LREM deputy for Lot-et-Garonne Olivier Damaisin must submit to the Prime Minister on Tuesday a report presenting avenues to support farmers in difficulty more early and to try to stop the suicides which regularly mourn the profession.
The elected official was entrusted with this mission by the government during the agricultural fair in February. He initially had six months to submit his report, but the schedule was jostled by the health crisis. “There are small solutions that I will propose that can save lives,” said Olivier Damaisin, ahead of the presentation of his work to Jean Castex.
372 farmer suicides in 2015
These measures will not necessarily require going through legislation, with a view to “being able to act quickly to reduce the number of suicides,” he said. A “statistical excess mortality by suicide for farmers, compared to the general population, was highlighted”, recalled in June the national suicide observatory. This excess mortality is “particularly marked among cattle breeders (milk and meat) aged 45 to 54”.
In 2015 alone, 372 suicides of farmers had been recorded, or more than one per day, according to the most recent statistics from the agricultural social security, the MSA. The deputy, who regrets the lack of updated data, underlines that this number is deemed to be below reality, deaths being likely to be counted as accidents at work, for example.
A film as a revelation
If the situation is gloomy, Olivier Damaisin wants to believe that a “taboo” has been broken since the release in September 2019 of the film “In the name of the earth”, which was a great success in France, with two million admissions. in theaters, especially in regions.
Based on the story of director Edouard Bergeon’s father, Guillaume Canet plays a poultry farmer caught in the spiral of over-indebtedness, which sinks into depression. Until then, the issue of peasant ill-being remained globally “sealed”, of the order of “unspoken rather than denial”, considers Olivier Damaisin.