|20 Oct 2007 @ 19:44, by Astrid Ware|
India’s Agrarian Suicides
The Indian peasantry, the largest surviving body of small farmers in the world, is currently facing an epidemic of suicide. For thousands of years farmers have depended on the Earth to sustain their families. Now, in the twenty-first century, their livelihood, prosperity, and the well-being of their families for generations to come are being threatened by globalisation and the shift in the linkage of agriculture from the Earth to a few profit-driven multinational corporations.
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The Assault on Iraqi Agriculture --- U.S. Agribusiness Targets the Fertile Crescent
* By Daniel Stone
Coastal Post, August 2006
Straight to the Source
Blessed with abundant fertile land and water, Iraq, the cradle of civilization, the center of the Fertile Crescent of ancient Mesopotamia, the birthplace of agriculture 13 millenia ago, has, in the past, not only been able to feed itself, but to supply other areas of the world with its bountiful harvest of grains, pulses, dates and vegetables. How unfortunate that now these proud people are receiving most of their food as "aid." Over the past 20 years, due to the Iraq-Iran war, the two U.S. Gulf "wars," and the brutal, illegal, U.S.-driven sanctions over 13 years, during both Republican and Democratic administrations, Iraq's agricultural sector has been devastated."]
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Monsanto, Cereal Killer GM and Agrarian Suicides in India
by Alejandro Nadal; La Jornada; January 06, 2007
The Green Revolution is dead. Its hybrids and high-yield varieties allowed for significant increases in the production of crops like wheat. But its negative side effects have intensified rather than gone away.
The technological package of the Green Revolution caused severe salination of the soil, indiscriminate exploitation and choking of aquifers and intense pollution with all types of pesticides. More seriously, it sowed an economic, social and environmental crisis in the life of poor farmers that takes more lives every year. One example is that of Anil Khondwa Shinde, a small farmer of Vidarbha district in Maharashtra state (in mid-western India). He killed himself two months ago consuming a powerful insecticide. He was 31 years old and died within minutes. The difference between the production costs and the retail price did not allow him to pay back to the providers the credit extended to him for the inputs.
An isolated incident? Not at all. The Indian Ministry of Agriculture admits to the following figures: there were 100,000 suicides by farmers between 1993 and 2003. And between 2003 and October 2006, there have been some 16,000 suicides by farmers each year. In total, between 1993 and 2006, there were around 150,000 suicide by farmers, 30 a day for 13 years!
The Maharashtra government itself accepts the figure of 1,920 farmers’ suicides in Vidarbha between January 2001 and August 2006. Farmers’ organisations of the district state that there were 782 suicides by agricultural producers. Data for the past three months indicate that on average there was a suicide every eight hours.
What conditions give rise to a suicide rate of about 30 farmers a day? It is said that the reason for this is indebtedness, but the ultimate reason is the imposition of a completely unsuitable agricultural technology, as much from the economic as from the environmental viewpoint.
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"WTO Kills Farmers": India Free Market Reforms Trigger Farmers' Suicides
By Jessica Long
Global Research, August 12, 2007
Many of us remember the crucial failure of the WTO's Fifth Ministerial Conference in Cancun, Mexico in 2003. It was on this day that Lee Kyung Hae, leader of the Korean Federation of Advanced Farmers, discovered that his loudest voice was in death.
Wearing a sandwich board that read, "The WTO kills farmers!"- Lee took a knife and stabbed himself in the chest. His death was ignored by the WTO and the mainstream media. Given the lack of attention, many argue that his violent end was in vain. Sadly, his dishonored death is one of thousands being ignored by corporate mainstream media.
In 2003, 17,107 farmers committed suicide. In the last few years, the number of documented suicides in India's rural areas has skyrocketed. These suicides have become so commonplace that they are mystifying a nation and polarizing the debate over biotechnology.
On the surface, the massive numbers of farmer suicides lack the social unity and revolutionary opposition other revolutions employ. In fact, the local Indian government refuses to address the correlation between agrarian suicides and economic exploitation, making it difficult for the international public to apply real social forces to these farmers’ actions.
However, research shows the massive numbers of farmer suicides are linked not only with economic disparity, but with corporate exploitation by multinational agribusinesses.
Whether addressed as "agrarian martyrs" or merely desperate peasantry, exploited Indian farmers, like Lee Kyung Hae, have found that their loudest voice is in death.
In a religiously and ethnically segmented nation, their actions have founded a cultural unity that confronts the evils of globalization. Thus, the insanely high volume of farmer suicides serves as a shockingly unique medium of proletarian outcry.
The Republic of India is one of the top twelve nations in the world in terms of biodiversity. Featuring nearly 8% of all recorded species on Earth, this subcontinent is home to 47,000 plant species and 81,000 animal species. Simultaneously, India is home to the largest network of indigenous farmers in the world. Yet biotechnology has led to extreme environmental degradation in the region, threatening to replace its diverse ecology with corporate hybrid monoculture. The original Green Revolution was supposed to save 58 million Indian hectares. Today, 120 million of the 142 million cultivable hectares is degraded- over twice the magnitude that the Green Revolution attempted to save! In the Indian state of Punjab, 84 of the 138 developmental blocks are recorded as having 98% ground water exploitation. The critical limit is 80%. The result has had devastating impacts on the agricultural community, leaving exploited farmers with little choice of action. In the past six years, more than three thousand farmers have committed suicide in Andrha Pradesh, that is six to ten farmers everyday! When did this start? Why is this occurring?
And why have such little media attention been given to this crisis?
There are three potential causes for the onset of these self-inflicted massacres:
1) exploitation by multinational agribusinesses
2) severe economic disparity and
3) a means of resistance by exposing the abuse of the agrarian sphere.Read the rest here: [link]
Why is this so important to acknowledge under the Heading of "Epidemic/Pandemic" one might wonder.
Have you ever walked into a room where all the people are laughing their heads off, really happy, enjoying themselves from the bottom of their Hearts? Regardless what mood you were in when you opened the door you started to smile -even if you still didn't know what caused all the gayety among those people.
Have you ever ran into an accident sen where all the by standers look distressed and confused and scared? No matter how good mood you were in when you entered that sphere; your mood changed and your body started to prepare itself for Fight or Flight Mode -with all the Bio-paraphenalia It has available beginning to kick in; most notisable your breathing getting faster and more shallow and your heart started to pump faster... Adrenaline, my friend.Plus the rest of them; the Bio-responses.
When we are being emotionally ( mentally-spiritually) messed with this momentary physiological response is -many times- life saving and it is needed and we perceive it as necessary and hence tolerable ( the way it feels). When emotional abuse from the Socio-Political arena; from our White Collar Criminals becomes longer we consider the un-easiness a social necessary Must. If our body responds more than our Mental State, we eventually create a condition that is physical -of which the most common is visible in men -you guessed it- as (physiological) impotence.
What is not so momentary, not even temporary, but -by now- permanent -as permanent as the abuse on us- is the DEPRESSION that ALWAYS goes hand in hand with these other things and if not becoming physical they become PSYCHOLOGICAL; emotional permanent distress due to utter feeling of confusion which leads to feeling of HELPLESSNESS: WHAT to do? Where to go? How to change this?... and all doors seem to be and remain slammed shut. To join the CROOKS (in which ever way "Available") is a "NOT AN OPTION..." ... then the ONLY WAY OUT is via suicide! Not just for Farmers in India either!.... but for all of us.
Home owners unable to pay their ridiculously pumped up mortgages, Small time Stockholders, who put all their Savings/"Eggs" in the wrong "Basket" and lost it all in a small time Market crash...ORCHESTRATED exactly for that purpose: to line some Crooks already gold laden pockets with more Gold; those Small time Savers' Retirement Funds!... These are all very realistic groups, target for EPIDEMIC SUICIDES!...
Think about it!