The report on “seeds of suicide” covers three aspects of the impact of the new policies of the so called “liberalisation” of the seed sector. Firstly, it shows that the trends towards privatisation and concentration of the seed industry and displacement of farmer varieties. A shift from government control to farmers control was the option foregone at the national level. The consequences of giving seed companies a free hand through privatisation and deregulation has been increasing the costs of seeds and agrichemicals for farmers, increasing farm debts and increasing crop failure.
Farmers suicides are the extreme result of these policies of market freedom. Farmers are falling prey to the marketing strategies of seed companies. Globalisation is leading to the emergence of a new kind of corporate feudalism – the convergence of global market forces with the worst forms of feudal control. The removal of the public sector and the undermining of the community in the seed supply has allowed the reemergence of the feudal power of land lords and moneylenders, empowered by global corporations, their products and their capital. This Corporate power is working through feudal structure to capitalise seed markets.
The seed and agrichemical companies use the local rural elite, the land lords and money lenders for selling seeds and pesticides for providing credit to poor peasants for buying those high cost inputs. This Corporate feudalism is leading to an epidemic of suicides. It has rendered agriculture socially, economically and ecologically nonsustainable.