Video report on DemocracyNow.org with a report from Smita Narula in 2011…
According to statistics, a quarter of a million Indian farmers committed suicide in the last 16 years. Doing some math, this is equivalent to one suicide every 30 minutes for years.
This is due to insurmountable debt caused by government’s removal of agricultural subsidies and global competition with genetically modified cotton seeds which are resistance to pests. Farmers go into debt in order to purchase these more expensive seeds in order to compete. Unfortunately these seeds require more water than traditional seeds. And since most farms in India are watered by rain and have lack of irrigation, the crops often fail. Trapped in a cycle of insurmountable debt, some farmers consume the pesticide that they purchased in order to kill themselves. Some write suicide notes to government hoping that someone would listen.
One farmer had to put her teenage children to work in the 7 acre farm. After daily toiling for a year, they probably earn about $250 for the entire year.