Vital Bhumn Menchlwar and his wife. He drank pesticide to kill himself but was taken to hospital immediately by his relatives and survived. Since June 2005, more than 5,000 farmers have killed themselves across India. This spate of suicides has been brought about by, amongst other things, the rising cost of farming cotton, the cost of fertilisers and pesticides and new genetically modified (GM) seeds that cost more but have not produced the higher yields that were promised. Most of these farmers have debts to the banks on which they have defaulted. They are forced to borrow from local money lenders at exorbitant rates of interest which they have no means of repaying.