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“FAO recognition of traditional farming should keep GM away”

The traditional agricultural system of Koraput (Odisha) has been recognized by the FAO as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Site (GIAHS) at the recently concluded 99th Science Congress. This recognition is for outstanding contribution to promoting food security, biodiversity, indigenous knowledge and cultural diversity for sustainable and equitable development. Living Farms is a non profit working in the Koraput region of Odisha with the tribal communities practicing the traditional form of agriculture. Debjeet Sarangi of Living Farms spoke the to The Environment Health Bulletin and explains what this recognition means for the region. What does this recognition by the FAO mean for agriculture in the Koraput region ? The recognition […]

‘Food Security Bill is somewhat defective’ : Dr. MS Swaminathan

Jan 6, 2012, 04.40AM IST Q: Is food security just a concept or is achievable?  A: Of course it is attainable. There are three main issues. First is availability of food in the market. For which farmers have to produce more. Second is access to food, whether one has the money to buy it. That’s what the (food security) Bill aims to achieve. Third is absorption of food in the body, which is a function of clean drinking water. Drinking water is the most important component. That is why Rajiv Gandhi Water Mission, Total Sanitation Mission and National Rural Health Mission should be brought together under the food security Act. […]

Let farmers decide the price’: Mani Chinnaswamy, Apache Cotton

Author(s): Jyotika Sood Issue: Jan 15, 2012 Mani Chinnaswamy’s contract farming model has prompted IIM graduates to study his Appachi formula. After all, it gives farmers the right to bargain the price of their produce with the buyer. Talking to Jyotika Sood, the entrepreneur shares the hurdles in the implementation of the formula and its potential to change farmers’ lives   Mani ChinnaswamyWhat makes your formula a novel contract farming model? Appachi formula differs from conventional contract farming models, especially on the price front. We do not create uncertainty by fixing the price of the produce in advance. Our contract allows farmers to sell their commodity at the prevailing market rate. Though we have […]

Q&A: Vandana Shiva ‘Retail FDI is not about investment, but market grab’

Q&A: Vandana Shiva ‘Retail FDI is not about investment, but market grab’ Sreelatha Menon / November 27, 2011, 0:40 IST The Cabinet’s decision to allow up to 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail was taken without consulting the states, activist Vandana Shiva tells Sreelatha Menon. Three years ago, you had campaigned against FDI in retail. But, with the Cabinet’s decision to open the sector to foreign chains, it has been made a reality. Do you accept it now? You have been silent on the issue. It is still wrong, and many times over so. First, the model of FDI in multi-brand retail has completely failed. The failure has been […]

The native seed man

Tej Prakash Yadav, OneWorld South Asia 12 November 2011 Veteran activist and farmer Vijay Jardhari is on a mission to preserve India’s native seeds in the hills of Uttarakhand. In times of fast waning traditional agricultural practices, his efforts aim to restore the nutritional value of food grains and reduce food insecurity. OneWorld: The Beej Bachao Aandolan aims to make farmers self-sufficient through traditional agricultural practices. What made you start this campaign in Uttarakhand? Vijay Jardhari: The real source of inspiration is the Chipko Movement with which I was associated. Chipko movement had a slogan “kya hain jungle ke upkar? Mitti, paani aur bayar, jinda rahne ke aadhar” (What are favours of forest upon us? Soil, […]

The Degree Of Noncompliance Hurts Us. Regulation Doesn’t-Cargill

  AMIT KUMAR STRAT SPEAK “The Degree Of Noncompliance Hurts Us. Regulation Doesn’t” Siraj A Chaudhury, Chairman of Cargill India, speaks with Dr Amit Kapoor, Honorary Chairman, Institute for Competitiveness, about the food supply chain industry and its dynamics. Excerpts: AMIT KAPOOR INTERVIEWS SIRAJ A CHAUDHURY PRINT SHARE COMMENTS Give us an idea of your industry.  Cargill is a privately held business, headquartered in Minneapolis, with over 130,000 employees in 63 countries and consolidated revenue of $119.5 billion in FY2011. We have 75 businesses organised around four major segments—agriculture, food, finance and industries. In India, we have 11 of those businesses, the biggest being Cargill Foods, which is largely about edible oils. […]

‘NREGA reforms must address the supply-side problems’

Q&A: K S Gopal, Central Employment Guarantee Council Sreelatha Menon / New Delhi September 23, 2011, 0:25 IST   K S Gopal, former member of Central Employment Guarantee Council and now with Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, tells Sreelatha Menon why Jairam Ramesh’s NREGA 2.0 may not be effective. Edited excerpts: The rural development ministry feels the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) would reach more people if there was a way of capturing and registering demands for work.  The rural development ministry’s diagnosis is wrong. It is not a demand problem but a supply problem. It is not that the NREGA worker’s demands for work are not being registered. It is that […]

Water as a limited resource – Rajendra Singh–water-as-a-limited-resource-rajendra-singh.html The rivers of Alwar that has seen life after death, thanks to the committment and foresight of Rajendra Singh and his team Tarun Bharath Sangh, who were instrumental in mobilising communities to rejuvenate their own water resources. Anil Agarwal always maintained that the entire nation could be made drought free through community rainwater harvesting. What is your opinion? His vision has become a reality in Rajasthan. In these 17 years we have made certain dry regions including Alwar, Jaipur, Savai Maadhopur, Karoli drought-free. Nature has maintained a balance between population density and rainfall in our country. Population density is low in Rajasthan and so is the level of rainfall. […]

Ban sought on GM paddy research -Vadde

HYDERABAD, AUG. 2: A senior farmers’ leader and former Agriculture Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Mr Vadde Sobhanadreeswara Rao, has asked the ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) to ban research on genetically modified (GM) paddy. GM in paddy might impact business prospects for Indian rice in global markets. Voicing concern that GM paddy traits could contaminate natural varieties, he sought a ban on research in GM paddy as imposed in basmati areas in the North. “Basmati farmers in the North were successful in stopping GM trials in paddy in basmati area. Any contamination of basmati could diminish demand in global markets. There is a huge demand for rice grown in […]

We need to get into mission mode on promoting cooperatives in right spirit: Interview with Shashi Rajagopalan 25 JUL, 2011, 10.45AM IST, M RAJSHEKHAR,ET BUREAU We need to get into mission mode on promoting co-operatives in right spirit: Shashi Rajagopalan With the growing recognition that much more needs to be done to encourage the emergence of self-reliant farmer organisations, reviving India’sco-operatives is back on the agenda. Shashi Rajagopalan, till recently on the board of the RBI, gained hands-on experience in promoting credit cooperatives and farmers’ agri-processing units during a two-decade stint working on the creation of co-operatives. In this interview, Rajagopalan illustrates why India needs co-operatives and discusses how they should be revived. The interview is also a fascinating look into a newly independent India’s early […]

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