Punjabi farmers killing selves

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


In India, farmers are killing themselves by swallowing the same pesticides used to protect their fields, but not before greedy global agribusiness kills their crops, their land, and their hopes.

In a speech for the BBC’s REITH LECTURES 2000, sustainable-development advocate Vandana Shiva relates the utter destruction she saw in the country’s Punjab region, which was once a richly productive farming region.

Recent Must Reads

9/9 – Cat burglars beware

9/8 – Just stop it.

9/7 – Hothouse blues

9/6 – Too famous for jail

Shiva says global agribusiness goaded Punjab farmers into abandoning their traditional crops for genetically engineered hybrid cotton — “white gold” which would make the peasant farmers rich. Instead, the farmers are now beholden to the company to get seeds at ever higher prices to replant crops.

Worse, the GE cotton is especially prone to disease and pests, and the volume of pesticides farmers must use have wiped out local pollinating insects like butterflies and bees. Now, without the insects, other crops are dying.

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate