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56 farmer suicides so far this year in Belagavi

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By uday

Drought and the burden of loans have driven 456 farmers to suicide, with 56 of them hailing from Belagavi, between April and November of this financial year. Shockingly, this equates to nearly two deaths every day. The Deccan Herald reported that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s government aims to alleviate distress through its interest waiver scheme. However, despite these efforts, the situation remains dire.

The drought has engulfed almost all of Karnataka, with the government declaring 223 out of 236 taluks as drought-hit. Among these districts, Haveri has witnessed the highest number of farmer suicides at 62, followed closely by Belagavi with 56, and Chikkamagaluru with 49.

Out of the 456 reported suicides, compensation has been provided in 354 cases. The criteria for compensation is that the farmer must have taken a bank loan and the suicide must be directly linked to this debt. While this assistance is crucial, it is clear that more needs to be done to address the underlying issues driving these tragic events.

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In a bid to tackle the crisis, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah recently announced that the government would waive interest payments for all crop loans, provided that farmers repay the principal amounts. This initiative will specifically target medium-term and long-term crop loans at cooperative banks. While this is a step in the right direction, it remains to be seen if it will be enough to alleviate the immense burden faced by farmers in Karnataka.

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