Main content

Bitter Seeds

As industrial agriculture spreads around the world, many small-scale farmers are losing their land. Nowhere is the situation more desperate than in India, where every 30 minutes one farmer, deep in debt and unable to provide for his family, commits suicide. It's an epidemic, which has claimed over a quarter million lives.

Following a U.S. complaint to the World Trade Organization, India had to open its doors to foreign seed companies like the U.S.-based Monsanto. Now only genetically modified (GM) seeds for some major crops are available at the seed shops. The GM seeds are much more expensive; in addition to precious water, they need additional fertilizers and insecticides and must be re-purchased every season. Large farms have prospered, but the majority of farmers are now struggling to make a living off their land.

Ram Krishna, a cotton farmer at the epicenter of the suicide crisis region, is struggling to keep his land. Manjusha, the neighbors' daughter, is determined to overcome village traditions and become a journalist. Ram Krishna's plight becomes her first assignment.

BITTER SEEDS raises critical questions about the human cost of genetically modified agriculture and the future of how we grow things.

Related Films

Seed Battles

Deep inside a mountain in snow-covered Spitsbergen is the Global Seed…

We Feed the World

Vividly reveals the dysfunctionality of the industrialized world food…

Store Wars

Looks at the impact on a small town when Wal-Mart plans to build a mega-store…