Lockdown, cyclones and maize farming

Repeated natural disasters, closed mandis and a forced halt to transportation of produce have brought maize farmes in Nabarangpur and other districts to the brink of distress.

#Agribusiness #Livelihoods #ODISHA
Falling prices hit turmeric farmers hard

As Covid-19 rages through the rural areas, hundreds of thousands of tribal farmers in Odisha's Kandhamal district are selling their turmeric harvest at half the usual market rate. 

#Adivasis #Livelihoods #ODISHA
Women in farming: Everywhere, but unseen

Despite their significant contribution to agriculture in India, women are not given their due recognition as farmers. There are some key steps that can be taken to correct this.

#Gender and Media #Gender Law and Policy #Women
From mandis to markets : Will this round be any better?

The second attempt of the NDA government to create a market for farmers' produce may not fare much better than the first one, for the same reason - it fails to address the asymmetry of power between the farmers and buyers.

Why doesn't the CAG look at its own past work?

It is only by looking back at its own history of audit findings that the constitutional auditor can draw attention to policy decisions that were flawed at the very beginning.

#Public Funds
The missing ‘market’ for agriculture

The first of a three part series on the crisis facing farmers today by Kannan Kasturi.

#Agribusiness #Farmer Suicides
Registration of informal land sales
TELANGANA'S FARMERS : Registration of informal land sales

Telangana’s free registration of plain paper land sale initiative to digitally clean up its land records not only benefits its dispossessed farmers but makes land governance transparent, reports Manipadma Jena.

What's working, what's not

The uneven performance of MGNREGA in the task of rural asset generation requires a careful comparison of the decision making processes involved in those cases where the works undertaken have produced value and where it has failed to, writes Pavan Kulkarni.

#Labour Issues #Public Funds
Withering public consultations
BIO-DIVERSITY ACT : Withering public consultations

Per Biological Diversity Act, 2002 before using any Indian biological material for commercial or R&D purposes, public consultation is needed via the local Biodiversity Management Committees, which the National Biodiversity Authority wants to do away with.

#Biodiversity #Environment
Extraction exceeds recharge
STATUS OF GROUND WATER : Extraction exceeds recharge

Last month, the Bombay High Court passed an order to shift IPL matches scheduled for the month of May out of the state of Maharashtra citing an acute water shortage in some parts of the state for its decision. PRS Legislative Research, answers some basic questions about ground water and its depletion in our country.

Rays of hope for the ‘local’ in Meghalaya

Even as many pockets of the state, including its capital, battle the ravages of development and consumerism, a couple of villages visited by the author stand as examples of resilient local economies and lifestyles. Aditya Vikram Rametra describes what he saw here.

#Adivasis #Biodiversity
How sustainable are the SDGs?
UN DEVELOPMENT MANDATE : How sustainable are the SDGs?

Can we look at ending poverty without looking at the structural reasons and dimensions of poverty and inequality? Pradeep Baisakh looks at this and at other objectives within the UN SDG framework and analyses how realistic their achievement would be.

#Environment #Government #Poverty
Wadi: A model for sustainable tribal livelihood

Amongst the various models for sustainable livelihoods being tried and tested in the tribal areas of India, the Wadi model in Odisha's Koraput district has shown a lot of promise.

#Adivasis #Food Security #ODISHA
‘Sarso mein IP ka tadka’ leaves local farmers in the dock

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.

#GM Crops #Government Opinions
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.

#Adivasis #Forests #ODISHA
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.

#Economy #KERALA
The real challenges to sustainable development

With the expiry of the MDGs, the international community is now negotiating Sustainable Development Goals for 2016-2030. Prahlad Shekhawat summarises the ensuing debates.

#Climate #Food Security #Economy #Environment #Government
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.

#Energy #Environment #Government
Why skills-building is an imperative for rural India too

A recent report from the labour ministry reveals that skill-intensive occupations such as plumbing and carpentry pay more in rural India. Shambhu Ghatak looks at the data closely to argue for greater thrust on imparting skills, especially to rural women.

#Labour Issues #Livelihoods #Work+Life #Economy
Why relief packages and loan waivers can't 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 crunches data from CACP to highlight the grave crisis in the agrarian economy.

#Devinder Sharma #Farmer Suicides #Ground Reality
Pay up, or give up your IP!
FARMERS’ RIGHTS : 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.

#Agriculture Policy #Laws
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.

#Agriculture Policy #Economy #Ground Reality
For the love of the seed industry
INDIAN SEED CONGRESS 2015 : 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.

#GM Crops #Economy #Government

Podcasts from Takshashila Institution.
  • The perils of stubble burning
  • Reforming India's agricultural markets
  • Sandalwood - A sad story
  • The problem of depressed potatoes
India Together has partnered with The Takshashila Institution to bring our readers all episodes of the policy chat podcast series, All Things Policy. The podcasts are tagged based on the taxonomy IT uses to archive its own content, so readers can find the various episodes in the respective Section and Topic pages.