At least 10,349 people working in the farm sector ended their lives in 2018, accounting for 7.7 per cent of the total number of suicides in the country which was 1,34,516, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). The 2018 figure is less in comparison to 2016 when 11,379 farmers committed suicide, according to the agency which is responsible for collecting and analysing crime data.
Many states and union territories have reported nil data on suicides by farmers, cultivators and farm labourers. "West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Goa, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Delhi, Lakshadweep and Puducherry reported zero suicides of farmers/cultivators as well as agricultural labourers," the NCRB report said.
The data of 2017 was not made public by the NCRB in its report released on Wednesday. According to the report, a vast majority of farmers who committed suicide were men.
"A total of 10,349 persons involved in farming sector (consisting of 5,763 farmers/cultivators and 4,586 agricultural labourers) have committed suicides during 2018, accounting for 7.7 per cent of total suicides in the country," the report said.
"Out of 5,763 farmer/cultivator suicides, a total of 5,457 were male and 306 were female during 2018. Out of 4,586 suicides committed by agricultural labourers during 2018, 4,071 were male and 515 were female," it said.
Overall, a total of 1,34,516 suicides were reported in the country in 2018, showing an increase of 3.6 per cent in comparison to 2017 when 1,29,887 people ended their lives, the report said.
Majority of suicides were reported in Maharashtra (17,972) followed by Tamil Nadu (13,896), West Bengal (13,255), Madhya Pradesh (11,775) and Karnataka (11,561), accounting for 13.4, 10.3, 9.9, 8.8 and 8.6 per cent respectively, it said.
"These five states together accounted for 50.9 per cent of the total suicides reported in the country. The remaining 49.1 per cent suicides were reported in the remaining 24 states and 7 UTs," the report said.
Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state with 16.9 per cent share of the country's population, has reported comparatively lower percentage share of suicidal deaths, accounting for only 3.6 per cent of the total suicides in the country in 2018.
Delhi, which is the most-populous UT, has reported the highest number of suicides (2,526) among UTs, followed by Puducherry (500).