Issue Date: Jan 15, 1999
about three decades ago, Nuka Raja, a farmer of Bhimavaram village in east Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, used to sow only traditional crops. The crop yield was low, but sufficient. In the 1980s, a tobacco company persuaded him to switch to tobacco, promising fertilisers, pesticides and a loan. Many other villagers also shifted from traditional crops to commercial crops. Soon, they lost their native seeds, which was only one of the problems.