Vandana Shiva: farmers´ suicides are little short of genocide
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
Farm organisations and groups are organising a movement across India to combat suicide among farmers and the recent decision of the Centre to import wheat during the harvest season.
The Director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, Vandana Shiva (picture), said the deaths by suicide of more than 40,000 farmers since 1997 could only be called "genocide."
"This genocide is a result of deliberate policy imposed by the World Trade Organisation and implemented by the Government. It is designed to wipe out small farmers and transform Indian agriculture into large-scale corporate industrial farming." Releasing the fourth edition of the `Navdanya' report on Farmers' Suicides and Seed Monopolies, she said the suicides were a result of debts which were a consequence of the rising cost of production and the falling prices, both linked to free trade and trade liberalisation policies in agriculture. In this context, she said Congress President Sonia Gandhi had recently cautioned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not to rush headlong into Free Trade Agreements.
The report shows the trend of increasing dependence of farmers in the suicide belt on hybrid and genetically modified seeds, which were costly and could not be saved. It also refers to the increasing attempts to privatise seed supply and the emergence of multi-national seed monopolies.