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24 April 2014
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 •  P Sainath
Agrarian crisis in Wayanad
P Sainath traces the fortunes of the region's farmers through their social footprints - in churches, in tea shops, in cinema houses, and on buses packed with desperate migrants.

The cross and the crisis
Throughout Wayanad, where the church is the largest social organisation as well as a cultivator, the crash in farm prices has had a severe effect. P Sainath finds the declining fortune and health of the religious establishment mirrors what is happening to the parishioners themselves.
December 2004

So near to God, so far from heaven
Church income has fallen sharply as the laity have gone into debt in Wayanad. But the larger reality is also more complex. While the church does reflect the pain of its farmer base, it is also, in some cases, a source of at least a few of the dues that worry them
December 2004

Wayanad agrarian crisis

 •  The cross and the crisis
 •  So near to God, far from Heaven
 •  Hope dies slowly in Wayanad
 •  Crisis drives the bus to Kutta
 •  Fewer jobs, more buses
 •  Arrack as distress trade
 •  Commerce, crisis hit students
 •  Coffee sails globally, sinks locally
 •  Spice of life, whiff of death
 •  Weddings on hold as prices crash
 •  Will live ballots revive economy?
 •  Series Homepage
P Sainath's earlier series on Andhra farmers' suicides.
Hope dies slowly
Many plantations have shut down, throwing thousands out of work. The once-numerous Tamil migrant labourers are far fewer today, and out-migration of local labour is the new trend. P Sainath finds the off-screen agrarian crisis is very dramatic too, and has emptied the audiences for big screens in the region.
December 2004

Crisis drives the bus to Kutta
Prior to 1995, KSRTC did not have a single bus on this route, but nowadays there are 24 trips between Manathavady in Wayanad and Kutta in Kodagu, Karnataka. By the second stop on the journey, there is not a seat vacant. P Sainath continues his series on the agrarian crisis in Wayanad.
December 2004

Fewer jobs, more buses
It's no longer just landless labourers on the bus to Kutta. Many masons and carpenters are also crossing the border into Karnataka in search of work, spurred on by the collapse of employment in Wayanad. P Sainath continues his series on the agrarian crisis in Wayanad.
December 2004

Arrack as distress trade
Toddy is legal in Kerala, while arrack is banned. Also, while a litre of toddy costs Rs. 30, a sachet of arrack goes for Rs. 11. As the farm crisis sees thousands of migrants crossing over into Karnataka, arrack shops right on the border are booming.
January 2005

Commerce, crisis hit students
Two processes have hit Wayanad. One is the policy-driven commercialisation of education. And the second is the collapse of Wayanad's economy. For the first time in decades in this education-proud state thousands of students are dropping out of college and school.
January 2005

Coffee sails globally, sinks locally
This is coffee territory, yet you cannot get the local brew in any restaurant here. Drop in at the Coffee Board in Kalpetta to enquire why this is so - and they offer you a cup of tea.
February 2005

Spice of life carries whiff of death
Imports of pepper from Sri Lanka, including large quantities that are simply routed through that country but not actually produced there, have devastated farmers in Wayanad, home of the world's best pepper.
February 2005

Weddings on hold as prices crash
"It is time for my daughter to get married but where's the money? We ran a teashop for a long time. That folded as people had no more to spend." As the agrarian crisis has deepened in Wayanad, many people are now simply unable to afford weddings.
February 2005

Will live ballots revive a dying economy?
In the long-time UDF bastion of Wayanad, the agrarian crisis has transformed things. All have been affected, writes


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