Fresh from an assignment in India, New Internationalist co-editor Richard Swift joins the radio team to pick the issues from the world’s cotton fields. Ninety-nine per cent of cotton farmers now live in the Global South – two-thirds in India and China. Yet some in India estimate that only one per cent of the price of a cotton shirt brought in the West ends up in the hands of the farmers. Today’s program explores just how globalization is taking the shirt from the cotton farmers’ backs.
- Farming leader Vijay Jawandhia tells us about the desperation that is driving thousands of Indian farmers to commit suicide.
- Kavitha Kuruganti from the Center for Sustainable Agriculture in Hyderabad takes us through the big ecological issues – water, fuel, organics and pesticides.
- Richard Swift chronicles the fascinating history of cotton.
- Then, it’s off to Israel to climb the Apartheid Wall with Palestinian psychiatrist Samah Jabr.
This week’s music is from the album Sigil performed by Nuru Kane who weaves his musical magic throughout today’s program by blending rhythms of traditional musics and Oriental and European sounds.