Bt Cotton and Farmer Suicides in India: An Evidence-based Assessment

GUILLAUME GRUERE & DEBDATTA SENGUPTA. International Food Policy Research Institute, 2011

Bt cotton is accused of being responsible for an increase of farmer suicides in India. In this article, we provide a comprehensive review of evidence on Bt cotton and farmer suicides. Available data show no evidence of a ‘resurgence’ of farmer suicides. Moreover, Bt cotton technology has been very effective overall in India. Nevertheless, in specific districts and years, Bt cotton may have indirectly contributed to farmer indebtedness, leading to suicides, but its failure was mainly the result of the context or environment in which it was planted.

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