557 farmers ended lives in 6 months this year in Maharashtra's Amravati division: Govt report

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Amravati: As many as 557 farmers have committed suicide in five districts under the Amravati administrative division of Maharashtra between January and June this year, an official report said.

The five districts in the division are Amravati, Akola, Buldhana, Washim and Yavatmal.

A report prepared by the Amravati divisional commissionerate said a total of 557 farmers committed suicide in the division from January to June in 2024. Of them, the highest number of 170 suicides were recorded in Amravati district, followed by 150 in Yavatmal, 111 in Buldhana, 92 in Akola and 34 in Washim.

The government has provided assistance to the families of the deceased in 53 cases, while 284 cases are pending for inquiry, the report said.

Reacting to the figures mentioned in the report, Congress leader Balwant Wankhade, who represents the Amravati Lok Sabha seat, said Maharashtra is one of the states that records highest number of farmer suicides and Amravati tops the state on this count.

"Crop losses, lack of adequate rainfall, existing debt burden and absence of timely farm loan are some of the major reasons that drive farmers towards taking the extreme step....The government should fulfil its assurances of doubling the income of farmers and provide assistance to them," he said.

Chairperson of state government's Vasantrao Naik Shetkari Swavlambi Mission, Nilesh Helonde-Patil, said the suicide of farmers was a serious issue and efforts were on to find a solution to stop such deaths.

"The local administration is reaching out to farmers at the gram panchayat level with various government schemes to help them increase their income, and also in the education of their children and the medical cost of the family members. The government is standing behind the them. The Shetkari Swavlambi Mission is also facilitating easy communication between farmers and insurance companies," he said.

"Suicide by farmers is a serious matter and the mission is working on finding solutions to curb such deaths," he added.