As debates around genetically modified (GM) mustard pick up in India, Shalini Bhutani takes a look at the neglected diversity of the oilseed mustard crop on native farmers’ fields and points to the bias of the existing law.
Reversing fate through love for land, forests and water Abhijit Mohanty brings us the story of certain tribal villages in Koraput district of southern Odisha that have successfully overcome the challenges posed by denudation and inadequate irrigation and have etched out a path towards food security and well-being.
Kerala pioneer eyes new horizons for jackfruit industry A new food processing company in Kerala proposes to market innovative products, the success of which could well place the largely neglected jackfruit in the focus of attention of bigger players in the state’s food processing industry. Shree Padre reports.
The real challenges to sustainable development With the expiry of the MDGs which guided global development till 2015, the international community is now negotiating Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the period 2016-2030. Prahlad Shekhawat summarises the ensuing debates and explores a way forward.
Making power supply data a tool for progress Pune-based NGO Prayas Energy’s ESMI programme provides easily comprehensible data on the extent and quality of power supply in regions across the country, which can be used to demand accountability as well as enable social research. Manasi Mathkar reports.
Skills-building an imperative for rural India too and here’s why! A recent report from the Ministry of Labour and Employment reveals that skill-intensive occupations such as plumbing, carpentry and electrical work pay more in rural India. Shambhu Ghatak looks at the data closely to argue for greater efforts towards imparting skills, especially to rural women.
Pay up, or give up your IP! The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act 2001, based on the European seed patenting model, is increasingly proving to be more of a burden on small farmers. Shalini Bhutani explains why.
For the love of the seed industry It was a Valentine’s Day vow with a difference. The bond between the private seed industry and the public agricultural sector received a fillip at the recently concluded Indian Seed Congress in Agra over the weekend, reports Shalini Bhutani.
Pursuing development: The perils of the beaten track The report of a high level committee led by Vijay Kelkar to promote balanced development in Maharashtra has several important recommendations. But will it all come to nought because of its failure to avoid a few conventional pitfalls? Shripad Dharmadhikary explores.
What binds every family in this Kerala Panchayat The thrust on chemical-free cultivation of vegetables that started as an experiment in the 90s has now evolved into a culture in Kerala’s Kanjikkuzhi Gram Panchayat. P N Venugopal traces the growth and success of this initiative so far.
Farming for self-reliance in Kalahandi The struggle to feed themselves and their families round the year drives millions of farmers in remote rural areas to desperate measures. Abhijit Mohanty’s story shows how sustainable agriculture has helped farmers in Odisha’s backward Kalahandi district pull themselves out of poverty and food insecurity.