Indian farmers
© UnknownThe Indian states where people heavily depend on agriculture are named the 'suicide belt'
More than 1,500 farmers in central India have reportedly committed mass suicide in the wake of crop failure and increasing debt.

The suicides took place in the agricultural state of Chattisgarh, where people mainly depend on seasonal crops, Earth Magazine reported.

Local residents told the magazine that many of the farmers felt that death was the only option in the face of their insurmountable debt.

The state of Chattisgarh was hit by falling water levels and droughts.

"Most of farmers here are indebted and only God can save the ones who do not have a bore well," residents said.

Bharatendu Prakash, from the Organic Farming Association of India, said the farmers fell victim to money lenders who impose their own conditions for lending.

"Farmers' suicides are increasing due to a vicious circle created by money lenders. They lure farmers to take money but when the crops fail, they are left with no option other than death," Prakash said.

At least 10,000 debt-ridden farmers in different parts of the country have committed suicide over the last decade.

A November survey revealed that 125,000 farmers have also taken their own lives as a result of a ruthless drive to use India as a testing ground for genetically modified crops.

The government recently announced a $15 billion waiver of farmer loans; however, the waiver may not help a large number of farmers who have taken loans from private lenders.

The suicide issue was among those that dominated campaigning for the recent general election.