He had borrowed Rs 4 lakh from private money lenders, at a high interest rate.

Burdened by debt and faced with a failed crop Andhra farmer kills himselfImage for representation
news News Sunday, February 26, 2017 - 09:22

Burdened with debt, a farmer in Andhra's Guntur district killed himself on Saturday at Dhullipalla village in Sattenapalli Mandal.

According to reports, J Rama Rao (50), was a tenant farmer, who had cultivated cotton and chilli in four acres after borrowing Rs 4 lakh from moneylenders.

Due to a shortage of irrigation water, his crops reportedly failed, following which he became depressed. 

He then went to the mandal headquarters at Sattenapalli, where he purchased a bottle of pesticide before returning to his field. 

He then went on to consume the pesticide.

Some other farmers noticed Rama Rao lying unconscious in his field, and rushed him to the government hospital, where he was declared brought dead. 

He is survived by a wife, a daughter and a son.

While Andhra fares better than Telangana where farmer suicides are concerned, the numbers are still alarming. 

Last year, at least 341 farmers killed themselves in the state in a period of six months, a fact finding report stated.

The report found that only 13% of the farmers were eligible for bank loans. 87% of the loan were from private lenders at high rate of interest (24% to 60%). 19 out of 40 farmers were completely dependent on private moneylenders while 22 out of 40 farmers were tenant farmers. Not one of them received Loan Eligibility Cards. 

"Their average debt was Rs 4,27,000 each," the report said.

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