With 2,405 (2232 male and 173 female) deaths, Karnataka state recorded the highest number of farmer suicides in the south, and the second highest in India, in 2018 after Maharashtra, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data released on Thursday.
Maharashtra recorded 3,594 deaths (3360 male and 234 female) followed by Karnataka. Telangana recorded 908 suicides (801 male and 107 female), while Andhra Pradesh recorded 664 suicides (593 male and 71 female). Tamil Nadu witnessed 401 suicides (303 male and 98 female) while Kerala saw 211 suicides (197 male and 14 female).
According to the Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India 2018 report, a total of 10,349 persons involved in farming sector (consisting of 5,763 farmers/cultivators and 4,586 agricultural labourers) had killed themselves during 2018, accounting for 7.7% of total suicide victims (1,34,516) in the country.
Suicides in the country in 2018 rose to 1,34,516 from 1,29,887 in 2017. The rate of suicides was up from 9.9% in 2017 to 10.2% in 2018.
Out of 5,763 farmer/cultivator suicides, a total of 5,457 were male and 306 were female in 2018.
Out of 4,586 suicides committed by agricultural labourers during 2018, 4,071 were male and 515 were female.
Meanwhile, West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Goa, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Delhi, Lakshadweep and Puducherry reported zero suicides of farmers/cultivators as well as agricultural labourers.
"Maharashtra (17,972), Tamil Nadu (13,896), West Bengal (13,255), Madhya Pradesh (11,775) and Karnataka (11,561) together accounted for 50.9% of the total suicides reported in the country. The remaining 49.1% suicides were reported in the remaining 24 states and 7 UTs," the NCRB report said.
Delhi, which is the most populous union territory, reported the highest number of suicides (2,526) among UTs, followed by Puducherry (500).