Jharkand Water Policy 2011

Jharkhand state water policy, 2011

This policy will broadly have a five-pronged strategy : First, the State will adopt a new State Water Policy framework to create the enabling environment for better and more equitable and productive water resources management in an environmentally sustainable manner for promoting growth reduction in poverty and minimizing regional imbalance. Second, the State will restructure the fundamental roles and relationships of the State and the water users. Third, the State will create a new institutional arrangement at the State level and at the river basin level to guide and regulate water resources planning, development; to decentralize the responsibility for water resources planning, development, management, operation and maintenance functions to the river basin and sub- basin level by suitably defining the responsibility and powers of proposed river valley institutions. Fourth, the State will place a high priority on promoting technology to improve efficiency and productivity, expansion of the knowledge base of the sector and the development of human resource capacity and capability. Fifth, the State will formulate appropriate legislation/administrative orders and enabling rules to give effect to the above mentioned strategies in short time.

Attachment (PDF): http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/files/file/Jharkhand%20State%20Water%20Policy%28English%29.pdf

See also:
Policy: National water policy.
Report: Every drop counts – learning from good practices in eight Asian cities.
Report: Study on issues related to gap between irrigation potential created and utilized.
Report: Decentralization in Jharkhand.
Report: Drought assessment report – Jharkhand.
Feature: A million opportunities lost.
Feature: Drought hit.
Feature: Water question in Jharkhand – Present law and policy context.

ASHA demands on Agriculture and Indian Budget 2012-13

 Agriculture is the foundation of the rural economy which supports nearly 70% of our population and the basis of food security for the entire nation and its citizens. At this juncture, India is in a precarious situation both in terms of the economic condition of the farming community, especially the small and marginal farmers, tenant farmers and those dependent on rainfed agriculture, and the ecological condition in terms of poor soil health, abysmal groundwater situation, poor crop diversity and extent of chemical poisoning of our farm ecosystem and our food.

The Budget should give the highest priority to strengthening Indian agriculture, with the focus on sustainable livelihoods, especially for the small, marginal and medium farmers, and agricultural workers who together constitute more than 90% of the farming community. The need of the day is for the nation’s economic policies to focus on providing dignified livelihoods to these 700 million people and making agriculture and allied sectors economically vibrant and ecologically sustainable. Without this, the nation cannot hope to achieve poverty reduction or human development goals meaningfully – whether in the realm of food and nutrition security, health, rural employment, tribal development, Dalit empowerment or reducing the alarming rural-urban disparity.

Our immediate demands for the Indian budget are as follows, and we hope that this will mark a new beginning towards an economic policy focused on sustainable rural livelihoods.

  • Public investment in agriculture is very low, with a large portion of it going towards subsidy for chemical fertilizers. As a sector which provides livelihood for about 60% of the population, at least 25% of the Indian budget should be allocated to agriculture and allied sectors.
  • The prices for farmers produce are not increasing commensurate with the rise in inputs costs and living costs. The Minimum Support Prices for the food crops are kept on a leash due to possible impact on food inflation. The National Farmers Commission recommended that farmers should be paid at least 1.5 times the Cost of Cultivation C2. The Government should set up the ‘Price Compensation mechanism’ which will directly pay the farmers the gap between the Target Price (C2+50%) and the MSP (or the average Farm Harvest Price if lower than MSP).
  • Government should set up a Price Stabilisation Fund to address the market fluctuations in commercial crops
  • Special program to support expansion of ecologically sustainable agriculture should be initiated by the government as a pilot in 100 districts, with at least 50% of these being in rainfed areas. This program should integrate ecological management of soil fertility, pest control, crop diversity, water conservation and livestock.
  • Ecological Services bonus to farmers who practice ecological agriculture and cultivate eco-friendly crops like millets.
  • A major mission should be taken up to identify and record tenant farmers, and to provide them access to crop loans, insurance, compensation for crop loss, and all government subsidies and programs. Tenant farmers form the most vulnerable section of the agrarian community and constitute a majority of farmer suicides.
  • A concerted program to update land records should be taken up in a time-bound manner, especially with a view of implementing land reforms and ensuring that the benefits of government programs and compensation for land acquisition reach the real cultivators.
  • Drastic increase in outlay for Disaster Relief Fund for farmers, which should provide timely compensation for crop loss due to any disaster such as floods, drought, cyclone and untimely rains – at Rs.10,000 per acre on the lines of recommendations of the Hooda committee.
  • Adequate crop insurance should be provided for all crops in all regions. Expanded outlay for crop insurance program should ensure doubling the number of farmers and acres covered during this year, and should subsidize the premium payments which have become unviable for many small farmers.
  • Labour subsidy of 50 person-days/hectare for agricultural operations on private lands of farmers to compensate for the steep rise in labour wages. This should be in addition to the 100-day entitlement of labour work under NREGS and should be operationalized through a pilot program involving farmer and worker collectives.
  • A rural livelihoods program should be introduced that focuses on agro-based processing, storage and marketing facilities to be set up in rural areas, managed by farmer collectives.

for more details contact ramoo.csa@gmail.com, kiranvissa@gmail.com, kavitha_kuruganti@yahoo.com

Novel Iron Source: Newly Identified Iron Absorption Mechanism Suggests That Legumes Could Provide Key to Treating Iron Deficiency Worldwide

 

ScienceDaily (Jan. 20, 2012) — A groundbreaking study conducted by Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) Senior Scientist Elizabeth Theil, PhD, is the first to reveal the existence of at least two independent mechanisms for iron absorption from non-meat sources-and a potential treatment for iron deficiency, the most common nutrient deficiency worldwide. Dr. Theil’s discovery of an alternative mechanism for iron absorption from vegetables and legumes may provide the key to helping solve iron deficiency by providing an alternative, affordable, and readily available source of iron


In an upcoming publication in The Journal of Nutrition (published online January 18, 2012), Dr. Theil and her international colleagues demonstrate that there is an alternative mechanism for the absorption of ferritin, a large, protein-coated iron mineral rich in legumes, in addition to the more well-known mechanism for iron absorption of small iron complexes like those found in iron supplements.

“Our study shows that this different mechanism of iron absorption from plant ferritin is more efficient and gives the intestinal cells more control. It can be a new way to help solve global iron deficiency,” says Dr. Theil.
Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in both developing and non-developing nations. Traditional treatments include iron supplements and increased meat consumption. Both of these approaches have proven to have significant limitations, however.
Iron supplements frequently cause uncomfortable side effects, including gas and bloating, which lead to inconsistent consumption. In some cultures where iron deficiency is endemic, meat is scarce; frequently, the limited meat available is reserved for men, even though growing children and women of child-bearing age are the most susceptible to iron deficiency. The discovery of an alternative and highly efficient mechanism for iron absorption from legumes, however, could provide the key to helping solve worldwide iron deficiency by providing a readily available and affordable source of iron.
The new study combines the results of two different experiments, one conducted in humans and the other using rats to model humans. In the rat model, portions of the rat intestines were bathed with solutions of traceable iron, either as a typical type of iron supplement or as ferritin (protein-coated iron mineral). Measurements showed that both the large ferritin and the smaller iron complex were absorbed through the intestine.
In the human study, traceable iron in ferritin was consumed by volunteers with a 9:1 ratio of unlabelled, non-meat iron dietary supplement, or with hemoglobin, with the type of heme iron in meat, to see if the two types of iron competed with ferritin iron for the same absorption mechanism. In each case, the iron competitor had no effect on the iron absorption from ferritin.
“What these studies show together is that during digestion, ferritin is not converted from its large, mineral complex, which contains a thousand iron atoms, to individual iron atoms like those found in many iron supplements,” explains Dr. Theil. “Instead, ferritin iron is absorbed in its protein-coated, iron mineral form by a different, independent mechanism; iron absorbed as ferritin, leaves the intestine more slowly, but may, provide greater safety to the intestines than iron supplements.”
In addition to potentially being safer, causing less irritation to the intestines, absorption of iron as ferritin is easier for the intestine. The iron found in meat and non-meat iron supplements enters the intestine from food one iron atom at a time. Each entry step requires the intestinal cells to use up energy. When the intestine takes in a single molecule of ferritin, however, it gets a thousand atoms inside that one ferritin molecule, making iron absorption that much more efficient.
While further studies are needed to elucidate the exact mechanism of ferritin absorption, in the mean time, the results demonstrate that ferritin-rich foods such as legumes can provide a significant source of dietary iron for those in the greatest need of increasing their iron consumption.

Food for all: investing in food security in Asia and the Pacific – issues, innovations, and practices

Food security is a critical issue for Asia and the Pacific. The region is the world’s key supplier and largest consumer of food yet it is also home to the largest number of the world’s poor and hungry. It presents a stark contrast—a food bowl that is full to the brim but cannot feed those who need food the most just to survive. To address food security in a sustainable manner, on 7–9 July 2010, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) joined hands to convene the Investment Forum for Food Security in Asia and the Pacific at the ADB headquarters in Manila. This book distills the wealth of information and depth of discussions derived from the proceedings of this landmark forum. With this book, ADB seeks to facilitate the sharing of knowledge, innovations, good practices, and lessons on food security and to catalyze greater interest and action on the issue at every front.

Contents
  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • A Multi-sector Response to Food Security
  • Food for All through Innovative Partnerships
  • Country Responses to Food Security
  • Fostering Food Security through Regional Cooperation and Integration
  • Investments for Enhancing Productivity
  • Investing in Natural Resource Management and Environment Services
  • Building Resilience Against Vulnerability
  • Innovative Financing for Food Security
  • Investments in Connectivity
  • Perspectives from Key Stakeholders
  • Road Map for Change
  • Appendix: Program of the Investment Forum for Food Security in Asia and the Pacific
Publication Date: 20/01/2012
Source: Asian Development Bank

Investment and Devastation: Saraswati Kavula

http://www.andhrajyothy.com/pdffiles/2012/Jan/18/main/page04.pdf

English Translation of the telugu article published in Andhra Jyothi on the recent partnership summit

In the recently concluded Partnership Summit, our chief minister has claimed that the state was going to get 6.5 lakh crore rupees of investments and of that 1lakh crore FDI. This according to their claims would mean 6.78 lakh jobs. Kiran Kumar Reddy has promised all facilities like land, water and electricity to be available for the Industrialists to facilitate the setting up of these projects. 243 MoU’s have been signed. But where is the land coming from? Where is the water coming from? And where do we bring the electricity from, is the big question. Would it mean fresh displacement of farmers and rural people from their lands? The state is already reeling under water shortages – there is not enough water for the farmers of the state, but the Industry will get it along with tax concessions, subsidized electricity and infrastructure like roads, made with public funds. And how many of those 6.78 lakh jobs will actually materialize? Even if they do, what is the quality of the “jobs” and for what duration? Would a job mean a lifetime of livelihood or a hire and fire one? But to get these 6.78 lakh jobs how many lakhs and crores of agriculturists, grazers, and rural folk will be made to “sacrifice” their livelihoods? These finer answers one doesn’t get. As has happened with the Special Economic Zones – where a farmer who gave up his land to the Sri City SEZ expecting a “job” now works as a security guard to his own land but protects it for the company, or the people working in Apache, who now feel that their life as agricultural labourers was far better as compared to the torturous conditions of work inside the SEZ. Or the shepherds who lost their grazing lands, but would get neither compensation nor a job, as they do not “own” the forest or common lands that they depend upon.

 

In Sompeta, the Thermal Power Project of NCC was given away 973 acres of a wetland, which supports the livelihoods of nearly 50,000 people of the surrounding villages – agriculturists, fisher folk and cattle farmers. If the project comes up it would mean that entire village economies and cultures that are dependent upon these primary food growers will slowly disintegrate and disappear and be lost beyond recognition. Only when they begin to show in reality do we understand them. Like the Reliance Gas’ D-6 project where the company gained control over 7500 square kilometers of sea, dislodging close to 30,000 fisher folk from their livelihood by restricting their access to sea, while the pollutants from the processing plants let into the sea are destroying fish life in the surrounding coastal region. The extraction of natural gas itself by not just Reliance, but others like ONGC is now a threat to the livelihoods of nearly 1 crore 30 lakh population of the delta region due to land subsidence. Already thousands of acres of paddy and coconut growing areas are filled with saline water, making that land useless. In the Partnership Summit, GVK Power announced to expand their Gas based power plants hoping for enhanced gas production from KG Basin. In addition they would also set up coal based Power Plants.

 

Burning any more fossil fuels would worsen global warming and climate change and result in more devastation in a state that is sitting precariously on the verge of destruction. So that means more and more erratic climates for the farmers to deal with – either drought or a flood as has happened this year, resulting in not just a loss to the farmers but to all of us, who are heading towards food scarcity, if things continue as they do now.

In the same Partnership summit, a Somalia like situation came about, when the lunch got delayed by a couple of hours and the delegates literally grabbed for food unable to withstand their hunger. Lets hope at least with such incidents they may understand hunger, a hunger they are enforcing on hitherto self-sufficient rural folk, who in many parts continue to live without a bulb in their homes, but who are made to make way, for large “power projects”, providing electricity for people like Mr. Ambani to burn in his multi-storey lavish home, (which would have lit about a lakh of rural homes) and to run his Polyester empire. But the government policy favours energy intensive “industry” instead of helping ‘no energy’ industries like the Handloom sector.

 

The Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan in the state has announced to give free uniforms to 56 Lakh children studying in Government schools. Accordingly, an amount of 225 Crores was earmarked for the year 2011-12 towards supply of two pairs of uniforms per child. To procure the cloth for the uniforms, tenders were called from Composite Textile Mills. The handloom weavers’ representatives requested for the same order but for a higher cost, which would have meant an additional expense of 200 crores (which is 2 percent of the 10,000 crores the government earns from duty on liquor sales) but would provide work for 60,000 weavers for one whole year and a demand for the cotton grown by the farmers. Giving the same to a couple of textile mills would mean the use of polyester yarn which incidentally helps big industry like Reliance or Sanghi. However, the state government had no response to the weavers’ representative’s suggestion. If this order can be renewed every year, it can ensure regular employment to the weavers and would stop migration of weavers to other places looking for work.

 

But, of course they have funds to spend 100 crores to conduct road shows to attract participants to the Partnership Summit.  In just ten years, from 1995-2005, nearly 1 lakh crore subsidies and tax benefits were given to the modernization of Textile industry. A policy decision that has broken the back of the Handloom industry (which provides livelihood for nearly 10 crore people including weavers, farmers and natural fibre producers) as it could not compete in an unfair atmosphere. The 2011-12 budget allocated 5,855 crores to the Textile Industry, of which the budget allocation for Handloom industry is 431 crores! With the new National Fibre policy, which favours man-made fibres over natural fibres, it would mean a death knell for the Handloom. Governments that are bent upon wiping out rural livelihoods and pushing the rural folk to beg in Greater Cities can certainly not hear the hunger cries of the farmer or the weaver.

 

Saraswati Kavula

NAPM

Group. The Greed : Mega RevolutionFoundations, Agribusiness Muscle In On Public Goods

Big Agribusiness Influence Threatens to Override Public Interest in Greed Revolution

A new 30-page report that documents the growing influence of agribusiness on the multilateral food system and the lack of transparency in research funding has been released today by the international civil society organization ETC Group. The Greed : Mega RevolutionFoundations, Agribusiness Muscle In On Public Goods presents three case studies – one involving the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and two involving CGIAR Centers (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) – which point to a dangerous trend that will worsen rather than solve the problem of global hunger. The report details the involvement of, among others, Nestlé, Heineken, Monsanto, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Syngenta Foundation.

“It is unacceptable that the UN is giving multinational agribusiness privileged access to alter their agricultural policies,” said Pat Mooney, Executive Director of ETC Group, who has been involved in the field for 40 years. “It is ridiculous that the key organizations responsible for agricultural research have no credible data on the extent of corporate involvement in their work and that CGIAR’s biggest funder – at $89 million – is somebody called, ‘Miscellaneous!’ Governments and UN secretariats have forgotten that their first task is to serve the public – not the profiteers.”

The report shows that multinational corporations are now seeing their future profitability in “emerging economies,” and they are finally taking notice of the international institutions that have been quietly working throughout the global South for half a century. However this new interest in UN agencies is causing “mandate-muddle” as companies demand that policy be rewritten to better reflect their interests, including allowing privileged access to publicly held germplasm. Public institutions are tending to look the other way when Big Ag harms peasant agriculture.

“Public institutions related to food and agriculture are mandated to support the poor and hungry.

Governments need to address the big- and small-scale conflicts of interest, beginning with a long overdue investigation of the links between the international public and private sectors in food and agriculture. Based on our initial conversations with UN officials about this research, we are hopeful that this will happen,”donate concludes Mooney.

 

For more information:

Pat Mooney, ETC Group (Ottawa), etc@etcgroup.org+1 613 241 2267; cell: +1 613 240 0045

Silvia Ribeiro, ETC Group (Mexico City), silvia@etcgroup.org+52 55 5563 2664;  cell: +52 1 55 2653 3330

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Bt cotton seed companies requests AP govt to increase the seed prices

As usual this year also the AP Seedmen Association made a request to the state government to increase seed prices as their production costs are going up.  As you are aware last year the prices went up from Rs. 600 to rs. 830 and rs. 750 to rs. 930 for single gene and double gene technologies respectively.  The argument was that argument was that farmers got better harvest and good market price (upto rs. 6500/q).

This year the companies are demanding an increase up to rs. 950/packet of single gene and Rs. 1050 for a packet of double gene bt cotton.

here we need to know that from companies own data, the companies are only paying Rs. 288/450 g of cotton seed. in reality they pay much less.   The trait fee for single gene is Rs. 109.43 and Rs. 180.10 (including service tax).  Even with this there is a clear profit for the seed industry.

This year the cotton prices have fallen to Rs. 3500/q and there is a vast area where bt cotton crop failed.  The industry has not taken any responsibility even for the losses due to seed failure and pest attack.

In this situation we feel Government should not agree for price rise at all and maintain the stausquo.

Ramanjaneyulu

Centre for Sustainable Agriculture