How One Region Has Gone from Breadbasket to Food Crisis

Ludhiana: Last month, the wheat fields in Punjab stretched in amber-tinged waves as far as the eye could see, promising bountiful harvests. Nothing hinted at the grave crisis that has gripped the state, driving farmers to suicide and unemployed youth to the comforts of heroin.

Dubbed "the breadbasket of India," Punjab is in the throes of a serious crisis, one that bodes ill for the future of agriculture at a time when the world faces an acute food crisis.

Punjab's grand narrative, a success story of bumper harvests, conceals dangerous sub-plots of pesticide poisoning, water shortages, soil salinity, fertilizer runoff, skyrocketing cancer rates, farmer indebtedness and drug addiction.

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