Devinder Sharma :
Jul 16 2014
BUDGETING FOR AGRICULTURE
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
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.
May 28 2014
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.
Apr 28 2014
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
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.
Jan 21 2014
EASING FARM WOES
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.
Dec 25 2013
STATE VERDICTS 2013
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
TRADE OR HUNGER
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
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.
Apr 26 2011
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.
Sep 23 2009
"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.
Jul 17 2009
OPINION: FOOD SECURITY
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.
Mar 03 2009
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.
Jan 31 2009
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.
Dec 21 2008
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.
Nov 24 2008
TRADE IN AGRICULTURE
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.
Sep 19 2008
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.
Sep 25 2007
OPINION: US FARM BILL 2007
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.
Jun 19 2007
INDO-US WHEAT ROW
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
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.
Apr 08 2007
For 40 years, nearly 17 million cotton growers have been subsidising the textile industry. If only these farmers had got the right price for the cotton they produced, the number of their suicides would have been far less. Instead, cotton prices have been on a steady decline thereby acerbating the farm crisis, writes Devinder Sharma.
Mar 15 2007
OPINION/WTO DOHA ROUND
At a two-day international seminar on "Saving Doha and delivering on development" that concluded at New Delhi on 13 March, India's Commerce Minister Kamal Nath provided ample evidence of India's willingness to go along with the rich and industrialised countries. The writing is on the wall, says Devinder Sharma.
Feb 16 2007
FDI IN RETAIL
The Prime Minister, citing no credible evidence, says small shopkeepers will not be hurt by the entry of large foreign retailiers into the country. His party president, on the other hand, is asking him to go slow on this front. Will this lead to a different course in the government's thinking, or is this simply a smoke-screen, asks Devinder Sharma.
Dec 16 2006
What is it like to be a modern-day Indian prince? Devinder Sharma and Bhaskar Goswami explain how, with the proliferation of Special Economic Zones everywhere, the laws of the land are being redefined to bring in the reality of the royal tag for the rich and beautiful. For the rest of the country, sub-Saharan Africa is the only comparison.
Nov 15 2006
In what appears to be a desperate move to prop up agriculture growth, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called for reversing the declining trend in investment in agriculture. But his approach may also end up compounding the already existing crisis, writes Devinder Sharma.