Oct 10, 2013

500 French farmers have committed suicide in past three years.


French farmers throng Paris in an unprecedented protest in 2010 -- Guardian picture 

Some weeks back, I met Genevieve Savigny from France at the UN Inter-Governmental Working Group on rights of peasants and other working in rural areas. She told me that not only in India, even in France 500 farmers had committed suicide. She sent me later a synopsis of a study conducted by the French organisation InVS-MSA. I had subsequently tweeted this study.

The French daily Le Monde has carried a news report today (Oct 10, 2013) under the title: Five hundred suicides reported among farmers in three years (See the link here: bit.ly/1acgA1D ). This news report is based on the same study. The report is self explanatory. I am pasting the full news report below.

"Nearly five hundred suicides were recorded in three years - 2007, 2008 and 2009 - in French farmers, according to the Institute of Health Surveillance (INVS), which publishes, Thursday, October 10, the first official study on the subject. Suicide is thus the third cause of death in the agricultural world, after cancer and cardiovascular disease, says INVS.

Eagerly awaited by the industry, since it is the first state official places on this sensitive issue, the study "is in terms of suicide prevention in the agricultural sector announced by the Ministry of Agriculture in March 2011 " , said the institute.

In total , 417 men and 68 women committed suicide during the period, with a particularly strong among farmers mortality (cattle, milk and beef cattle) aged 45 to 64 years. According to the institute, "the suicide mortality was 28% in 2008 and 22% in 2009" men in the agricultural world.
"These findings coincide with the temporality of financial problems in these sectors over the period of study," says INVS, thereby establishing a direct correlation between suicide and economic difficulties.
The population considered for this first report includes farm managers and employees of these farms in business, so "it is indeed an exhaustive study" say the authors".

In 2010, I had written a blog on the crisis afflicting French farmers. Captioned: France and India: The beautiful farms are all but dying. It actually listed the similarities that farmers in the two countries faced despite being separated by a huge distance. Do have a look at it (http://devinder-sharma.blogspot.in/2010/07/france-and-india-beautiful-farms-are.html) and I am sure you will be able to fathom the distress that prevails across the globe when it comes to farming. #

Read also Le Monde's survey : "French Farmers: the malaise suicide"

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