ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Manjeet KaurSubscribe to Manjeet Kaur

Agrarian Crisis and Agricultural Labourer Suicides in Punjab

Punjab’s economy is engulfed in a serious agrarian crisis. The capitalisation of agricultural production processes has squeezed employment opportunities and wage rates in the farm sector. The agrarian crisis in the state has pushed the agricultural labourers towards low earnings and debt traps, which have led them towards death by suicide. Based on a door-to-door and village-to-village survey of 2,400 villages falling in the jurisdiction of six districts of Punjab, the present study reveals that 7,303 agricultural labourers died by suicide in the state during 2000–18. The financial compensation, debt waiver, provision of healthcare and education of victim families along with safeguarding of legal entitlements regarding wage enhancements and land rights, and agro-industrialisation are main policy measures for addressing the act of suicide by agricultural labourers.

Indebtedness among Farmers in Punjab

The main objective of this study is to assess the overall debt position of the farmers in Punjab and identify the factors affecting their indebtedness. The important policy recommendations that emerge are the need to improve the institutional agricultural credit system, to regularise and continuously monitor the functioning of non-institutional sources of finance, to reduce farmers' fixed costs in heavy machinery and equipment for which loans should also be based strictly on economic feasibility, to strengthen the dairy sector and create off-farm employment opportunities and to launch a mass campaign against intoxicants and extravagant expenditure on social festivities.
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