Activists urge farmers to shift to organic crops
Posted on Monday, January 25th, 2016
By Neel Kamal – The Times of Inda, 25 January 2016
Bathinda: The issue of farmers committing suicides due to cotton crop damage is being highlighted through a social media campaign and a documentary film made by a non-government organization (NGO) in an area.
The NGO, Navdanya, is reaching out to Punjab cotton growers, who are committing suicides after crop failure. Navdayna used social media awareness with hash-tag #farmerslivesmatter and documentary ‘BT Cotton-seeds of suicide’ to make Punjab farmers use locally-prepared seeds.
Concerned over damage to the cotton crop in Punjab which forced many farmers to commit suicide last year, Navdanya on Sunday held a solidarity meet at village Chughe Kalan in Bathinda where two months ago farmer Kuldeep Singh had committed suicide after his crop was damaged by pests. Manveer Singh, an expert in the natural prevention of pests, said pests could be stopped without even using pesticides.
Another activist Indra Shekhar Singh spoke about BT cotton crisis. “The genetically modified (GM) crops are being grown on our soil and then blended illegally into our edible oils. This blending makes all industrial oils toxic and unhealthy,” he claimed.
NGO Kheti Virasat Mission executive director Umendra Dutt said, “Navdanya has helped convert Sikkim into an organic state and people of Punjab should also join with them and help change from a chemical model of agriculture and go organic.” Navdanya distributed desi organic cotton seeds to villagers.