Odishatv Bureau

Bargarh: A famer in Odisha's Bargarh district allegedly committed suicide today over crop loss and loan burden.

As per reports, the deceased, identified as Gobardhan Barik of Julat Khaliatikra village was under mental duress after his crops in five acre land were damaged by brown planthopper pest last year followed by hailstones this year.

Family members of Barik alleged that due to crop loss he was unable to repay loans and therefore, he was under stress.

"He (Gobardhan) attempted suicide by consuming poison on Tuesday. Later he succumbed while undergoing treatment at Burla hospital," said Shatrughna Barik, younger brother of the deceased farmer.

Earlier, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Radha Mohan Singh, quoting the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, had stated that there has been an increase of 142 percent in farmer suicides in Odisha.

Singh had stated the rate of farmer suicides in India has declined by 9.77 percent in comparison to 2015. However, the picture of Odisha is completely different as the suicide rate of tenant farmers or sharecroppers has increased by 142 percent as compared to 2015.

In total, 50 farmers had committed suicide in 2015 out of which 27 were sharecroppers. But in 2016, while the total figure was 121, the number of suicides by sharecroppers nearly quadrupled to 101, informed Singh quoting NCRB data.

He further stated that there has been an increase in farmer suicides in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat as well in contrast to other States.