Politician who Built a case for Tackling Farmer Suicides in USA Ousted

Increasing farmers distress is a worldwide phenomenon. Owing to this, the US senate ousted a politician who built a case for tackling farmer suicides in USA.

The Depose

The extended conflict between Democrat and Republican senators resulted in the eviction of Brad Pfaff, former secretary of Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Wisconsin. This was because of criticism provided by the ex-agricultural secretary against the federal government for not providing funds for suicide prevention of farmers. Now, he has been appointed as the director of business and rural development for the state Department of Administration.

Suicide Figures

A report confirmed 915 farmer suicides in Wisconsin in 2017. Besides, there is a 50% decline in farmers’ income since 2011. Overall, the US farmers income suffered a 49% dip since 2013. A report by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that farmers in 17 states of the USA end their life at a rate of one and half times higher than the general population. Brad Pfaff has been constantly making a case to tackle farmer suicides in USA.

The crashing commodity prices and the increasing cost of production are common reasons for causing distress among farmers. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation revealed a decline of 17.5% in lending to farmers by top banks from 2015 to 2019.

The USA and China trade war has further deteriorated the situation. The imposition of import tariffs and other trade barriers led China declare an end to agricultural exports from USA. The exports declined from USD 20-26 billion in 2017 to USD 9.2 billion in 2018. The major blow is to corn and soybean farmers as China imported these two cash crops in huge quantities. If there is no resolution to trade war with China, rate of farmer suicides in USA will increase further.

The Stress Factor

Farmer Aid, a US-based nonprofit organization, released a statement in June. It revealed that their farmer hotline received 30% more calls in 2018. It confirmed that the US farmers are under constant financial, legal and emotional stress. It could be worse than the 1980’s farmer crisis.

Almost 80% of US agriculture is in control of a few corporations. The increased bankruptcy of these corporations leaves the farmers oppressed, adding more to the problem.

The senate ousted Brad Pfaff as agricultural secretary on grounds that he hadn’t done enough to improve ailing agriculture economy. The farmer community are supporting Brad Pfaff on account of the only person in the government fighting for them.

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