Indian Farmer Suicide Stats: Every 30 mins a farmer commits suicide. Monsanto gmos and farmer debt

May 9, 2015

It is estimated that more than a quarter of a million Indian farmers have committed suicide in he last 16 years—the largest wave of recorded suicides in human history. A great number of those affected are cash crop farmers, and cotton farmers in particular. p1 In 2009 alone, the most recent year for which official figures are available, 17,638 farmers committed suicide—that’s one farmer every 30 minutes. p1 While striking on their own, these figures considerably underestimate the actual number of farmer suicides taking place. Women, for example, are often excluded from farmer suicide statistics because most do not have title to land—a common prerequisite for being recognized as a farmer in official statistics and programs. p1 —the 2010 figures will likely bring this number up to more than 250,000 p3 Bt cottonseeds often cost at least double what non-Bt seeds cost and there are reports of Bt cottonseeds costing up to ten times as much. Furthermore, the multinationals that sell these Bt cottonseeds only allow them to be sold as hybrid cultivars, which prevents farmers from replanting seeds the following year. To afford such expensive yearly inputs, many farmers have to take out extensive—and often multiple—loans. Many smallholder farmers resort to community moneylenders, who oftentimes charge high interest rates. p7


Source: Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, "Every Thirty Minutes: Farmer Suicides, Human Rights and the Agrarian Crisis in India", NYU School of Law, 6/11/2011 available at: [verified 4/17/14]

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