As many as 725 farmers committed suicide in Maharashtra till October 31 this year due to agrarian reasons, Union Minister of State for Agriculture Mohanbhai Kundaria told the Rajya Sabha on Friday. The minister added that according to a National Crime Record Bureau report, 2,568 farmers under the "self-employed persons" category committed suicide in 2014.

Drawing attention to the drought in the state, agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh said that the Maharashtra government had declared drought over 53.11 lakh hectares of land during the 2015 kharif season, up from 38.42 lakh hectares in 2013, but lower than the 112.46 lakh hectares in 2014.

Singh said, "A sum of Rs 1,293.82 crore in 2013 and Rs 3,973.94 crore in 2014 have already been released and paid as compensation to farmers, as per information received from the state government." She added that the compensation for 2015 is still to be disbursed.