THE NEWS IN PROPORTION
Devinder Sharma : Ground Reality
Apr 13 2015
Small_list_punjab_farmer
FARMING CRISIS
Why relief packages and loan waivers won’t be enough to stem farm suicides
Even in regions touted as India’s food bowl, Rs 3000 a month is all that a farmer earns for his family! Devinder Sharma analyses data from CACP to highlight the grave crisis in the agrarian economy that calls for immediate and unprecedented government action.
Feb 28 2015
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BUDGET BLOG
Why Jaitley’s budget has failed to bring cheer to our farmers
As has been the historical trend, most of the budget announcements on agriculture this year, too, are geared towards benefitting agribusiness rather than augmenting farm income, writes Devinder Sharma.
Feb 09 2015
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LESSONS FROM THE SEZ EXPERIENCE
Why easy land is no guarantee of industrial growth
It’s like a scam unnoticed: even after access to over 45000 hectares of land, with massive tax exemptions and holidays, the SEZ experience has been a sorry story. Devinder Sharma discusses the flaws in the government’s economic reasoning and insists on accountability.
Dec 24 2014
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AGRICULTURAL DECLINE
Rest in peace, food self-sufficiency
Ironically at a time when food shortage is being widely perceived as a potential global concern in the near future, policymakers seem to be doing everything that would take agriculture further down the path of ruin. Devinder Sharma highlights the findings of a recent NSSO report to substantiate that.
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Sep 04 2014
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100 DAYS OF MODI GOVT
There are more things in heaven and earth than stock markets!
The media frenzy over Narendra Modi’s first 100 days in office is complemented by the cheer in markets, but Devinder Sharma sounds a caveat against judging the performance of the government by the standards of markets alone.
Jul 16 2014
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BUDGETING FOR AGRICULTURE
How about smart villages, Mr Modi?
For over two decades now, agriculture has suffered overall neglect as successive governments, led by World-Bank prescribed growth models, have issued disproportionate doles to industry. While the present allocations do not spell much hope, Devinder Sharma suggests what the Modi government may still do to reverse the trend.
Jun 13 2014
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SEED EXCHANGE
A silent revolution brewing on our farms
An increasing number of farmers from across the country are flocking to the annual rice sharing festival in Tamil Nadu, where a whopping number of traditional rice seed varieties are exchanged and subsequently cultivated in different locales. Devinder Sharma reports from the 2014 event.
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May 28 2014
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AGRICULTURE REFORMS
Can farmers look ahead to “acche din” as well?
Narendra Modi’s attention to the woes and plight of farmers during election campaigning has raised a lot of hope for improvement among members of the beleaguered community, but can he deliver? Devinder Sharma presents an 11-point prescription for turning the agricultural sector around.
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Apr 28 2014
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GLOBAL TRADE
Will The NYT bat against Washington apples in India?
A recent editorial in The New York Times rightly recognises the flaws of a growth model driven by lower trade barriers. But Devinder Sharma wonders if the American daily will take a stand and extend its arguments to champion the cause of all nations, including India.
Feb 10 2014
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GM EFFECT
A few facts for GM-advocate Manmohan Singh
At the 101st Indian Science Congress in Jammu, the Prime Minister reaffirmed his faith in the potential of biotechnology for agricultural development. Devinder Sharma discusses findings that raise questions about the basis of his conviction.
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Jan 21 2014
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EASING FARM WOES
FDI: Neither necessary, nor sufficient
Though FDI in retail is being projected as a cure-all for the ills in the agriculture and food sector, Devinder Sharma cites examples from the world over to argue why we should not be pinning our hopes on it.
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Dec 25 2013
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STATE VERDICTS 2013
Bad Economics, bad politics
The real reason behind the Congress' performance in the recently concluded Assembly Elections may not be the rise of the Aam Aadmi Party per se, but more the economic concerns of the real aam aadmi. Devinder Sharma analyses.
Nov 18 2013
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TRADE OR HUNGER
US-EU spanner in the works of India's food security programme
India's food security bill is on top of the negotiating agenda for the forthcoming WTO Conference at Bali. Devinder Sharma explains why the likely compromise in the face of posturing from developed countries could have serious ramifications for food security and self-sufficiency.
May 01 2011
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FARM MARKETS
Uttar Pradesh to set up 2000+ mandis
The Mayawati government proposes to reduce the distance that farmers must travel to take their produce to market to an average of seven kms. This should help farming families boost their incomes, writes Devinder Sharma.
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Apr 26 2011
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CIVIL SOCIETY
The Anna Hazare phenomenon
The television cameras and news reports tell us how dramatic the India Against Corruption campaign's rise to national consciousness has been. The story of how it unfolded is even more interesting, writes Devinder Sharma.
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Sep 23 2009
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OBITUARY
The Borlaug I knew
"When people fail to recognise farmers' role in feeding the country, be sure there is something terribly wrong happening", he once told me. Devinder Sharma remembers Dr Norman Borlaug.
4
Jul 17 2009
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OPINION: FOOD SECURITY
Food for all? Not through the NFSA.
The National Food Security Act proposes to lower ration prices, but also reduce the quantity of grain that is given to each family. Devinder Sharma suggests a Zero Hunger programme instead.
4
Mar 03 2009
OPINION
New language, old crisis
It is ironic that 'Conservation Agriculture' the new wave from agriculture scientists, requires so much new technology, and focuses so little on existing traditional knowledge of conservation techniques, writes Devinder Sharma.
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Jan 31 2009
ECONOMY
Corporates look for rural gold
Business honchos are descending on the rural markets, expecting to make a killing from whatever is left in the pockets of India's poor, led by an NCAER forecast of robust sales growth here, writes Devinder Sharma.
3
Dec 21 2008
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OPINION
A stimulus package for farmers?
With 60 per cent of India's population directly engaged in agriculture, and another 200 million landless workers indirectly banking on farming, the real stimulus to the economy can come only if the focus shifts to agriculture, says Devinder Sharma.
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Nov 24 2008
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TRADE IN AGRICULTURE
Outsourcing food production
As food prices rise around the world, the political economy of food is being rewritten, with countries and companies moving to acquire large tracts of farmland around the world to secure their interests, notes Devinder Sharma.
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Sep 19 2008
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GM FOODS
Pause before you eat
The Bt gene in brinjal does not increase productivity. But what it is surely about to do is bring India's first genetically altered food crop to your dining table. And there are lots of reasons why this should worry you, writes Devinder Sharma.
11
Sep 25 2007
OPINION: US FARM BILL 2007
Protection at home, preaching abroad
In clear disregard for the ongoing multilateral negotiations, the United States is attempting to protect its already heavily fortified agriculture further. The House of Representatives passed the US Farm Bill 2007 in July, proposing 286 billion dollars of support for American farmers over the next five years. Devinder Sharma on the implications.
3
Jun 19 2007
INDO-US WHEAT ROW
Weeding out wheat
Claiming highest quality standards in the world when it comes to its own agricultural imports, the United States has no qualms in exporting sub-standard wheat to India. US participation in India's wheat procurement cannot be at the cost of India softening quarantine standards, says Devinder Sharma.
Apr 23 2007
OPINION/ECONOMIC ANALYSIS
Growing credibility gap
It is widely accepted that agricultural subsidies in developed nations are distorting global agriculture trade. And yet, Purdue University and the World Bank are cleverly using economic models and simulated 'welfare gains' to push for market access in developing nations. Therein lies a danger, says Devinder Sharma.
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Devinder Sharma is an award-winning journalist, writer, thinker and researcher respected for his views on food and trade policy. His writings focus on the links between biotechnology, intellectual property rights, food trade and poverty. He is a regular contributor to leading national print publications. He blogs at http://devinder-sharma.blogspot.com/
 

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