By Beth Hoffman, for Living on Earth (class of 2009)
ORISSA, India, April 2009—In recent years there have been many reports about desperately indebted farmers in India. Throughout the world, farmers have become increasingly dependent on artificial fertilizers and pesticides to boost production. But the costs are high – and many poor farmers end up buried in debt.
Beth Hoffman reported from Orissa, India on attempts by farmers there to break this cycle of chemical dependency. Some farmer advocates there are trying to find low-cost and low-tech solutions to India’s tired soil – solutions that can increase fertility and yield without more trips to the moneylender.