If you are asking specifically about farmer suicides, we, like everyone else, are anguished by suicides whenever and wherever they occur. Please see my answer to a question on that topic for more information.
If you’re asking more broadly about what Monsanto is doing to help Indian farmers, here’s some information you might find useful.
At Monsanto, we believe that agriculture has the ability to help farmers in India pull themselves out of poverty. With hundreds of employees in India – many of whom call rural communities home – we have implemented several projects in the region that have been recognized for their ability to positively impact our customers and their communities:
- Monsanto Fund In India is funding projects to enhance agricultural productivity, eliminate child labor, enhance literacy, and improve food security.
- We have robust human rights initiatives in our hybrid cotton seed production business in India.
- We are empowering farmers in Gujarat, India to combat drought by providing free or low-cost corn hybrid seeds, fertilizers, crop management inputs and training. As a result, farm yields more than doubled, generating an additional income of (US) $274 million.
In addition, Monsanto works with industry organizations to improve the lives of Indian farmers and their communities. For example, Monsanto India and the Indian Society of Agribusiness Professional (ISAP) partnered to create Project SHARE (Sustainable Harvest: Agriculture, Resources and Environment). Project SHARE works to communicate the importance of modern cultivation practices to farmers, enabling them to augment yields and thereby incomes.
I am also personally invested in this topic. I was lucky enough to visit India several years ago and had the chance to spend time in several areas where cotton is grown. I even had the chance to go with a dear friend to her small village, and I got a feel for some of the tough realities people there face – the need for clean water, the physical requirements of the work, etc. You can’t visit these communities without being touched by how easy we have it here in the U.S. and how small things can make a large difference in the lives of people. It is rewarding to know we are making a difference on both the small scale and far more broadly with some of our products and projects.