From Will Allen's, " The Good Food Revolution"
“In 1890, researchers for the U.S. Census Bureau ranked professions that had the highest rate of suicide. Tailors, accountants, bookkeepers, clerks, and copyists suffered the most. At the bottom of the list was a career least likely to lead to self-harm: farming. Today, the suicide rate for American farmers is double the national average for everyone else.”
“Several recent studies, including a report by the USDA, have attempted to understand why many farmers are struggling emotionally. Some farmers who are asked about the high rates of suicide speak of a sense of loss: the loss of community, the loss of income, and not least, the loss of independence. Many rural farmers say that they are increasingly paid less for more work, and they owe more today for their seeds, fertilizers, equipment, and pesticides. They work one or two jobs outside of their farm in order to stay on their land. They feel ashamed that they cannot be self-sufficient in the way they believe their ancestors were. Instead of growing many crops, they plant hundreds of acres of corn or soybeans. They spray their fields with fertilizer and work off the farm while the corn grows. At the end of the season, the crop is harvested with a large combine.
This is an agriculture controlled by large machines. The land and the people on it are only units of production. The farmer may be compelled to grow on a scale that is uncomfortably large to him. He may borrow money for equipment he can’t afford, and he may never meet the people (or the industrial animals) who eat what he produces.”
Then there is a link between drought and suicide: www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/14/drought-
And the movie, "Bitter Seeds": www.huffingtonpost.com/zester-daily/bitter
about GMO seeds and their relationship to the farmers in India. "Every 30 minutes a farmer in India kills himself ..." begins this article about this movie, and apparently begins this movie, too.
P.S. Sorry about the misspelling in the subject head. I don't think I can fix it.
Edited by: PETALIA at: 9/26/2012 (11:25)