Published: Sunday 15 September 2002

This site scores quite a few firsts. The obvious one - it discusses Indian agriculture, or to be precise the politics and economics of Indian agriculture. Then, it is run by a group of left-oriented Indian economists and some other like-minded experts. To top all this, it is funded by the Mandi board of Madhya Pradesh.

What is the importance of the last two facts, one might ask. Before you digest the information from a website you've got to know who is dishing it out and who is funding the website. And in the case of, the rare combination of a state government funding a group which has been at the forefront of the battle against uniform globalisation and the shrinking role of government regulation in today's economic sets the website apart.

Rest assured, the site is full of relevant information and regularly updated news (not so fresh, on second thoughts). With the Agreement on Agriculture under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) regime coming in for hard scrutiny, the site dedicates a large space to discussing of the implications for Indian agricultural trade and the farmers of the new regime gaining ground. The information comes with full-blown analysis that is slightly skewed to the left. The authors of the site are used to putting up papers on another WTO-watch site called Same papers can be found here in their new avatars. Sure place to develop a clear analytical framework for understanding the international politics of Indian agriculture. Read and reap.

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