AN EPIDEMIC OF farmers’ suicides has spread across four states of India over the last decade. According to official data, more than 160,000 farmers have committed suicide in India since 1997. That is a shameful indictment of unnecessary agribusiness practices that have been forced upon India’s farming community during the same period.

The suicides are most frequent where farmers grow cotton in the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Punjab and are a direct result of the creation of seed monopolies. Increasingly, the supply of cotton seed has slipped out of the hands of farmers, ...


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