The government today said 228 farmers committed suicide in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra because of agrarian distress during the April-January period of 2012-13 fiscal.
"The number of farmers in the six identified suicide prone districts of Vidarbha region who committed suicide due to agrarian distress is 228 during the last 10 months till January 31, 2013," Minister of State for Agriculture Tariq Anwar said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
The number of farmers suicides declined to 346 in 2011 from 565 in 2006 in Vidarbha region as per the information provided by the Maharashtra government, he said.
In the entire state, the number of farmers committed suicide due to agrarian reasons have declined to 485 in 2011 from 1035 in 2006, he added.
The Minister said that the government has taken number of measures to revitalise the agriculture sector and improve condition of farming community on sustainable basis.
To a separate query on drought situation in Maharashtra, Anwar said there is no empirical evidence to suggest that the drought in the state is due to cultivation of water guzzling sugarcane and fruits.
The state is witnessing consecutive drought situation in 2011-12 and 2012-13 primarily on account of deficit rains during intervening period, he said.