Ac­cess to pes­ti­cides can re­duce farmer sui­cides

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

IF AC­CESS to pes­ti­cides is re­stricted, there will be a re­duc­tion in the num­ber of sui­cides, says a new World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) re­port. The re­port is based on a case study car­ried out in two Tamil Nadu vil­lages—Kan­daman­galam and Ku­run­gud—near Chennai. To pre­vent sui­cides, a cen­tral stor­age fa­cil­ity was con­structed in th­ese two vil­lages, where farm­ers were told to store their pes­ti­cides. Farm­ers could ac­cess the stor­age fa­cil­ity be­tween 7 am and 7 pm each day. Two peo­ple guard the fa­cil­ity and main­tain a reg­is­ter to keep a record of the num­ber of boxes used. WHO started the study in 2010. Af­ter a year, rates of both sui­cides and at­tempted sui­cides de­clined from 33 to five per 100,000 due to the lim­ited ac­cess to pes­ti­cides.

AMIT SHANKAR / CSE

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