“A tangible consequence of India’s shift to a neo-liberal economic model has been the flood of suicides among farmers. The vast majority of the world’s second most populated country still farms for a living, but are caught between deep debt and the erratic nature of seasonal change. Lured by the promise of greater production, farmers are pressured into mortgaging their farms to purchase genetically modified seeds, pesticides, and fertilizer from American companies like Monsanto. Since GM seeds are patented by Monsanto, their repeated use each year requires constant licensing fees that keep farmers impoverished. One bad yield due to drought or other reasons, plunges farmers so deep into debt that they resort to suicide. One study estimates that 150,000 farmers have killed themselves in the past ten years”, said Aamir Khan to Sonali Kolhatkar.
Sonali Kolhatkar is the host and executive producer of Uprising, a morning drive-time show that broadcasts on KPFK, Pacifica Radio in Los Angeles. A weekly syndicated version of Uprising airs on over a dozen stations nationwide. Find out more at www.uprisingradio.org.