Chapter

Distress, Debt, and Suicides Among Farmer Households

K. N. Nair and Vineetha Menon

in Agrarian Crisis in India

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780198069096
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080472 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198069096.003.0009
Distress, Debt, and Suicides Among Farmer Households

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This chapter examines agrarian distress, debt, and farmer suicides in three villages in Wayanad and Idukki districts of Kerala. Agriculture and plantations account for about 35 per cent of the total income in both districts and about 50 per cent of the labour force. Since 2000, Wayanad and Idukki faced severe agrarian crisis resulting in farmer suicides. A marked decline in prices of plantation crops such as coffee, tea, pepper, and cardamom was accompanied by a decline in yields due to pests and poor weather conditions. Compounding the situation were trade liberalization, particularly the free trade agreement with Sri Lanka, and declining state support.

Keywords: Wayanad; Idukki; Kerala; farmers' suicides; farmers; agriculture; plantations; agrarian crisis; debt; trade liberalization

Chapter.  10553 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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