Farmers are “misled” into believing the promise that the …

Farmers are “misled” into believing the promise that the high-input, chemical-intensive, single-crop agriculture of the so-called “green revolution” is their salvation, he says. So when it fails, they end up trapped in a debt spiral that too often leads to despair and suicide. “Those that say that the green revolution will save the world should come and see the hundreds of thousands who have committed suicide in India,” he warns. “The green revolution is a downhill slide into disaster.” Satheesh points out that as many as 100,000 of the farmer suicides have been in Punjab, which is the centre of industrialised agriculture in India. There the water has been contaminated by the pesticides which have been applied to crops, he says. “There is a train to Delhi every day which they call the cancer express. Half of those on board have been made ill by the pollution. Punjab has been poisoned – it has a high cancer rate from contaminated food and water, and a high suicide rate.

PV Satheesh, director of the Deccan Development Society (DDS)

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