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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Documentary director strives to find key, stop suicide by farmers -

TNN | Updated: Feb 27, 2018, 08:04 IST

CHENNAI: Filmmaker Anshul Sinha is on a mission that's as ambitious as his film on it: zero farmer suicides. Having made 41 films, several of them award-winning, Sinha's latest is 'Mitti - Back to Roots', is a docudrama that highlights 27 major issues perpetuating the problem, with focus on the farmer suicide belts of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab. 
"During our one year of research, we practically learnt agricultural science and farming from the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA), Hyderabad and also under the mentorship of Rythu Swarajya Vedika that works towards creating sustainable agricultural communities in Andhra Pradesh," says Sinha.

The film includes real interviews of farmers and their families, highlighting the issues they face. Sinha has made the film with expert opinion from G V Ramanjaneyulu, executive director of CSA. Crowdfunded with help from Australia, Korea, US and India, the film has had nine screenings in the US and 25 road shows in India. According to Sinha, following the film's screening, the residents of PBEL City in Hyderabad have decided to buy produce from the organic farmers of Enabavi in Jangaon, also India's first organic village. Also, New Jersey-based I4Farmers has decided to adopt one farming village from Telangana featured in the film. 

"Among the many observations we have made through the film are the unviability of organic seeds and how BT seeds have also been leaving them with severely low output and financial loss. Cotton farmers are among the worst affected," says Sinha. "As part of the solutions, we talk about the multiple cropping model, pricing policy, and the climatic condition suited for every crop," he adds.