Food technology driving Indian farmers towards suicide
Farmers in India are committing suicide and number is increasing every year. Among the various reasons being cited for the serial suicide deaths that continues unabated is new food technologies. They are acerbating the agrarian crisis in the cotton belt of India. New food technologies have led to the destruction of natural resource base of food grain, thereby adding to the cost of cultivation resulting in increased indebtedness and eventually led the farmers to the gallows.
The debate is still on about the role of technology in food crops in India.
Appalled by the increasing rate of suicides by debt trapped Indian farmers, Prince Charles of Britain has said that the tragedy is due to the use of "Genetically Modified (GM) farming techniques." Referring to the "failure of GM crop varieties in India" which have contributed to the plight of the farmers, the British Prince pushed for readopting the traditional farming methods.
"I believe fundamentally that unless we work with nature... we will fail to restore the equilibrium we need in order to survive on this planet," the Prince said in his speech to Navdanya, an Indian environmental group here.
Although the incidents of farmers suicides took place even before the GM crops were introduced, some campaigners believe that the suicide rate has increased after the farmers were pushed into buying the expensive crop, which failed to produce a significant yield. However, the view has been contested by some agricultural biotechnology companies.
It's been less than two months when the Prince, was criticised as being a "Luddite" talking "biased baloney" and abusing his position, after he, in an interview to a leading local daily here, has said that the GM crops risked causing the world's worst environmental disaster.