Why pesticide deaths will continue

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
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Photograph of one of the farmers who died while spraying pesticides. Source: Kavitha Kuruganti

As many as 50 persons died and around 1,000 were hospitalised with 25 losing their vision after exposure to chemical fumes from spraying of pesticides in Yevatmal district of Maharashtra. Most of those affected were farm labourers who neither had any safety apparatus nor were guided on the ideal way to use the pesticides. These cases hence were unlike intentional intake of the pesticide by...

Watch this video to know why farmers are protesting all over India

Wednesday, June 14, 2017
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Farming is purposefully being made non-profitable.

Journalist P Sainath is known for his in-depth knowledge about rural India. On June 11, 2017, he interacted through a public webinar by People's Archive of Rural India explaining the present agriculture crisis in wake of farmers' protests in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. He also touches upon how the new cattle rules will impact rural economy, the water crisis and geneticially modified (GM) crops. Sainath also offers solutions to these...

Why you should be worried about GM Mustard

Friday, June 9, 2017
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Indian Mustard (from Rape Seed Mustard Family) has more than 65 different varieties. Source: Abhijit Kar Gupta/Wikicommons

GM Mustard may soon become India’s first genetically modified (GM) food crop. On May 11, 2017, the Environment Ministry's Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) had recommended commercial use of GM Mustard seed, DMH 11, developed by Delhi University. While GM crops are grown in a few countries, including US and Canada, many more have rejected or are undecided because of possible health and ecological risks linked to this technology. In...

'जी.एम. सरसों से छिन जाएगी हमारी आजादी'

Thursday, June 8, 2017
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भारत में 65 से अधिक विभिन्न प्रकार के सरसों हैं. चित्र: CCAFS/Flickr.

पर्यावरण मंत्रालय जल्द ही जी. एम. सरसों को मंज़ूरी दे सकता है। मंत्रालय की जेनेटिक इंजीनियरिंग स्वीकृति समिति ने 11 मई 2017 को दिल्ली विश्वविद्यालय द्वारा विकसित जी. एम. सरसों के बीज, डी. एम. एच. 11, के व्यावसायिक उपयोग की सिफारिश की थी। यदि पर्यावरण मंत्रालय इसे स्वकृति देता है तो डी. एम. एच. 11 भारत की पहली जेनेटिकली मॉडिफाइड (जी. एम) खाद्य फसल बन जाएगी। आलोचकों  का सबसे बड़ा आरोप है कि परीक्षणों से संबंधित वैज्ञानिक डेटा को अभी तक गुप्त...

This drought has government backing

Monday, May 15, 2017
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Bukya Syamulamma has been left all alone to take care of her younger brother and sister .

Anantapur is experiencing the consequences of a sixth consecutive drought year. One would think that the district administration and the state government would be better prepared but the facts belie this hope. A collapsed government apparatus is denying  wages under MGNREGA, does not compensate farmers who had insured their crops and make almost no effort to make essential services like water available. At least 42 per cent of the...

‘हर बीज एक राजनीतिक बयान देता है’

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
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 बहुत सी परंपरागत फसलें बीमारी से निजात पाने में मददगार होती हैं, जिन्हें प्रतिकूल परिस्थितियों में उगाया जा सकता है।

आलू जो कि बेल पर उगता है,  चावल को पानी में भिगोने के बाद कच्चा खाया जा सकता है, दलिया (फटा गेंहू) प्राकृतिक रूप से मीठा होता है। यह सब सुनने में भले ही अटपटा लगे। लेकिन हमारे किसान सदियों से यह सब उगाते आ रहे हैं। इनके अलावा, ऐसी बहुत सी फसलें हैं जो कि खासतौर पर बीमारी से निजात पाने में मदद करती हैं और जिन्हें प्रतिकूल परिस्थितियों में उगाया जा सकता है। लाल चावल के बारे में आप क्या कहेंगे जिसे इसकी पौष्टिकता के चलते खासतौर पर गर्भवती...

It's time we make farming renewable

Tuesday, December 29, 2015
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Our farmers always saw farming as means of caring for the earth.

Climate change talks are often centered on renewable energy. Nobody talks about making farming renewable. Around 50 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions are due to chemical farming. It emits carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuel required to make chemicals. To prepare 1 kg of urea, 2 litre of diesel is burnt. When used in farms, urea produces nitrogen oxide which is 300 times more harmful than carbon dioxide for the earth. Instead...

‘Every seed makes a political statement’

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
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There are various crops which can help deal with specific health ailments and can grow in adverse conditions.

Seeds are related to our culture, health and social and national sovereignty. The fact that we know little about them signifies the marginalisation of traditional seeds in wake of hybrid seeds pushed by private companies and hailed by policy makers. But more than the market, it impinges upon our right to choose what we grow and eat. Traditionally, the seeds could be farm saved and shared among neighbours. They were rarely bought. But today,...

Irony of Indian farms

Sunday, February 22, 2015
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Rural India has 90.2 million agricultural families with an average monthly income of just Rs 6,426.

It's an open secret that agriculture in India is stagnating. The latest situation assessment survey done by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) paints a bleaker picture. Rural India has 90.2 million agricultural families with an average monthly income of just Rs 6,426. Of this earning, only 60 per cent came from cultivation and rearing of livestock; rest being from daily wages and salary. In fact, agriculture is not the principal...

From starvation deaths to surplus

Saturday, October 4, 2014
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Women farmers have led to the wave of change in Kashipur with organic farming.

Growing crops had never been easy in Kashipur. Farmers practised shifting cultivation, depending on rains to produce whatever little was possible on the rocky slopes. But with onslaught of bauxite mining, large scale felling of forest trees and changing weather patterns, the going has got tougher. The region in Odisha’s Raygada district has always been in news for wrong reasons. More than 50 starvation deaths were reported from this area in...

The pied piper of Shahkot

Saturday, September 13, 2014
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Sher Singh with his organic produce.

Marketing remains a major bottleneck for success of organic farming. All the growers are tapping into a very small segment of urban customers and thus registering losses. Solace and inspiration can, however, be found in certain flag bearers of organic who have developed local markets for their harvest. They require no swanky showrooms, certification or a brand name. Good quality produce flying off from their counters and cash flowing in...

Who will sow those seeds? A video

Sunday, June 1, 2014
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Our policies are pushing farmers out of agriculture little realising the grave consequences.

Over 15 million farmers left agriculture between 1991-2011 due to rising input costs and little profit. Food and trade policy analyst Devinder Sharma talks about the current model of development which is pushing farmers to low-paying dailywage jobs in cities. MSP benefits only 30 per cent farmers as most of the farmers have no surplus to bring to the markets. These are the people in terrible distress and hence committing suicides. He proposes...

'We need to get out of the Bt trap'

Wednesday, April 24, 2013
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'We shouldn't take failure of Bt Cotton lightly'  Source: 'Cotton for my shroud'

Born to the families of teachers, Nandan Saxena and Kavita Bahl always wanted to 'change the world'. Moving from English literature to mainstream journalism to independent film making, the husband-wife duo has developed a valued understanding of India's development model and how it fails us. Their film, 'Cotton For My Shroud', which focussed on suicides by cotton farmers in Vidarbha, got recognition at the 59th National Film Awards. Here they...

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