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Vipul Mudgal: Rural Coverage in the Hindi and English Dailies

EPW, August 27, 2011 This study of three each of India’s highest circulated English and Hindi dailies finds that they devote only a minuscule proportion of their total coverage (about 2%) to rural India’s issues, crises and anxieties. Even this low count could be misleading because most rural news is not about the farmers/villagers or about their concerns related to land, livestock, resources or farming. The content analysis of 968 news items shows that 36% of the coverage goes to issues of violence, accidents, crime or disasters. Less than 28% is about agrarian themes while 15% is about hunger, suicides, malnutrition, distress migration, displacement, or farmers’ movements. The English newspapers […]

Farmers would quit agriculture if they had an alternative

M. J. PRABU, The Hindu, August 25, 2011 http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/agriculture/article2393921.ece UNCERTAIN: Climate change has made farming even more risky. Photo: G.N. Rao Electoral politics plays with rice and wheat as gimmicks to get votes Some years ago the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) reported after its study on agriculture that roughly half the farmers in the country did not wish to continue farming. “They would rather quit if they had an alternative. This shameful reality reflects the despair farmers feel and is based on the fact that agriculture is a loss making enterprise and the farmers are unable to either feed themselves or turn a profit,” says Dr. Suman Sahai, Convener, […]

What Kills A Farmer In India?

By Anushri Saxena: http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2011/08/what-kills-a-farmer-in-india/ The recipe is relatively simpler than the ones shown on televised cookery shows. Broadly, here are the ingredients- Unrelenting social norms, Unfair financial practices by lenders, Bad weather conditions, And in the backdrop: A negligent government It is wedding time for the daughter or sister of our farmer. She has finally found a suitor by God’s grace. And it becomes obligatory to carry out all rituals and ceremonies with as many offerings. Past savings are utilized; if need be, a loan is also readily applied for. Due to endless formalities and delay in getting hold of the money, our weak farmer turns with hope to money-lenders […]

Studying the Subject in Motion: Maoist Analysis of Agrarian Transformation in Andhra Pradesh-1970s to 2010s

Paper presented at the Conference on Agrarian Transforamtion in India held jointly by Goldsmiths, University of London and University of Oxford on July 13-14, 2011 N. Venugopal Rao Editor, Veekshanam, Telugu Monthly Journal of Political Economy and Society, Hyderabad, India Andhra Pradesh, a state in South India, has been witnessing vibrant social movements under the leadership of Maoists since the late 1960s. Drawing on the legacy of earlier peasant and tribal struggles in late colonial period, more or less in the same regions, the new breed of peasant struggles inspired by Naxalbari line, have been active for the last four decades. The Maoist leadership of the struggle, as is well […]

REVIEW OF AGRICULTURE- Economic and Political Weekly

Half a century ago, scholars first noticed that small farms in India demonstrated a higher per acre productivity than large farms. In the 21st century these farms still produce more per acre than large farms. We should be looking at making the most of the higher agricultural productivity on small landholdings. Where earlier seed varieties were seen as a crucial input for Indian Agriculture, it is now water that has become a critical resource because of its over-exploitation and wasteful use on crop land. In the search for better ways to harvest and use water resources, there has been tendency to hark back to the past and look at small […]

Excerpts of P Sainath’s speech On Farmer Suicides in India at Pondicherry University-The Inquirer

Attach Top Priority to the Farm Sector

The real challenge that comes in the way of making agriculture an instrument of development lies outside agriculture – managing the political risks Last week we discussed how merely speeding credit flow into the agriculture sector is not enough to meet the challenges being faced. In fact, agriculture sector does not require money flow alone – more important is to have the infrastructure development at the earliest. Dependence on rain god adds to the woes. And then floods and droughts are becoming an annual ritual. Productivity gets a blow in the absence of quality seeds and other inputs supplies – a slow modernization process. Consistent decline in the share of […]

Dorli: A village which bought its future

In 2006, we were siting at Sevagram Ashram, Wardha to discuss about the problems with the rapidly expanding Bt cotton.  CSA was one year old and working with NGOs and activists was new for me.  We were shocked when heard that a village nearby was up for sale by farmers.  Mr. Vijay Jawandia, from Waifad near Wardha suggested that we all will visit the village.  Before that we heard some stories about village being sold in punjab…etc.  Some of us decided to go. By the time we reached the village it was 5.00 p.m in the evening. Entire village had signs of despair, farmers have left farming…caught in the debt […]

Activist: Farmer suicides in India linked to debt, globalization

Thousands of poor farmers in India have committed suicide over the past decade as changes in India’s agricultural policy set off a widening spiral of debt and despair, one environmental activist said Tuesday. “The farmer suicides started in 1997. That’s when the corporate seed control started,” Vandana Shiva told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “And it’s directly related to indebtedness, and indebtedness created by two factors linked to globalization.” For Shiva, who works with farming communities across India, those two factors were the ceding of control of the seed supply to the corporate chemical industry — leading to increased production costs for already-struggling farmers — as well as falling food prices in […]

AGRARIAN AND RURAL STUDIES: Trends, Texts, Pedagogies and Collaborations

Agrarian and Rural Studies Report FINAL Download The objectives of the seminar-cum-consultation were to identify trends and complexitiesin rural India, assess the state of research, teaching, and the availability of readingmaterials in various academic institutions, and explore the possibility of initiating a nationallevelnetwork to study rural and agrarian issues.Contemporary trends and conditions in rural areas include growing regional differenciation,complexities in agricultural practices and agrarian social structures, the dual presence of capitalgrowth and widespread dispossession, increasing governmentality, and diversification oflivelihoods. Given these trends there is an urgent need for scholarship to generate newperspectives and methodologies to understand these conditions and to contribute to policymaking.

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