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The suicide economy of corporate globalisation… The Indian peasantry, the largest body of surviving small farmers in the world, today faces a crisis of extinction.   Two thirds of India makes its living from the land. The earth is the most generous employer in this country of a billion, that has farmed this land for more than 5000 years.   However, as farming is delinked from the earth, the soil, the biodiversity, and the climate, and linked to global corporations and global markets, and the generosity of the earth is replaced by the greed of corporations, the viability of small farmers and small farms is destroyed. Farmers suicides are the most tragic and dramatic […]

Budget has nothing for farmers… UPA’s friends and foes attack Budget New Delhi, Feb. 28 (PTI): The Union Budget for 2007-08 today drew flak from ruling UPA’s friends and foes alike who dubbed it as anti-farmer, anti-common man and listless. The Left attacked the Government for “ignoring” their suggestions. Opposition BJP and Shiv Sena dubbed the budget as “anti-poor, anti-farmer and anti-common man” which showed that the Congress-led coalition did not have any growth-oriented vision. CPI leader Gurudas Das Gupta said the budget was a “deplorable exercise” as it has failed to address the problem of farmers’ suicides or the plight of unorganised labour. He said the budget had even reduced service tax for […]

Failure in Irrigation…. Business Standard / New Delhi February 21, 2007 Farmer suicides and distress in the countryside have taken on the dimensions of a national scandal. What farmers need most of all is assured water for irrigating their crops; indeed, many suicides by farmers have been traced to the disastrous drilling of bore wells that turn out to be dry or to crop failure because the rains did not come. That is why the rapid expansion of irrigation was made one of the six components of the ambitious Bharat Nirman project. So it is a tragedy that the objective has been lost sight of when it comes to budgets and programme execution. […]

Punjab and Gujarat-Rich states, rich politicians, poor track records, negative images… The NDTV show on the Punjab farmer’s suicides came as a rude shock! The heart-breaking scenes, the tears and misery of the women who lost their husbands were too much to bear viewing for long. Yet, the feature did a great national service for highlighting what is held back from the public view the many contradictions and distortions that have come to characterise Punjab agriculture. What was often highlighted, made great public displays in the newspapers and TV channels is the Bharti Mittal’s Wal-Mart foray or Pepsi Company’s entry into the agri sector. The Green Revolution creates a false image and that false image had stuck in public memory, […]

Congress Privy Purse for New Maharajas

Dr. Shri Manmohan Singh, Hon’ble Prime Minister, Union Council of Ministers, Government of India, North Block, New Delhi – 110 001. 2) Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Chairperson, Empowered Group of Ministers – SEZs, Government of India, North Block, New Delhi – 110 001 . Hon’ble Sirs, We are greatly concerned and disturbed with the rapidly deteriorating Rural Economic Conditions across the various States in India, especially the parts which are dependent upon the Agriculture as main source of income. The Policies of the Governments either at Union or the States are killing the Rural Economy. The Special Economic Zones (SEZs) culture has posed great threat to the survival of poorest of […]

Rs. 117 crore loan to stem grim harvest for Maharashtra,000…Satyajit JoshiPune, February 17In another attempt to stem the bleak tide of farmer suicides in the state, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has sanctioned a loan of Rs 117.17 crore to the state government for small irrigation projects in Vidarbha. This is part of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s package for debt-ridden farmers in Vidarbha announced in July last year. With this loan, sanctioned under the Centre’s Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (IRDF), 26 small irrigation projects in Vidarbha, which have been delayed due to lack of funds, are expected to be completed – translating into irrigation of over 15,000 hectares of land. Chief General Manager of NABARD, […]

No government on earth can subsidize 60 % farmers… Dr Sudhir Kumar Goyal, Divisional Commissioner, Relief, Amravati, in an interview, has said that immediate relief had been given to farmers where interest worth Rs 782 cores had been waived off. But the entire loan cannot be waived. “Subsidies are given. But no government on earth can give subsidy to 60% of its farmers.” The Vidarbha farmers have been given fresh loans, which Dr Goel said was three times more than in the past. This is called “singing a tune as per the ears of the listener“. This is a sure indication that Congress political bigwigs are beginning to wake up to the rural crisis in Vidarbha and are […]

The Great Gene Robbery

The Great Gene Robbery (First published by the Illustrated Weekly of India in its issue dated March 23, 1986 By Claude Alvares In 1982, Dr M S Swaminathan withdrew from his position as Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet (SACC) and deputy chairman of the Planning Commission – he was also earlier secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture – and defected to join the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) based at Los Banos in the Philippines as Director-General. The word ‘defected’ is used here on purpose: in no other country of the world, would a scientist in such a strategically important position, privy to all the country’s […]

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