Understanding the Factors Behind Indian Farmer Suicides
What are the primary factors contributing to the high rate of farmer suicides in India?
1.0 Reading 1:
The Seeds of Wrath article here describes the main cause of the death of the farmers the fall of the world price of cotton which they have harvested for almost 4 years is the main reason for the framer's suicide. The most convincing part of the articles is the explanation of the debt that the farmers had on their heads. The farmers here gambled all their money in cotton farming, the dept. and the failure of seed price was the main reason that the farmers here had to choose death as they could not pay money to the lenders (The Guardian). The framers here had no choice as they could not afford to pay their debt to the lenders and could not continue their cotton farming as well. They did gamble their money as the first year was very good for the farmers and gave them good returns but from the second year, the disaster for the harvesting started and they ended up losing all their money in the last fourth year.
The least convincing explanation was the information regarding the Mahatma Gandhi of self-sufficient and decentralised India. Here this information states the description of the growing population of the country. It also describes the new business which the young generation tends to introduce western harvest of mobiles and cares. This information was the least convincing as it barely discussed the framers and their main cause for suicides rather than focused on explaining the social issues and the political stability of the country. This formation was not relevant and was ineffective in terms of reaching out to their main focus which was the understanding of the farmer's suicidal cause.
Reading 2: No, GMOs Didn’t Create India’s Farmer Suicide Problem, But…
This article here mainly describes that during the late 1990s every 30 minutes a framer used to kill them. The explanation which was convincing was the information stated that the professionals such as the Indian scientist and the GMO activist mainly stated that the main reason for the framer's suicides was the Biotech seeds. The organic champion who was Shiva directly stated the seeds as “seeds of suicide”. According to the article one of the professors who were from the University of California did mention the situation to be a “Rhetorical war”. Their team did analyse the whole situation and found that the big farms that have access to water supply mainly use expensive seeds which would help in keeping away the predator pest which is also known as a bollworm (Philpott ). The team also found out that the farmers took their own life and were in dept. also used the same seeds but they did not have access to large water supplies which mainly indeed increased the risk of bankruptcy and affected the cotton harvesting as well.
The least convincing explanation was the information that states the history of cotton framing within the country of India. This statement within the article here also states how the country transformed their way of harvesting cotton and how the higher-yielding plants do attract more pests and have a higher risk of affecting the growth of cotton. This is not very much relevant in delivering an understanding of the main reason for the death of the farmers and did not fulfil the main theme of the articles as well.
Reading 3: Is Bt. or GMO Cotton the Reason for Indian Farmer Suicides?
This article here mainly carried out the information which does state that the BT cotton which is mainly modified and is grown by big and large farmers where they have access to large water supplies. This modified seed mainly keeps the predator worm away from the crop but this only works if the seeds are provided with enough water. This seed is mainly modified using or adding up soil or field bacterium which is known as Bacillus thuringiensis which does help in providing resistance to the predator worm which is known as Bollworm. The articles here mainly describe how BT cotton has a high chance to fail due to the expensive seed which needs to be yielded every year. The cost of the BT seeds has increased every year but due to the farmer's unavailability of water sources the seeds tend to fail and moreover, the farmers carry the dept. upon their shoulders (Plewis). This article here considered BT seeds to be the main reason for the farmer suicides which were taking place within the country.
The least convincing explanation was regarding the world food problems which were emerging within developed nations across the globe. The information here did not match the criteria of the main theme of the articles which was delivering the understanding regarding the main cause of the farmer's suicides within the country. The article here also discusses the ecosystem problem which was irrelevant to the topic and does not meet the requirements as well.
Reading 4: Thousands of farmer suicides prompt India to set up $1.3bn crop insurance scheme
It has been discussed in the report by (Presse) that India has experienced an increasing case of farmer suicides for decades. There has been a record of more than 300,000 farmer suicide cases in India since 1995 and it is not yet stopped. According to the report the government of India does have initiated different interventions to address the issue such as a crop insurance scheme for which a $1.3bn fund has been developed. Analysing the reading it can be examined that because of the governmental complex agricultural schemes farmers do not want to be a part of the scheme and it is highly criticised and protested. Therefore, it can be said that these kinds of schemes are not enough to deal with the increasing rate of farmer suicide in India. It is because all these schemes can address their economic issue to some extent however the emotional and psychological support that farmers need has not yet been addressed.
Therefore, a crop insurance scheme is not the appropriate way to address the need of Indian farmers in fact it can only address a few aspects of the need. Analysing the case of Indian farmers it can be said that mental and emotional support is much needed along with economic support because money can manage the issue to some extent however the stress and heaviness farmers have in their life is difficult to address. The solution to address the issue should be reactive instead of a long-term scheme and most importantly Indian farmers should be protected from falling into the system of spiralling debt because it acts as the primary cause for their suicide. It does not mean that crop schemes are ineffective however all these act as secondary interventions however there is a need for primary intervention so that the root cause of farmer’s suicide can be recognised and addressed.