There remain misconceptions regarding farmer suicides. There is a need to set right these erroneous ideas based on scientific studies that have been conducted seeking to devise solutions to address the prevailing crisis of the peasantry in Punjab.

The state of Punjab, earlier regarded as an agriculturally developed region of India, has been passing through a severe economic crisis. The capital-intensive mode of production, propagated by the green revolution in the mid-1960s, is turning out to be non-viable for the small peasantry and hence, they are being involuntarily manoeuvred towards shifting away from farming. Based on a field study in Punjab during the year 2012-13, it was observed that 14.39% of the farmers had left farming since 1991.

The gradual withdrawal of the state from agricultural markets and the emphasis on the role of the private sector has meant the entry of corporate and multinational agencies through the opening up of procurement, wholesale trade and retailing. This paper examines the new corporate interface with primary producers in a small farmer-dominated economy. It contextualises the issue from the perspective of smallholders.

The central government claims that allowing foreign direct investment into India’s retail sector will benefit small farmers, expand employment and lower food inflation. What has been the experience in India with organised retail so far and what has been the global experience with FDI?

Agriculture in Punjab had high growth for a long time up to early 1990s; it slowed down thereafter due to the available potential of resources and technology getting exploited closer to the possible limits, which led to increasing costs, shrinking resource base, declining productivity, profitability and incomes.

The main objective of this study is to assess the overall debt position of the farmers in Punjab and identify the factors affecting their indebtedness.

Traditional cooperatives have been unsuccessful in linking small farmers to the global market. Can the development of producer companies as new generation cooperatives turn out to be different?

Punjab peasantry is in the clutches of severe indebtedness. To overcome the problem of debt trap, effective measures should be taken by the government, social organisations and farming community. The government should exercise a strong check on the activities on non-institutional credit agencies and provide institutional credit facilities to the farming community at low rates of interest with easy repayment facilities. The co-operative sector should be developed/strengthened in the state.