• Latha, thats a nice attempt

    Latha, thats a nice attempt to analyze the rice picture. the major problem is comparing with china. chinese have a different ecological conditions compared to india why should we compare our yields with them? the day length, diurnal variations in temp etc also matter in influencing yields. apart from this the support to rice farming is also vastly different unlike india. instead of improving upon the diverse rice growing practices across the countries which evolved due to local ecological requirements, the mad monoculture of ponding rice with few varieties with narrow genetic base and high chemical and water use has led the serious crisis. the pricing policies in india are highly disincentivised for farmers. importing seed from china will proove disastrous to indian farming. This entire push for hybrids is to pave way for GM rice in this country and not for the ecological security or economic security for the farmer.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
  • You have made an attempt to

    You have made an attempt to explore many facets of the rice conundrum, however the farmer seed savers who have kept rice alive for 10,000 years dont figure anywhere. And of course in this whole debate you are ignoring the significant and wonderful work which is taking place in different states ranging from the himlayan foothills to the rice bowl jharkhand to the karnataka to struggling kerala with regard to paddy seed conservation and reclaiming seed sovereignty! Policy makers, researchers and many others are involved in decision making to increase productivity, to improve yields, however the farmer- the only person who can convert all those paper and lab visions into reality is nowhere in the picture... Do we want to hear what the the land says? and what the farmer says? No one wants to know.... Why is it that we have ignored farmers and continue to ignore them? Why dont we ask them what works and what doesnt? Why dont we make them part of the decision making process? It is only the farmer who can GROW rice can SAVE rice....! devi

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
  • devi, thank you very much for

    devi, thank you very much for comments. i agree that our farmers have been doing amazing work in saving rice for mankind and need to be written about in greater length. in the restricted space that we had, we have mentioned some of the farmers who are doing such work,such as boregowda in karnataka and natabar sarangi in orissa. there is a related story on the latter. pl see http://www.downtoearth.org.in/node/2406

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
  • A debate on Green Revolution

    A debate on Green Revolution is not new in India. It has been there since the eighties when the yields got stagnated and the impact of pesticides and fertilisers were observed by farmers and experts .The debate got intensified in the nineties when exploitation of water resources and its impacts were pointed out by many . On top of this the issue of farmer suicides unleashed a series of debates in the country about the long term economical and ecological sustainability of chemical agriculture in a country like India where farming is both a food security and livelihood security issue. Meanwhile many individuals and organisations started promoting an alternate approachin farming and many farmers started experimenting on it. And now the country has started to benefit from it . The way forward is with locally appropriate seed diversity , resources and low cost package of practices which majority of our farmers in this country can practice without getting caught in debt trap and without destroying the natural resources. It is shocking that the same institutions which promoted Green Revolution earlier are pushing the same in eastern India , but with more costly and unstable technologies. This time they join with private companies also ! And they continue to say that this is the only way to ensure food security. Nothing can be more stupid than this argument. It is clear that scientists and the seed companies are taking the farmers in the eastern states for a ride through the introduction of Hybrid Rice. Rice is a crop which has the highest diversity and we have lost quite a good number through the first Green Revolution and farmers are trying to revive what ever is left because they have realised that HYVs and hybrids can not solve the issues which concern them: pests, drought, flood, salt intrusion etc.. They donÔÇÖt spend crores to develop these varieties unlike the scientists, and these varieties perform well in thelocal conditions. Dr Richharia who understood both the potential of indigenous rice varieties and the situation of farmers had put forwarded an approach for the development of seeds, especially rice , which is relevant even now. But who cares? Scientists have a technology to sell and they have all the support from the Ministry of Agriculture . Some farmers from Kerala who participated in the Kisan Swaraj Yathra in Punjab, Rajasthan and other north Indian states have found that it is possible to get out of the pesticide trap, but once you loose the seeds then there is no going back! And we are on the verge of this happening because IRRI is changing its policies on IPR .

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
  • Organic is the only logical

    Organic is the only logical way forward. the biggest challenge however is to keep industry lobbyists from peddling there so called solutions on us by bribing politicians and opinion leaders. the industry works in an insidious way, and untill we have strict agri laws, poor farmers will continue to have business minded propaganda showed down their throats.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
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