Access to pesticides can reduce farmer suicides
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