India’s farmer-friendly federal budget attempts to alleviate farmer suicide epidemic

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

Last month, India unveiled its latest federal budget. To the surprise of many, it includes a strong emphasis on farming. . . .

. . . .

. . .A cycle of drought and debt has brought great suffering to millions of Indian farmers. “Agrarian distress,” . . .

It has also exacerbated an alarming epidemic of farmer suicides—a decades-long national affliction that is as complex as it is tragic and is a major threat to the country’s most critical economic sector.

. . . .

. . . [Some] have implicated genetically modified cotton seeds, which require high levels of inputs, ample irrigation, and complicated cultivation techniques—all challenges for impoverished and poorly educated small farmers. Studies have indeed found that heavy use of GMO seeds can increase the risk of bankruptcy for Indian farmers. . . .Yet farmer suicides in India long precede the formal introduction of GMO crops in India in 2002.

One more possible explanatory factor—as plausible as it is delicate—is illness. According to the NCRB, nearly 40 percent of farmer suicides in 2014 can be attributed to “illness” or “other causes” (possible euphemisms for mental illness). . . .  one U.S. study finds that frequent contact with pesticides (which certainly applies to Indian farmers) can contribute to depression.

. . . .

. . . . Ultimately, however, there’s no one single explanatory factor for such a complex and widespread tragedy.

. . . .

. . . . India should embrace modernization and urbanization, but not at the cost of neglecting its struggling rural citizenry—of which suicidal farmers are but one tragic manifestation. In this regard, India’s farmer-friendly new budget. . . is a welcome development.

Read full, original post: Down on the Farm

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend