Agrarian Distress and Farmers' Suicides in Maharashtra1
This chapter first examines the structural characteristics of Maharashtra, where most of the workforce continue to depend on agriculture, even as the sector's share in state domestic product has sharply declined. It then examines trends in public investment, credit, and related issues in agriculture. The main focus is on farmers' suicides in western Vidarbha. The chapter shows that farmers face a variety of risks ranging from uncertain weather to lack of proper technology, volatile markets, lack of proper technology, inadequate institutional credit, and spurious inputs. However, it was indebtedness that proved to play a critical role in farmer suicides. Despite the comprehensive intervention package provided by the Union government, its design and implementation suffer from several deficiencies.
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