed to curb farmer suicides".
- Gruère, G. & Sengupta, D. (2011), Bt cotton and farmer suicides in India: an evidence-based assessment, The Journal of Development Studies, 47(2), pp 316–337
- Gruère, G. & Sengupta, D. (2011), Bt cotton and farmer suicides in India: an evidence-based assessment, The Journal of Development Studies, 47(2), 316–337
- Schurman, R. (2013), Shadow space: suicides and the predicament of rural India, Journal of Peasant Studies, 40(3), 597–601
- Das, A. (2011), Farmers’ suicide in India: implications for public mental health, International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 57(1), 21–29
- "P Sainath: How states fudge the data on declinng farmer suicides".
- I.J. Catanach (1971), Rural Credit in Western India, 1875-1930, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0520015951, pp 10-55
- Laxman Satya (1998), Colonial Encroachment and Popular Resistance: Land Survey and Settlement Operations in Berar: 1860-1877, Agricultural History, Vol 72, No 1, pp 55-76
- Deccan Agriculturists’ Relief Act, XVII of 1879 Government Central Press, Bombay (1882)
- Kranton and Swamy (1999), The hazards of piecemeal reform: British civil courts and the credit market in colonial India, Journal of Development Economics, Vol. 58, pp 1-28
- Chaudhary and Swamy (2014), Protecting the Borrower: An Experiment in Colonial India, Yale University
- Mike Davis (2001), Late Victorian Holocausts, El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World, Verso, ISBN 1-85984-739-0, Chapter 1
- BM Bhatia (1963), Famines in India 1850-1945, Asia Publishing House, London, ISBN 978-0210338544
- Tim Dyson (1991), "On the Demography of South Asian Famines: Part I", Population Studies, Volume 45, No. 1, pp 5–25
- Ajit Ghose(1982), Food Supply and Starvation: A Study of Famines with Reference to the Indian Subcontinent, Oxford Economic Papers, Vol. 34, Issue 2, pp 368–389
- Ganapathi, M. N. and Venkoba Rao, A. (1966), A study of suicide in Madurai, Journal of Indian Medical Association, vol. 46, pp 18-23
- Nandi et al (1979), Is suicide preventable by restricting the availiability of lethal agents? - A rural survey of West Bengal, Indian Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 21, pp 251-255
- Hegde RS (1980), Suicide in rural community, Indian Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 22, pp 368–370
- Ratna Reddy (1993), New technology in agriculture and changing size-productivity relationships: a study of Andhra Pradesh, Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 48(4), pp 633-648
- P Sainath, Everybody Loves a Good Drought: Stories from India's Poorest Districts, Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-025984-8
- Waldman, Amy (6 June 2004). "Debts and Drought Drive India's Farmers to Despair". New York Times. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- Huggler, Justin (2 July 2004). "India acts over suicide crisis on farms". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- J Hardikar, Farmer suicides: Maharastra continues to be worst-affected 10th year in a row DNA India (9 January 2011)
- Panagariya, Arvind (2008). India. Oxford University Press. p. 153. ISBN 978-0195315035.
- Mishra, Srijit (2007). "Risks, Farmers' Suicides and Agrarian Crisis in India: Is There A Way Out?" (PDF). Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR).
- Behere PB, Behere AP. Farmers' suicide in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra state: A myth or reality?. Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2008 [cited 2009 Oct 23];50:124-7. Available from: http://www.indianjpsychiatry.org/text.asp?2008/50/2/124/42401
- Stone, Glenn Davis, 2007. "Agricultural Deskilling and the Spread of Genetically Modified Cotton in Warangal." Current Anthropology 48:67–103
- New evidence of suicide epidemic among India’s ‘marginalised’ farmers, © 2014 University of Cambridge.
- Kennedy and King: The political economy of farmers’ suicides in India: indebted cash-crop farmers with marginal landholdings explain state-level variation in suicide rates. Globalization and Health 2014 10:16.
- Dongre and Deshmukh, Farmers' suicides in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, India: a qualitative exploration of their causes, Journal of Injury and Violence Research, Jan 2012; 4(1): 2–6
- Behere and Bhise, Farmers' suicide: Across culture, Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 2009 Oct–Dec; 51(4): 242–243
- Guillaume P. Gruère, Purvi Mehta-Bhatt and Debdatta Sengupta (2008). "Bt Cotton and Farmer Suicides in India: Reviewing the Evidence" (PDF). International Food Policy Research Institute.
- Nagraj, K. (2008). "Farmers suicide in India: magnitudes, trends and spatial patterns" (PDF).
- Staff, InfoChange August 2005. 644 farmer suicides in Maharashtra since 2001, says TISS report
- Dandekar A, et al, Tata Institute. Causes of Farmer Suicides in Maharashtra: An Enquiry. Final Report Submitted to the Mumbai High Court March 15, 2005
- Panagariya, Arvind (2008). India. Oxford University Press. p. 154. ISBN 978-0195315035.
- Deshpande, R. S.(2002), Financial Development, Economic Growth and Banking Sector Controls:Evidence from India, Economic Journal, 106, 359—74.
- Abid, R. (1 January 2013). "The myth of India's 'GM genocide': Genetically modified cotton blamed for wave of farmer suicides". National Post. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
- Ghosh, P. (2 May 2013). "India Losing 2,000 Farmers Every Single Day: A Tale Of A Rapidly Changing Society". International Business Times. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
- Gagdekar, R. (25 March 2013). "Farmer suicides: No drought of grief in Gujarat". dna India. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
- The Associated Press (28 August 2009). "Indian farmers faced with debt and drought turn to suicide, leaving families helpless in the fields". Daily News (New York). Retrieved 28 June 2013.
- T.K Rajalakshmi. "It is a crisis rooted in economic reforms". The Hindu (Chennai, India).
- State must engage with peasantry: Says Prabhat Patnaik
- Ravi Kapoor The myth of farmer suicides Business Standard (27 March 2013)
- Sidhu, M. S. (2010), Globalisation vis-à-vis Agrarian Crisis in India, Agrarian Crisis and Farmer Suicides (Editors: Deshpande and Arora), ISBN 978-813210-5121, SAGE Publications, Chapter 7
- On India’s Farms, a Plague of Suicide New York Times (19 September 2006)
- GLENN DAVIS STONE, Field versus Farm in Warangal: Bt Cotton, Higher Yields, and Larger Questions World Development, Volume 39, Issue 3, March 2011, Pages 387–398, doi 10.1016/j.worlddev.2010.09.008
- Guillaume et al. 2008, p.26.
- Guillaume et al. 2008, p.28.
- Guillaume et al. 2008, p.29.
- "Doubts surround link between Bt cotton failure and farmer suicide : Article : Nature Biotechnology". Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- Gruère, G.; Sengupta, D. (2011). "Bt Cotton and Farmer Suicides in India: An Evidence-based Assessment". Journal of Development Studies 47 (2): 316–337. doi:10.1080/00220388.2010.492863. PMID 21506303.
- Matin Qaim (2014), Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development, Editors: Stuart J. Smyth, Peter W.B. Phillips and David Castle, Chapter 9, ISBN 978-0857938343
- Gilbert, Natasha (2 May 2013). "A hard look at GM Crops". Nature 497: 24–26. doi:10.1038/497024a.
- Plewis, Ian (12 March 2014). "Hard Evidence: does GM cotton lead to farmer suicide in India?". The Conversation.
- Plewis, Ian (February 2014). "Indian farmer suicides: Is GM cotton to blame?". Significance 11 (1): 14–18. doi:10.1111/j.1740-9713.2014.00719.x.
- Patel et al. (2012), Suicide mortality in India: a nationally representative survey, The Lancet, volume 379, page 2349, 23 June 2012
- Srijit Mishra, Suicide of Farmers in Maharashtra IGIDR, Mumbai (January 2006)
- State Govt Package Maharashtra Government
- Bt Cotton and Farmer Suicides in India: Reviewing the Evidence Gruere et al, IFPRI (2008)
- National Crime Reports Bureau, ADSI Report Annual – 2012 Government of India, page xx and 242
- National Crime Reports Bureau, ADSI Report Annual – 2011 Government of India
- National Crime Reports Bureau, ADSI Report Annual – 2010 Government of India
- "Have India's farm suicides really declined?".
- Jha P et al. (2006) Prospective study of one million deaths in India: rationale, design, and validation results. PLoS Med 3 (2):e18. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030018 PMID 16354108
- Nagaraj (2008), Farmers' Suicides in India: Magnitudes, Trends and Spatial Patterns, Bharathi Puthakalayam, ISBN 978-81-89909-57-4, pages 16–25
- Mudit Kapoor and Shamika Ravi (2007), Farmer Suicide Contagion, Indian School of Business, Hyderabad; Shamika Ravi, Suicides through the glass darkly The Indian Express (4 December 2007)
- National Crime Reports Bureau, ADSI Report Annual – 2012 Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India (June 2013)
- Mohammed Ali for The Hindi. November 1, 2014 Distressed farmer commits suicide in Uttar Pradesh
- "Farmers' suicides in India not due to Bt cotton: IFFRI". Mint. 11 November 2008.
- "Chhattisgarh eliminates farmer suicides by fudging death data". Mumbai: The Times of India. 27 August 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
- "Farmer suicides: What do the Gujarat numbers really mean". Firstpost. 27 March 2014.
- "Farmer suicides went up to 12,360 in 2014: Report".
- "Maharashtra records half of country’s farmer suicide cases".
- National Crime Reports Bureau, ADSI Report Annual – 2012 Government of India
- "Profile of suicide victims categorised by profession – 2013" (PDF).
- "46 farmers commit suicide every day in India: Research".
- Patel et al. (2012), Suicide mortality in India: a nationally representative survey, The Lancet, 379: 2343–2351, 23 June 2012
- A Das, Farmers’ Suicide in India: Implications for Public Mental Health, Int Journal Soc Psychiatry, January 2011, vol. 57, no. 1, pp 21-29
- Prachi Salve, How many farmers does India really have? The Hindustan Times (August 11, 2014)
- Nagaraj (2008), Farmers' Suicides in India: Magnitudes, Trends and Spatial Patterns, Bharathi Puthakalayam, ISBN 978-81-89909-57-4, pages 10-12
- K. Basu, The Oxford Companion to Economics in India, Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780195693522, page 320
- Table 2.11 page 242, Profile of Suicide Victims by Profession During 2011, Government of India
- Nitin Sethi, 14,000 farmers ended life in 2011 The Times of India (July 2, 2012)
- Brass, Tom. New Farmers' Movements in India. Routledge. p. 144. ISBN 978-0714641348.
- Serving Farmers And Saving Farming 2006 : YEAR OF AGRICULTURAL RENEWAL THIRD REPORT National Commission on Farmers, Government of India
- M Rajivlochan (2007) "Farmers and firefighters" in Indian Express, 28 August 2007, 
- Press Information Bureau, Govt. to launch special rehabilitation package to mitigate the distress of farmers in 31 Districts in 4 States Govt of India
- Agricultural debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme, 2008, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
- asantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission, Amravati
- Deshpande (2002)
- Maharashtra Money-Lending (Regulation) Ordinance, 2008 with Central Government for President’s approval Mumbai (February 2009), Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs
- THE KERALA FARMERS’ DEBT RELIEF COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2012 Bill 72, Gazette of Enacted Bills, Govt of Kerala
- Annual Report 2012-2013 DEPARTMENT OF ANIMAL HUSBANDRY, DAIRYING & FISHERIES Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, New Delhi
- Surinder Sud (2009), The Changing Profile of Indian Agriculture, Business Standard Books, ISBN 978-8190573559, pp 107-109
- Ramesh Golait, "Current Issues in Agriculture Credit in India: An Assessment", Reserve Bank of India Occasional Papers, Vol. 28, No. 1, Summer 2007, pp 79-98
- Fraser et al., Farming and mental health problems and mental illness, International Journal Soc Psychiatry, 2005 Dec; 51(4):340–349
- Barry Hounsome et al. (2012), Psychological Morbidity of Farmers and Non-farming Population: Results from a UK Survey, Community Mental Health Journal, August 2012, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 503–510
- Joel Dyer (1998), Harvest of Rage, Westview Press, ISBN 978-0813332932, page 33
- Augustine J. Kposowa and Aikaterini Glyniadaki (2012), Mental Health and Suicide: An Ecological Hierarchical Analysis of U.S. Counties and States, Opportunities and Challenges for Applied Demography in the 21st Century, Applied Demography Series Volume 2, ISBN 978-94-007-2296-5, Springer, Netherlands, pp 289–308
- "Has Bollywood shut its eyes to movies on farmers?". The Economic Times. 29 August 2009.[dead link]
- "Jhing Chik Jhing – a story of hope". January 2010.
- "Marriage and Money". Economica: Women and the Global Economy. October 2009.