The problem of farmer suicides in India is very real, and has been for some time. Suicides are driven by indebtedness, and there are many reasons that farmers find themselves in financially challenging times. In the context of the biotech debates, some of seized on this tragedy and exploit it for political gain, blaming biotech crops for accrued debt. Vaishnavi Tripuraneni is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin. She is from India, and used the opportunity to study the question of farmer debt for her dissertation. She discusses the central drivers of debt from her research.
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