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Amol R. Dongre Prdeep R. Deshmukh

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To explore the various perceived reasons for farmers’ suicides in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, their common factors, and to suggest solutions. METHODS: The present formative research was undertaken in the 23 villages surrounding the Anji Primary Health Centre, located in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, India. A triangulation of free list and pile sort exercises was used. The data was analyzed by Anthropac 4.98.1/X software. This was followed by a semi-structured focus group discussion. To increase the validity of the results, these findings were presented to the participants and later they were circulated to the 26 farmers’ clubs in the villages for comment and discussion during their monthly, village-based meetings. RESULTS: Farmers perceived debt, addiction, environmental problems, poor prices for farm produce, stress and family responsibilities, government apathy, poor irrigation, increased cost of cultivation, private money lenders, use of chemical fertilizers and crop failure as the reasons for farmers’ suicides. Participants suggested solutions such as self-reliance and capacity building among farmers, a monitoring and support system for vulnerable farmers, support and counseling services, a village-level, transparent system for the disbursement of relief packages. CONCLUSIONS: Farmers’ suicides in Vidarbha are caused by the complex interplay of social, political and environmental constraints. Hence, a comprehensive intervention to ensure self-reliance and capacity building among farmers in modern farming techniques , monitoring and support system for vulnerable farmers, a village-level, transparent system for disbursement of relief packages is required to prevent farmer suicides in the near future. Apart from this, there is a need to strengthen the National Mental Health Program at primary health care level to offer support and counseling to vulnerable farmers in rural area.

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How to Cite
DONGRE, Amol R.; DESHMUKH, Prdeep R.. Farmers' suicides in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, India: A qualitative exploration of their causes. Journal of Injury and Violence Research, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 1, p. 2-6, june 2010. ISSN 2008-4072. Available at: <http://jivresearch.org/jivr/index.php/jivr/article/view/68>. Date accessed: 15 dec. 2017.
Keywords
farmer; suicide; agriculture; rural; government policy
Section
Original Research Article

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