ARTICLES

 

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Aggressively expose evil designs of developed countries, protect interests of Third World

What do we expect from the developed countries at the forthcoming 9th WTO Ministerial at Bali in Indonesia in December 3-6? The answer is they will give us NOTHING and try to take away EVERYTHING. Hence India and other developing countries should not give up their fight against injustice in the multilateral trade forum till they get the ultimate justice.

 

Insulate farmers from ill effects of developed world

When America sneezes India catches cold. This is very true these days. Mere announcement of US Federal Reserve to taper off stimulus package sent the Indian rupee downhill, stock market indices fell and gave a severe blow to the economy.

 

Food Security Act is Vote Gathering Act only

The Bill uses terms like ‘priority’ and ‘general’ category households that are yet to be defined. The name of BPL Census has been changed to Socio-economic and Caste Census [SECC] but it has yet to start in Bihar and UP. The SECC-2002 list was due in 2007 but has not yet been published which is intriguing. In fact there is a nation-wide criticism of Government’s attempt to redefine poverty on multiple-dimension as an excuse to exclude as many of the ‘useless eaters’ as they can.

 

Government Neoliberal Agenda

Rising price of essential commodities, fall in the value of the rupee, jobless growth, wage deflation have crippled the common man. This situation is primarily due to the faulty policies pursued by the government. Flux of unwarranted imports and parking of black money in banks abroad have eroded the value of rupee against US dollar. The rising imports have distorted the balance of trade and widened the current account deficit.

 

Development Misplaced

The horrific disaster in Uttarakhand had to happen. Since late 1990s when decision to exploit Himalayan region’s estimated 150,000 MW potential, all sorts of firms have gotten into hydro-electric projects. Some have long term commitment and have many years of experience in construction and management of power stations. Others have gotten into this sector because of abnormal profit potential and many years of regular income. Still others have entered the sector because of their political contact.

 

Misplaced development causes climate change, environmental and economic disaster

Inappropriate models for development, adoption of western lifestyle, greed for money and intensive and extensive exploitation of natural resources have pushed the country to a danger point of ecological and environmental disaster.

 

Sonia Gandhi wake up to your promise, save farmers from cheap land grab

The Chairperson of the ruling UPA Sonia Gandhi and the Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi are guilty of falling back on the promises they made to farmers for acquiring their land. The new amendments proposed in the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill 2011 are designed to grab prime farmlands at throw-a-way prices, practically alienating farmers from their very source of livelihood.

 

Save farmlands from corporate hawks, ensure food security

It is a paradoxical situation where the Government is urging for food and nutritional security by passing the Food Security Bill in the Parliament and in the same breath encouraging loss of prime farmlands. Several provisions in The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011 have been deliberately watered down to facilitate easy transfer of farmlands to corporate houses for reaping rich dividends. 

 

Budget 2012-13 FM casts Nelson’s Eye to Farmers’ Real Interests

The Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram has deliberately ignored the farmers and the agriculture sector in the Union Budget 2013-14 at a time when the Government is gearing up to re-introduced the Food Security Bill in its amended form.

 

Questions of Agricultural Productivity

Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh and his economists have been harping on increasing agricultural productivity ever since this group came into positions of power. Their usual complaint is that agricultural productivity of farmers in India is a drag on the growth rate of Gross Domestic Product. In order to increase productivity they have proposed farm mechanization, corporate farming, and Genetically Engineered seeds [GE seeds or GMOs].

 

What development?

The people of India are sick and tired of government’s approach to economic and social development. Development does not mean GDP growth alone; there are other factors that contribute to production and productivity growth. Most important factor in long term growth is the quality of education system. Instead of strengthening the school system and institutions of higher learning especially science and engineering, these have been weakened to a level where human resource quality is progressively declining in nearly all areas except those that are sponsored by multinational corporations.

 

UPA’s Cash transfer policy

The mainstream media has hailed ‘CASH TRANSFER’ as a brilliant move by Dr. Man Mohan Singh and his economists. Is it a new type of Vote Gathering Machine? Stuff the poor with cash to win their votes. Who gets the sops? What are the criteria?

 

Note of Caution to Government to Protect Farmers from MNCs Nuisance

The Government has opened the doors for foreign direct investment ((FDI) in the multi-brand retail chain in the country, totally unmindful of the harm likely to be caused to the farmers. While pushing for what is called the “big ticket reforms”, it ignored the voices of the Opposition parties and some of its allies. The Government also turned a Nelson Eye to the widespread resentment of farmers and consumer organizations across the country.

 

Political will needed to benefit farmers and real economy

Economic downturn, lack of political will in decision making, rising prices of essential commodities, corruption in public life and natural disasters like floods and drought are seriously impacting the livelihood of farmers in this country.

 

Fetish with GDP and the techno-arrogance to control Nature

World’s total GDP, all countries included, whatever accounting systems they use, is estimated at 33-35 trillion US dollars. The value of eco-system goods and services provided free of cost by Mother Nature has been estimated at 72-74 trillion dollars.

 

Seed Sector In India

The seed is the first link and the basic need of the food security of the country. It is a sacred code of evolution, an embodiment of life and memory, a latent world waiting to unfold. The seed gives itself to earth – warm soil, air and moisture – and comes alive. Drawing energy from the sun, it grows and multiplies manifold. Each seed and plant is unique.

 

ICAR digs for MNCs

Deputy Director General (DDG) of Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) Swapan K Datta wants a tie up with multinational seed companies to strengthen ICAR’s marketing ability across the world. India’s share in the 8.2 billion dollar global seeds’ market is barely 1.2%. The oligopolistic global seed trade is controlled by the same cartel led by Monsanto that also control genetically engineered seeds.

 

Water crisis and the neo-liberal privatization agenda

If all the world’s water could be contained in a one litre bottle, fresh water would represent about two drops; barely 2.5% of world’s water is fresh water. Of this 70% is frozen in Antarctica and Greenland ice caps. Barely one percent of total freshwater is available for human consumption. These are stored in lakes, ponds, underground aquifers, streams and rivers, easily and cheaply accessible.

 

MNC's Will Capture Food Security through FDI in Retail

The rural India is facing an agrarian crisis and 68% population of the country is depend on agriculture. The 85% farmers are small and marginal and having less than 2 acre of land. In India the retail sector gives employment to 40 million people. We cannot compare with China because India's priority is national interest and poor people's welfare.

 

The Budget and the Indian Agriculture

Budget comes with clock-work precision. For over five decades after independence, the ‘Budget’ was announced at 5PM, a vestige of the colonial era for the convenience of the British Parliament. It was only in 2001 that the timing was changed to 11AM.

 

Government should implement the National Policy for Farmers

I said in my various farmers meetings and interaction with media during my Tamil Nadu farmers yatra ( which starts from Kanyakumari on 21st January and completed in Chennai on 26th January 2012) that the National Policy for Farmers, formulated in 2007, should be implemented. The farmers supported me, so did the scientific community.

 

Global Civil Society Opposition to the “Pledge Against Protectionism” in WTO

A wide variety of civil society experts from the global present in Geneva for the 8th Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO), voiced their opposition to the idea of a standstill on tariffs in the WTO proposed within the “Pledge Against Protectionism” .

 

Farmers' Right to Seeds

Seeds are gifts of nature and cultural diversity.  They are not a corporate invention.  Passing on this ancient heritage from generation to generation is our duty and responsibility. Seeds are a common property resource to be shared for the well being of all and saved for the well being of the future generations.  Hence they cannot be owned and patented. 

 

How much beneficial will be the multinational retail chains for the country?

One vital question agitating the public mind today is – Do we need foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail chain? If so for what? The Government says that FDI in retail chain will benefit the farmers and consumers and create about a crore jobs in the country. This tall claim of the Government is nothing but a hoax and without substance.

 

The exercise of framing agricultural policy

Much mid-night oil is being burned to finalize the agricultural component of the 12th Five Year Plan, and many states are working overtime to prepare the wish list to ensure three healthy meals to 1.2 billion hungry Indians.

 

 

Policies ruining the agriculture sector

The corporates have started their game-plan to capture the agriculture sector. Policy drift and absence of a truly national policy on agriculture have thrown rural economy into disarray and may prove even more disastrous if the situation is not handled with deftness. Agrarian well being has been thrown at the mercy of market driven forces. It is outrageous and totally unacceptable.

 

How the FICCI is asking for 50% land to be Aquired

How the FICCI is asking for 50% land of small and marginal farmers to be aquired by the government for the corporate for their REAL - ESTATE and SHOPING MALLS' business . Already government has given tax exemptions to the all corporate in the name of SEZ's.

 

Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India Bill in Parliament

The Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill is to be introduced in the Monsoon session.The ostensible stand of scientists defending genetic engineering technology in seed production is that utmost priority to a product’s impact on humans, plants, animals and environment shall be given.

 

The policies are failed to solve the problems of farmers

Agriculture as the major livelihood resource of our people and the mainstay of our economy has become an unrewarding and un-remunerative proposition. The Planning Commission is bent upon  imposing  the policies and technology that have no relevance to the ground reality of Indian agriculture.

 

The crusade against corruption

Ramdev's movement is mass based. He first created a mass base for reform and that took him five years. During those five years the Government was not sleeping, it was monitoring Ramdev's “desi jagran,” .

 

Do not hike petrol and diesel prices, tame price inflation

The Congress Party led UPA Coalition government at the Centre is gearing up in a policy move which would see a steep rise in petroleum and diesel prices in this month. The farmers of the country would like to caution the government not to do so especially in the current situation of rising prices. It is high time that the government put up efforts in reining in the rising prices which has burdened the poor in the country.

 

Global contamination

The world is facing contamination of natural environment from two sources. One, the uncontrollable release of radioactive contaminants from the crippled Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant and the other from illegal planting of Genetically Engineered seeds worldwide by criminal corporations like Monsanto, Bayer, DuPont, Syngenta and Dow Chemicals.

 

Trickle for farmers in the Union Budget 2011-12

The Union finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee has once again tried to confuse the public by his jugglery of words  in his Budget 2011-12 speech  intending to project that the Government has doled out enough for the farmers and the rural poor. But the fact is the Budget is entirely oriented to boost the investment prospects in industry, infrastructure, capital market, services and housing sectors and has negligible positive impact for agriculture.

 

Bring back ill-gotton money from Swiss and German banks

In this country there is a paradoxical situation where farmers are committing suicide, rural people in distress, people losing their livelihood and few becoming rich through largescale corruption and stashing away ill-gotton money in German and Swiss banks in Liechtenstein Island.

 

Price Control mechanism has to bee relooked

There is a vast mechanism in the country to check any volatility or abnormal rise in prices of essential commodities. Despite expending millions and billions of rupees to run the price controls machinery at the Central and States level, this mechanism has been rendered ineffective and counter productive. The present surge in prices of essential commodities and vegetables of common use have gone out of hand .The government machinery has lost its effectiveness to bring the situation under control.

 

A Bihar..! Tujhe salaam!!

The people of Bihar have shown what popular mind is all about. Never has Indian assembly election seen this sort of decimation of national and regional parties. The people gave  a thumping majority of 206 seat in assembly of 243 seats or 84.7% representation under the leadership of Nitish Kumar. The people of Bihar rejected the games politicians play: playing one caste against another, one religion against another.

 

International Meet ask for Right to Food

Slow Food international organized the meet TERRA MADRE - 2010 in Turin (Italy) from 21 to 24th October 2010 and more then 5000 delegates participate from 154 countries. They believes that the development of sustainable food policies and the enactment of legislation in this sphere must be firmly rooted in a human rights based approach, which envisages the right to food as a predominant component.

 

Bharatiya Krishak Samaj letter to Government

On behalf of millions small and marginal farmers of India and in continuation of our letter dated 16th July 2010 and the reply of that letter given by the agriculture ministry , writing the facts related to the  Pesticide Management Bill-2008 . Regarding protection given in other part of world, why Agriculture Department  comparing  our  developing country with the developed countries. When the Patent Law already exists in the Country then what is the need for double benefit (extra time) is being given to MNC's for monopoly of their so called new pesticides, most of the molecules are obsolete in many Countries.

 

Farmers hold up more than half the sky, but losing land

Actually in the white hot heat of “development” politicians and people have forgotten the farmers who produce that food that fuels 8% GDP growth. In January 2008, at Davos, international summit, the votaries of 'globalization' were fawning over their achievements inside the plush hotel, while outside the common folks, supposed to be the beneficiaries were worried about food, water and fuel...all coming under control of global criminal corporations. Indian farmers were not there or they would have added land. The way both Indian and foreign multinationals are forcibly stealing land from them would pauperize not one or two but millions of farmers in India.

 

The National Food Security Act

The Food Security is a situation that respects protects and fulfills the” Right to Food”. The Concept of Right to Food is the embodiment of economical cultural and nutritional values. The National Advisory Council (NAC) constituted on the behest of the UPA chairperson, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi is trying to reach at least the bottom of these values while implementing the proposed National Food Security Act. In this ground set, the NAC decided in its recent meeting to redraft the present Bill. As such the Bill is not going to be presented in the current session of the Parliament. the politics of food knows no such values.

 

Climate Change and Indian Agriculture

1.            INTRODUCTION - Climate change is a reality and the main cause of the present situation is on account of the anthropogenic activities disturbing the composition of the atmosphere resulting in higher concentration of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) which accumulates along with other green house gases (GHG) like methane and nitrous oxide and contribute to increase in surface temperature of the earth. The main contributors have been the developed countries like US and EU but now other developing countries like China are slowly replacing as the main polluters. However, the per capita emission reveals that the main emitters are the developed countries. If the pace of this emission moves then it is expected the CO2 concentration which is currently less than 400 parts per million might shoot above 800 if high emission continues by the end of this century.

 

Opening up Indian food trade to European Union and the US

The Government has opened the doors for foreign direct investment ((FDI) in the multi-brand retail chain in the country, totally unmindful of the harm likely to be caused to the farmers. While pushing for what is called the “big ticket reforms”, it ignored the voices of the Opposition parties and some of its allies. The Government also turned a Nelson Eye to the widespread resentment of farmers and consumer organizations across the country.

 

Farmers short-changed again: The racketeering in warehousing and storage facility

Warehousing plays a crucial role in the food value chain, from production to distribution and retailing. Food is produced by farmers.They produce food, feed, fodder and fibre that sustain this nation of 1.24 billion people. They need warehousing facility and all those support systems promised to them six decades ago by Nehru's government. Instead, the UPA-II wants to establish COLD-CHAIN that only supports the corporations who buy raw foods cheap from dying farmers, convert them into processed foods for domestic and export consumption. The farmers have been short changed time and time again.

 

Govt. Should put Moratorium on all GM Crops

Bharatiya Krishak Samaj is against the irreversible, uncontrolled, and potentially dangerous release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into the environment. We are also concerned about the health hazards of GM products. The International Scientists community have given their reports and proved that GM Crops cannot increase the productivity and cannot feed the hunger.

 

Enforce Strict Liability Regime to Address Damages Caused by GMOs

It is high time that India live up to the principles of the Cartagena Protocol which it has already ratified. The health and environmental hazards of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as revealed by leading independent scientists are matters of grave concern. The world leaders have admitted the situation and have adopted a global treaty called the Cartagena Protocol to address the problem. This treaty has come into force since September 11, 2003.

 

Do not force GM food through draconian law, go for public referendum

A new game plan is in the offing after the denial of the release of the Bt brinjal for commercial cultivation. The Union ministry for science and technology is gearing up to table the National Biotechnology Regulatory Authority Bill in the Parliament. The science and technology ministry and its department of biotechnology are aggressive promoters of genetically modified (GM) crops, unmindful of its health and environmental hazards revealed by a series of studies done by scientists across the globe.

 

EU - INDIA FTA Will damage Indian Farmers

The present global trade regime does not present a fair play. Developed countries are backing their farm production with a heavy dose of subsidy and are also protecting their farm sector by high tariff barriers and unjustified non-tariff barriers. In this, situation if India reduces its bound tariff rates (which are already lower), there would be an influx of cheap subsidized imports from the developed countries.

 

Bt Brinjal Fraud Exposed

The year 2010 began with a new note in India which may be remembered in the history as a turning point where the people for the first time came out in the open questioning the scientific fraud of the first approved genetically modified food crop, Bt brinjal After the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) approved the Bt brinjal developed by Mahyco in collaboration with the US seed multinational Monsanto on October 14, 2009, the Union minister of state for environment and forests, Jairam Ramesh took the wise decision to withheld its release and go for public consultations.

 

I.C.A.R. should put on the right track

Agricultural Research in India is fast moving towards a blind alley. Indian Council of Agricultural Research (I.C.A.R.), the country's highest research policy and planning body has become a burden on the public exchequer. It has no perceived idea, understanding and appreciation of research priorities for a predominantly agricultural country like India. What actually ails the functioning of I.C.A.R is the inherent weakness of its leadership, proneness to extraneous & alien forces and inefficient management.

 

Russia – a friend in need and a friend indeed

Russia has once again reaffirmed its long-time tested friendship with India. Understanding the need for a multi-polar world and for collectively tackling global problems like financial crisis, energy and food security and climate change, it has said that India is “a deserving and strong candidate” for a permanent seat in an expanded UN Security Council.

 

Farming Matters

Sloweb -Producers attending a large meeting of the national farmers’ organization Bharatiya Krishak Samaj this February, condemned the corporate model of agriculture being promoted across India, asked for urgent adoption of farmer-centric policy by the Government and the withdrawal of GM crops on health grounds.

 

How should India respond to WTO drafts?

The two new drafts for negotiations in agriculture and industrial goods (Nama) issued by the WTO on May 19 this year is a mockery of the current situation. The two drafts do not accommodate the concerns of the developing world. The WTO is practically hopeless and helpless after successive failures of a series of attempts to revive the multilateral trade negotiations. This is primarily due to the adamant attitude of the developed world to continue their protectionist regime in agriculture through high subsidies and tariff and ask for market access in the Third World.

 

Recommending Banning of Commodities' Future Trading

Futures trading in wheat, rice and pulses like tur and urad has been suspended by the Forward Markets Commission as it caused market manipulation, leading to a rise in prices. But, still, futures trading is being carried out in a number of agricultural commodities. The government knows for certain that futures trading in farm commodities is the cause for market manipulation. Finance minister P Chidambaram, while presenting Budget 2008-09, slapped a commodities transaction tax (CTT) on options and futures on the lines of the existing securities transaction tax.

 

GEAC should address health and environmental concerns

The government must clarify why it is setting up the National Biotechnology Regulatory Authority (NBRA), replacing the existing regulator Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) which is already acting as a single window clearance for biotech products. If the government feels that the GEAC is incompetent and inefficient, it should bring it to the public knowledge.

 

People’s verdict: We want justice, not growth figures

The landslide victory of the Bahujan Samaj Party led by its leader Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh is significant. It is a reflection of the voice of the people in the country’s largest state. The poll verdict has sounded a note of caution to the ruling UPA coalition at the Centre that people are no longer prepared to buy the concept of 9% growth rate in GDP. They know for certain that this growth figure hardly matters anything for them. They know that 9% growth reflects the benefits cornered by the rich few – corporate houses, multinational corporations, traders and urban rich and upper middle class. They are rather concerned over the increasing number of loss of jobs and unemployment and rise in prices of essential commodities. 

 

India's farming crisis

(New Agriculturist- London) March 2007- The distress of farmersin India can be traced back to the introduction of technology-led, capital intensive farming in the heyday of the Green Revolution. With the advent of 'economic liberalisation' and the globalisation of trade, this distress has been aggravated. Unfair rules of the multilateral global trading regime have depressed global and domestic prices, and denied Indian farmers adequate remunerative prices. The poor farmer is squeezed between high input costs and low returns. Credit obtained from formal or informal banking systems is unable to bail him out of this precarious situation. Caught in a vicious debt trap, many farmers have resorted to suicide.

 

Govt cannot abdicate its responsibilities

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the National Development Council (NDC) have failed to realise the problems facing Indian agriculture and the farming community. Mere announcement of a food security mission to increase the production of wheat, rice and pulses, and pegging up the Central government’s investment to Rs 25,000 crore within a span of four years will not solve the problems.

 

The Tyranny of Aid and Free Trade

The World Bank perfidy is crystal clear now. It has come-up on the expected line. The World Bank report on the Doha Development Agenda though pretty worded but is actually critical of protection of agriculture in developing countries and advocates blatantly greater Agricultural Trade Reforms. Distortions in AoA and persistent dubiousness of developed countries on highly sensitive issues like abolition of tariffs, subsidies and domestic support are real stumbling blocks responsible for the collapse of Doha Round of Trade Negotiations.

 

What ails Rural Economy

The saying “India lives in villages” is an all time truth and any attempt to downplay the reality and deviate from the path of rural reconstruction will be perilous to the body politic of this great nation, throwing economic resurgence into shambles. The genesis for the downslide in rural economy lies in the lack of political will to perform, grossly undermining economic interest of the agro-rural segment.  There is no apparent reason as we see but for the past few years there has been a clear tendency to downgrade agriculture. 

 

SEZ will aggravate Agrarian Crisis and endanger Food Security

Pernicious fall out of SEZ will aid in further escalation of agrarian discontent. How the policy makers skip to dread the consequences of the creation of ill conceived economic enclaves at the expense of agriculture, the major livelihood resources of agro-rural sector is something very amazing. It poses a real threat to our food security. The policy makers have sought to evolve a totally irrational definition of development. In their zest to serve SEZ on a platter to corporate houses and MNCs, they have not applied their discretion at the same time to uphold the importance of agriculture in Indian economy.

 

Corporate Farming: Sabotaging a System

It is outrageous and totally unacceptable. Thinning out of the euphemistic smoke screen reveals the ugly face of the sinister design of the agri-business multinationals and corporate houses to cast their gripping hold on India's farmland. Colossal and enormous loss that will be inflicted by contract or corporate farming on our traditional agro-system, social-cultural ethos, growth factors, biodiversity and the eco-system is beyond comprehension, making it absolutely difficult to reverse the situation. Sabotaging and dismantling a system that sustained the life and times of a vast majority of our polity and provided sustenance to the agro-rural segment of our society for centuries will usher India into a state of economic subjugation.

 

Strategic Importance of Pulses and Oil Seed

Among non-cereal food crops, the strategic importance of pulses and oil seed in augmentation of rural economy cant be underestimated or minimized.  We must ponder over the fact that despite efforts, the stipulated 4% annual growth rate of agriculture is still a distant dream. Of the various factors responsible for missing the target, one of the major contributory factor is the decline in the estimated production level of pulses and oil seeds, pushing India to opt for the only alternative i.e., import substitution to meet the growing domestic needs.

 

FDI in Agriculture and Afforestation

Awfully enough, the reported proposal submitted to the government by the Group of Ministers led by Agriculture Minister Sh. Sharad Pawar which paves way for 100% FDI in agriculture and afforestation, is silent on the unsavory consequences it will have on India's agro-rural economy. Perverse and incongruous as the proposals are, they will enlarge the scope for gradual and progressive takeover of India's agro system and allied vocations by the MNCs.

 

Letter to Genetic Engineering Approval Committee

This is with regard to the Agenda Item No. 4.2 in the GEAC meeting dated 1/6/2006 which says that GEAC will consider permission for seed production and Large Scale Trials of Bt Brinjal of Mahyco hybrids in this meeting. In this regard, we would like to bring to your notice that the GEAC is yet to act and fix liability on the various biosafety violations and irregularities brought to your notice by farmers organizations and civil society organizations, including on a Bt Brinjal limited field trial in Andhra Pradesh. While turning a blind eye to the harsh realities related to serious regulatory failures, you seem to be ready to go all out to support the industry in its profit-making endeavours.

 

My Dialogue with Mr. Pascal Lamy (DG, WTO)

Basically as an agriculturist and equally concerned as the Executive Chairman of India’s pioneer and premier Farmers’ Organisation, Bharat Krishak Samaj, I have closely watched with utter disappointment and dismay how the W.T.O. has gone into monopoly control of developed countries. OECD countries are aggressively pursuing the policy of monopolistic globalisation through the machination of W.T.O. I nursed no great hope that something positive will emerge out of my interactive session with Mr. Pascal Lamy, Director General, W.T.O. who visited New Delhi on 5th April ostensibly for having a better appreciation and understanding  of India’s over all approach and implications of the on-going W.T.O. negotiations.

 

Budget 2006-2007 : Deliverance too Difficult

The Budget, we expected to be genuinely reformist, able to resuscitate agriculture. It is full of usual rhetoric and leaves a wide gap between the meagre out lay for agriculture and the gigantic task ahead. It may sound hard hitting to say that agriculture received a beating once again by the govt. but the allocations earmarked under various heads are just incongruous to make a dent into International market and face the challenges thrown by globalisation.

 

Indo-US Agreement on Agriculture: A cut-throat maneuver

The Indo-US agreement on agriculture will cast a demonising spell over the country and is bound to cause large scale plunder of the agro-rural society and definitely tend to capitalize on our living, life pattern, culture and social norms. Already much maligned, misconceived and utterly irrelevant Second Green Revolution is a clever ploy to promote the interest of American and other MNCs. American MNCs like Wall-Mart, Monsanto etc will be there on the Board of the Indo-US Agricultural Initiative to monitor agricultural research, education and dissemination and exchange of knowledge between India and America. The first meeting of the Board held at Washington was attended by these two companies.

 

Budget-2006 must not fail Agriculture

Around this time of the year, the Govt seems to strictly go by the book and calls for Pre-Budget confabulations with a cross section of the industry, trade bodies, corporate who-is-who and individuals who project themselves to be the sympathiser of the peasantry but in reality they are not even remotely concerned to streamline agriculture and make it economically rewarding and globally competitive.

 

Video Conferencing on ‘Doha Development Agenda ’Organised by the World Bank on 30th Nov. 2005

Agriculture in India is not just an occupation or business but for the people, it is the way of life, very much enshrined in the socio- economic fabric of the country. The developing countries should safeguard the interest  of their large number of small and marginal farmers, ensure food security for the people and provide livelihood for their agricultural workers.Farmers in developing countries have been severely hit by domestic support and export subsidies provided by developed countries to their farm sector. This has depressed global prices (distorted prices), leading to India  becoming a dumping ground of heavily subsidized agricultural products.

 

Watershed Mismanagement

Oceans cover about three-fourth of earth's surface. According to UN (United Nations) estimates, the total amount of water on earth is about 1400 million km3, which is enough to cover the earth with a layer that is 3000 metres deep. However, freshwater constitutes a very small proportion of this enormous quantity. About 2.7% of the total water available on the earth is freshwater of which about 75.2% lies frozen in polar regions and another 22.6% is present as groundwater. The rest is available in lakes, rivers, atmosphere, moisture, soil, and vegetation etc.

 

Indian Agriculture Negotiations and WTO

Farmers in developing countries have been severely hit by domestic and export subsidies provided by developed countries to their farm sector. This has depressed global prices resulting in developing country farmers not getting remunerative prices. Developed countries have not only blocked market access for developing countries but are trying to push their heavily subsidised farm products into the markets of developing countries. The World Bank and the IMF have become instruments in pressurising developing countries to open their markets.

 

Transgenics and Indian Agriculture : Where are the benefits?

A paper presented in a meeting of National Commission on Farmers on 22nd Sept. 2005, In India, transgenic crops are being experimented with and even released, without a coherent approach to the whole matter. It is not clear why transgenic agriculture is considered "frontier" or indispensable by numerous agricultural research bodies both in the public sector and private sector. Given below are our strong objections to transgenic crops in Indian agriculture and the reasons for the same.

 

Transgenic Vs Organic Agriculture

In focusing our attention on higher yields, we not only give undue weight to one component of a complex issue, but also ignore the problems that come with the higher yields themselves. We have learnt this lesson from the past experience of implementation of Green Revolution. Every one, from policymakers to scientists, of this country, try to extrapolate foreign innovations, without either application mind or looking for its far reaching consequences. Policymakers and scientists, in the field of agriculture, in our country, are no exception.

 

Sham India Regulations Exposed

The news of US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) imposing a penalty of $ 325,000 on Dow Chemicals for making improper payments to Indian officials for registration of some of  the pesticides of its subsidiary, has come as a shockwave to the Union agriculture ministry. The ministry officials have reportedly told the media that it came as a surprise to them and defended by saying that a stringent regulation in the country was in place.

 

Agriculture Research or Scientific Paranoia

Agricultural Research in India seems to have become totally incompatible to the needs of our agro-system or perhaps it has lost its goal and gone out of track. We can compare it with some sort of vanity fair-shining, bright, cosmetic but without radiance and conspicuously lacking in work culture, objectivity and perception that could have effectively put our country on the high pedestal of agricultural development.

 

Water Problem

Nature checks and balances itself but it will be utterly fallacious to base upon nature for solutions to problems created by man. The present water scenario is no better and the future is menacingly bleak, dreadfully fraught with a water famine like situation and a potent design by a few to monopolise and control this most vital life support factor. Water crisis needs immediate remedial action. Only skillful, stringent and scientific management can ensure it’s judicious availability for all the essentialities of life.

 

Agriculture at WTO Pleasure

On 2nd May, 2005 at the OECD & G-20 meeting in Paris Mr. Kamal Nath, Union Commerce Minister said- “INDIA COULD COOPERATE WITH  DEVELOPED COUNTRIES ON AGRICULTURE, IF THEY COOPERATE WITH INDIA ON NON AGRICULTURE MARKET ACCESS (NAMA) AND SERVICES”.

 

Water; Water and Just Water

The Preamble of the Constitution of India through the Directive Principles of State Policy clearly safeguards the lawful right of the people to unhindered access to water. The 73rd and 74th Amendments and the provisions for Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas Act 1996) gives tribal people rights over their natural resources including the right to take decisions on how to utilise the resources. Right to life guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution has been expanded by the courts to include peoples right to meet basic needs of food, water, shelter, clear air and environment.

 

Budget : 2005-2006 Taking Agriculture Fast Forward Difficult

The Budget outlay on agriculture is grossly inadequate. They are far from sufficient to revolutionize agriculture and ameliorate it from crippling sluggishness. As an entity, its power to sustain a vast majority of our people, generate employment opportunities and contribute towards overall growth of GDP must have been viewed perspectively for making ambitious provisions in the budget.

 

Budget - 2005 must not fail Agriculture

It is hard to subscribe otherwise than view agriculture as the focal point in our national economy. For a predominantly agricultural country like India where a major chunk of the population i.e. 70% directly or indirectly avail their sustenance from agriculture, the Government must act wise to ensure the annual growth rate of 4% in agriculture. It is inescapable if the country has to achieve the overall growth rate of 8%. We are not averse to the prominence being given to service and industrial sector but right now and for times to come, the vast potentiality of agricultural sector in employment generation can’t be overlooked, minimized or underestimated.

 

The Spoils of Alien Technology

The Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh in a recent communication to the Planning Commission & the Ministry of Agriculture, expressed his anguish on agricultural research being carried out by I.C.A.R., the premier agricultural research institution of the country. Agriculture in India is passing through a phase of complete decay and deterioration. Once at the alter of our national economy and a major source of livelihood to more than 70% of the peasantry and the rural folks, holding great promise to turn the country into a super economy.

 

Collapse of Monsanto’s Empire in EU

India has little to rejoice over the ouster of Monsanto from EU. The unglorious exit of the world’s largest multinational producer of GMO and Transgenic seeds is the culmination of a sustained campaign launched much against the sinister and suspect design of all powerful promoter of GMO by a very alert, conscious and concerned farm loby of EU Nations.

 

From Doha to Singapore and now Cancun (Mexico)

Undeterred by uncompromising  attitude of the USA, EU and other OECD countries, India should take a very firm stand at the Cancun Ministerial. Unless the developed countries bring down the subsidy to zero level, we should not open the market and the tariff should not be reduced. The phasing out of Quantitative Restrictions should be linked up with that of subsidy. Removal of Quantitative restrictions (Qrs) under the W.T.O. regime allows artificially cheap commodities enter domestic markets and destroy farmers livelihoods and incomes.

 

Disinvestment Most Absurd

And now it is the turn of Seed, the most vital and basic input of agricultural production. It is very much in the line to fall victim to the onslaughts of disinvestment. What the country will gain in the run? Nothing except miserable dependence on the MNCs for costly and unreliable seeds. Disinvestment of the seed sector of the country for all reasons is not a good strategy.

 

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NATIONAL MAGAZINE

Kisan Ki Awaaz NATIONAL MAGAZINE

 

I wish the launch of the magazine everysuccess

President of India, H.E.Pratibha Devisingh Patil sends her best wishes for the magazine KISAN KI AWAAZ

 

Kisan Ki Awaaz magazine launch

Sh. Harish Rawat, Minister of State, Labour & Employment (Govt of India) launching the magazine Kisan Ki Awaaz in the loving memory & on the eve of Pt.Jawaharlal Nehru (L-R) Dr.Popotsev, Councellor Agriculture, Embassy of Russia, Dr. Krishan Bir Chaudhary, President, Bharatiya Krishak Samaj, Sh. Abani Roy (M.P.) Sh. T. Mainiya (M.P.),on 13th Nov.2009 at Russian Centre of Science & Culture NEW DELHI

 

You will be pleased to know that the apex organisation of Indian farmers, Bharatiya Krishak Samaj has come out with a national monthly to voice the demands and aspirations of Indian farmers called Kisan Ki Awaaz which literally means The Voice of The Farmers.

 

The Indian farmers not only face the challenges of climate change which leads to extreme conditions like droughts, floods and other natural calamities, but also manmade calamities like the unfair trade regime of the WTO and the FTAs, IPR regime, imposition genetically modified (GM) crops, corporate centric farm policies and overall the government’s apathy towards the providers of food security.

 

Kisan Ki Awaaz not only reflects the condition of the farmers in various parts of the country, but also voices their demands for a better standard of living and for meeting the needs of food and nutritional security. As a national organization of farmers we pledge to work with other farmers’ organizations across the globe in the spirit of cooperation.

 

 

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