Genetically modified seeds unleash bad times for farmers

DEHRADUN: Genetically engineered seeds, use of chemical-based fertilisers and pesticides and climate change are taking a toll on farmers.

Genetically modified seeds unleash bad times for farmers

Social activist Vandana Shiva discusses farmers’ issues in Dehradun on Tuesday. A Tribune photo

editorial@tribune.com

Jotirmay Thapliyal

Tribune News Service

Dehradun, September 29

Genetically engineered seeds, use of chemical-based fertilisers and pesticides and climate change are taking a toll on farmers.

Panduranga Hedge, a farmer from Karnataka, said 500 farmers had committed suicide in Karnataka in the past six months. He said most of these suicides had been due to farmers taking to cash crops and getting lesser returns. Hedge said not even one farmer who was into organic farming had committed suicide so far, thus revealing the better returns involved in organic farming.

Rampal Jat, a Kisan Mahapanchayat leader from Rajasthan, said the rising cost of production and lesser returns were affecting farmers the most. He said,”A farmer who grows a kg of paddy at a cost of Rs 25 gets just Rs 8 for it as sale price.”

He admitted that organic farming certainly seemed to be the sole hope for Indian farmers, whose produce today stand destroyed due to the use of chemical-based fertilisers. Pawan Mishra from Vidarbha in Maharashtra said farmers in the region took to BT cotton hoping for higher productivity. “But in return they ended up with high cost of production and a little profit”, he added.

Climate change is hurting farmers. Organic farming expert Kusum, who comes from Balasore in Odisha, said farmers in her state were suffering the most due to climate change.

“The weather pattern has changed drastically. Rains have reduced and their frequency is also erratic. This ultimately affects farmers”, she said.

Sanjay Malik from Jharkhand alleged that the governments were least concerned about farmers’ plight. Sanjay said after failing to get passed corporate-friendly land laws, the Centre might now target the country’s forest wealth to benefit the corporate sector.

Expert take

Although mechanised farming has led to high productivity, lower prices for produce is adversely affecting US farmers, with some of them resorting to suicides. — Ronnie Cummins, national director, organic consumers association

Nearly 500 farmers have committed suicide in Karnataka in the past six months. Most of these suicides have been due to farmers taking to cash crops but getting lesser returns. — P. Hedge, farmer from Karnataka

A farmer who grows a kg of paddy at a cost of Rs 25 gets just Rs 8 for it as sale price. Organic farming certainly seems to be the sole hope for Indian farmers now. — Rampal Jat, farmer from Rajasthan

Climate change is hurting farmers. Farmers in Odisha are suffering the most due to this. The weather pattern has changed drastically. Rains have reduced and their frequency is also erratic. This ultimately affects farmers. — Kusum, from Odisha

The governments are least concerned about farmers’ plights. — Sanjay Basu Malik, from Jharkhand

Top Stories

No need to panic over availability of PPE: Health ministry

No need to panic over availability of PPE: Health ministry

Orders placed for 1.7 crore personal protective equipment; 2...

Coronavirus: Punjab to launch rapid testing drive to screen 1 million people

Coronavirus: Punjab to launch rapid testing drive to screen 1 million people

Punjab, 3 other sates to share best practices to contain COV...

Modi, Trump close brief chapter of acrimony over Covid drug

Modi, Trump close brief chapter of acrimony over Covid drug

US Prez puts up effusive and pleasant front by thanking PM, ...

Gallantry awardee colonel loses battle to cancer

Gallantry awardee colonel loses battle to cancer

Navjot Singh Bal was winner of Shaurya Chakra, the third hig...

Death toll due to Covid-19 touches 166; cases climb to 5,734

Death toll due to Covid-19 touches 166; cases climb to 5,734

17 new deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours

Cities

View All