People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 47

November 20, 2011

Kerala: One More Farmer Commits Suicide

N S Sajith


THE trend of farmer suicides is spreading from Wayanad to other districts in Kerala. After four suicides in Wayanad and one each in Thrissur and Kottayam, a farmer has killed himself in Kannur district. On November 15, the body of Joseph Pottayil from Kottiyur Palachuram was found hanging from a tree in the courtyard of his house.


Joseph, who has been cultivating banana, rubber and cashew, owed loans totalling Rs 80,000 to various banks and financial institutions. The steep fall of banana prices pushed him to distress. He has left his wife and three children behind.


Joseph’s suicide was the sixth in just two weeks. After the UDF government assumed power, farmer suicides became a new threat to the agricultural sector. In contrast, the erstwhile LDF regime had succeeded in bringing to an end this trend which had claimed more than 1,300 lives during the preceding UDF government’s tenure (2001-06).