Thursday 05 January 2012

Author(s): Jyotika Sood, Latha Jishnu

  • very well written and

    very well written and researched article Keep it up jyotika

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
  • For the past several years I

    For the past several years I am writing in my articles, books and in letters sent to HonÔÇÖble Prime Minister/Planning Commission that we are producing in excess over the requirement and thus, around 50% of the production is going as waste. This is basically because there are no sufficient storage facilities, poor post-harvesting mechanism, no timely transport facilities, exploitation by business-politicians-bureaucrats nexus that are minting crores of rupees through illegal exports. The losers are the farmers and the government that provide subsidized inputs and loans. In the month of March there was discussion on Dot Earth blog in The New York Times Science/Environment section on production ÔÇô price rise ÔÇô food security vs. global warming, in which I put my observations too. On this the writer of the blog sent me a 3.5 minute video film presenting my observations recorded in India. HonÔÇÖble Supreme Court also pointed out rotting of food grains in government gowdowns. Union Finance Minister in his 2011-12 budget presentation highlighted the point of wastage that needs storage facilities. On 15th May 2011 The New York Times Science/Environment section presented a brief news titled ÔÇ£One-Third of WorldÔÇÖs Food wasted, Report SaysÔÇØ as released by Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations that says ÔÇ£Fully one-third of all food produced globally ÔÇô a staggering 1.3 billion tons ÔÇô is lost or wasted every year. It is divided equally between industrialized and developing world, although waste in rich countries was far higher on a per capita level. ÔÇô I put my observations on this. To that extent we are wasting our natural resources as well damaging the nature. To that extent it is a wasteful expenditure by both developing and developed countries. At the same time every day we see articles saying due to global warming food production is effecting. That means, like energy loses and now reducing the energy losses, in food it is not an easy task as the business interests are inter woven here. Multinational companies play vital role here. The farmers are unable to get minimum support price for his produce. Some of the greenhouse gases are attributed to be produced in agriculture and animal husbandry sector. Some is also attributed to village-wood stoves. In this the nitrous oxide is released through chemical inputs. Now to reduce the wastage of foods on one side and to reduce the green house gases release through chemical input technology and associated health risks could be countered by organic farming. Here by adapting progressive farmersÔÇÖ technology ÔÇô some of them received national and international recognition -- we can achieve healthy food at low investment, which improves the economy of the farmers. It also counters the global warming component. Then there is no need to import Western patented seed biotechnology with severe adverse environment impacts ÔÇô adulterated seed market is flourishing under this. Our research must, therefore, tailor to organic farming with desi environment friendly seed technologies & agriculture technologies. The government proposed climate change linked research must be directed in this direction. Also, at the same time scientific community of organic farming must call for a meeting to educate the Ministers from environment & forests, agriculture, and science & technology to understand the reality of the climate change vs. organic farming concept. The new approach proposed by UNEP & WMO run in this direction only. In this greenhouse gases could be brought down through controlling urban air pollution. Urbanization has become major fatality of environment. By cleaning the urban areas we can protect the environment to a maximum extent by balancing the developmental activities to meet the basic needs of ever increasing population. Input Subsidy: In one of the meetings at CSA on dry land agriculture ÔÇô planning commission, when I proposed replacing the chemical inputs by organic inputs, there was a discussion how to get subsidy to organic inputs like in the case of chemical inputs. I saw an article by IIM professors on input subsidy which was submitted to HonÔÇÖble Prime Minister, wherein they proposed continuation of subsidy giving to industry, which is benefitting the industry-politicians-bureaucrats nexus. In the past I advocated the policy of giving subsidy to farmers directly. With this background, I countered the IIM professorsÔÇÖ argument and sent the same to the professors. Later I also sent the same to HonÔÇÖble Prime Minister. Recent union budget proposed to give the fertilizer subsidy to farmers directly. This way, the farmers can use this for the purchasing of organic inputs. On this groups can look into this aspect as the government is yet to finalize the modality of payment. Cooperative farming: Though I proposed this long back, when Dr. YSR asked me to prepare Black paper to counter the White Paper by TDP government under vision 2020, I prepared and submitted to him. This was released in 2001 in the Assembly press area to the media. In this I proposed the concept of cooperative farming, in which farmers can come together and produce crops as formulated, get the government subsidies, export what they produced. This is the best mode for making organic farming a successful venture. This helps better utilization of government subsidies, better utilization of water resources ÔÇô increase the area under irrigation, to get remunerative price for what he produces, they can demand permission to export what they produce. This also helps to seek government assistance in the event of natural calamities. With the government assistance they can build gowdowns to store their produce. All these will help to mitigate farmersÔÇÖ suicides and can help building greenery around the rural areas that reduces carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. I am the first to sign a PIL on Bt-Cotton filed in Andhra Pradesh high court -- as my advocate was changed his loyalty the case is still in the court. Let me give the Bt-Cotton yield data in AP since 2002-03 to 2010-11: Year Bt cotton yield Non-Bt cotton yield 2002-03 212.5 229.1 2003-04 408.0 383.9 2004-05 318.7 315.8 2005-06 347.3 346.7 2006-07 381.1 380.5 2007-08 525.0 525.0 2008-09 434.0 434.0 2009-10 376.5 213.8 2010-11 545.7 919.5 These figures clearly reflect that Bt cotton is not superior to non-Bt cotton in any respect. Both are sensitive weather prevailing in a given year. That mean, our bureaucrats-scientists-politicians nexus serving the multinational companies for a price to monapolize seed production in India. This is harmful to environment as well to farmers. Thanks Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
  • Who decides which crops are

    Who decides which crops are to be tried for GM? There is and has been no directed efforts based on local data, civil society and farmer consultations. In almost all cases the efforts have been either anecdotal, subjective decisions or based on training abroad or due to funding opportunities. Subsequently there is rationalisation of the decision. Of course there have been few instances of genuine choices but again they were based on mostly individual preferences rather than a collective decision involving all stakeholders. Some suggestions: 1. It is time for civil society to ask that the process of identification for GM research be broad based, open and subject to widespread discussion. 2. There should be elected civil society representatives in regulatory bodies for GM crops. To say GM is complex science that can be understood by the scientists is only wanton obfuscation. It only means not enough effort has been made. It also suggests there is a fear of being questioned or found to be wrong. 3. All GM research and GM companies should be owned by the government and not be private as in the case of nuclear power, space, defence, judiciary and police. 4. Discard all bacillus thuringiensis based technology and multinational-owned GM technology. Of course the government is no saint when it comes to making profitable deals with big business and not bothering about the common person. However, they can and should be held responsible and answerable by the current and future generations.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
  • I agree with the fact that

    I agree with the fact that spread of BT is a disaster in making. The documentary mentioned below shows the dirty reality of Monsanto It is alarming to note that even after the Vidarbha suicides,Monsanto and its Indian partner Mahyco are running scot-free and more so they have forced the brands of cotton like Nanded-44 etc. to be taken out of the market in Maharashtara. D link to the documentary is :- http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-world-according-to-monsanto/

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
  • In fact in India there is no

    In fact in India there is no body to guide on agriculture as every thing in agriculture is controlled by multinational companies. The agriculture Minister is happy with Genetically Modified crops as his state constrols it. The advisors to his ministry are the people working with GM companies under the disguise of Farmers associations/federations, etc. In Andhra Pradesh government cut down the prices of Bt cotton but the advisors are closely associated with the present CM again they raised the price of Bt cotton by 180 crores. We don't need GM crops as we are wasting 50% of what we are producing as well the yield is not more than the tradition. Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
  • Namaste Reddy Ji This is

    Namaste Reddy Ji This is Digvijay, originally from Haryana. Majority of my family members are still employed in rural sector. At present,I am doing MBA(spl. in Environment and Safety)from NITIE,Mumbai. I have a dream of bringing the farmers condition to a decent status.For that I am ready to work hard. I request you to Email me reading materials reflecting the ground reality in farming in India because we hardly get to know the ground reality in these times of biased media. My Email is digvj47@yahoo.co.in

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
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