What are the causes of farmers suicide?
Stress, financial worry, the decreasing prosperity of farming, loneliness, isolation, depression and even the use of pesticides have all been studied in relation to the high rate of suicides among farmers in many countries - recently England, Scotland, the US and even India. At one time it was thought that the use of organo-phosphates in sheep-dip may have also been to blame for depression and mental health issues among sheep farmers. Paperwork, loss of farm subsidies and the fact that farmer's whole lives, inheritance and also the fact that homes are often tied in with their businesses have also been cited as reasons or causes of farmers' stress. These problems could be interpreted as 'attachment issues' - deeply distressing to many people, not just farmers as no-one likes to think of their family losing their home. The British Medical Journal have recently published some material related to this.
The causes of farmers’ suicides are both economic and social. The economic causes are :
(i) growing expenditure, specially on bought inputs
(ii) low productivity
(iii) inadequate prices of agriculture produce
(iv) difficulties in marketing and marketing hazards
(v) natural hazards caused by drought
(vi) absence of proper crop planning
(vii) unsatisfactory agriculture credit
(viii) accumulated burden of debt
Amongst the social causes are :
(i) the drinking habit which atrophies the productivity of the farmer
(ii) extravagant expenditure on marriages
(iii) bad health and illness and inability to meet the necessary expenditure on medicine and health services.