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Effects of Drought and Flood on Farmer Suicides in Indian States: An Empirical Analysis

Yashobanta Parida (), Devi Prasad Dash (), Parul Bhardwaj () and Joyita Roy Chowdhury ()
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Yashobanta Parida: Jawaharlal Nehru University
Devi Prasad Dash: Indian Institute of Technology Ropar
Joyita Roy Chowdhury: University of Utah

Economics of Disasters and Climate Change, 2018, vol. 2, issue 2, 159-180

Abstract: Abstract The study examines the effects of drought and flood on farmer suicides using state-level panel data from 17 Indian states for the period 1995–2011. The empirical estimates based on unconditional fixed effect Negative Binomial model show that while drought significantly increases farmer suicides, flood has no direct impact on the same. The results also show that incidence of farmer suicides is higher in cotton producing states of India because these states experience frequent drought conditions. Furthermore, our findings reveal that states with high levels of rural poverty experience a higher number of farmer suicides as a result of frequent occurrence of droughts and moderate floods. To obtain robust results, fixed effect Poisson model has been used in the study. Overall, the findings are consistent with unconditional fixed effect Negative Binomial model. Hence, in light of the results obtained by this study, it is important for the government to devise suitable policies such as loan waiver for poor farmers, compulsory crop insurance scheme, improving farm income through revamping of agricultural marketing policies, creating public awareness among farmers and providing micro-irrigation facilities as well as introducing alternative cropping pattern in the drought prone areas in order to reduce the occurrence of farmer suicides.

Keywords: Farmer suicides; Natural disaster; Rural poverty; Count model; Indian states (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q10 C39 I32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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