In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Agriculture Mohanbhai Kundaria said Maharashtra government has reported 724 suicides by farmers up to October 2014 due to agrarian reasons.

Among other states, Telangana reported 84 suicides by farmers, Karnataka (19), Gujarat (3), Kerala (3) and Andhra Pradesh (3).

The Minister said that agriculture is state subject under the constitution and states are primarily responsible for development of agriculture sector and welfare of farmers.

He added however that the Centre has taken several steps to revitalise the agriculture sector and improve the condition of farming community on a sustainable basis by increasing public investment, improving farm practices, rural infrastructure, extension and marketing, among others.

Meanwhile, replying to a separate question, Kundaria said that as per the latest records of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 11,772 self-employed persons in agriculture sector had committed suicides last year.

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