The Vidarbha Project is a documentation of the unsustainable practices in the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) cotton in central India, and their effects on the local community.
GM cotton has been grown in India since 1992. 95 % of farmers have succumbed to the hard-sell of the GM companies and switched from traditional hybrid seeds to GM seeds. These seeds are four times as expensive as hybrid seeds and need twice as much water to achieve a good yield. GM seeds cannot be re-used next year, so the farmers become dependent on GM suppliers, and on re-buying seeds season after season. Between 1995 and 2007 more than 200,000 farmers committed suicide in India.
In January and February 2009, Verena Hanschke and Floriana Gavriel travelled to the Vidarbha region to research the situation and document the story using visual journalism and narrative photography.