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Food security

Sat 1Nov2014

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The cost of the urban land grab

Should our focus be on earning enough or providing enough, asks Rahul Goswami. The Yamuna Expressway and development project will occupy 43,000 hectares of land currently being cultivated by 1,191 villages, removing the potential to harvest about 100,000 tonnes of foodgrain annually

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A bid to control food flows from field to thali?

Is the CGIAR, an international research consortium backed by a powerful agri-biotech coalition, exploiting India’s rampant malnutrition and healthcare deficits to roll out a dangerous new programme to promote ‘biofortification’ and ‘micronutrients’, asks Rahul Goswami

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National Food Security Act: Universalisation vs targeted approach

With the government at loggerheads with the National Advisory Council and civil society groups on the question of a universal vs targeted approach to the proposed food security Act, Sachin Kumar Jain presents the case against the targeted approach in a country that provides subsidies and exemptions of Rs 418,000 crore to industry while constantly reducing the entitlements of the poor

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Food inflation and agricultural swaraj

By Rahul Goswami

This article illustrates just how crippling the price of staple foods has become. The government trots out its usual response of greater retail investment and more technology inputs, failing to realise that decisions about the production and distribution of food must lie with the producer and consumer, not with the state and corporations

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Seed Bill II: Big business zindabad!

By Shalini Bhutani

A slightly altered version of the Seed Bill 2004, likely to be introduced in the ongoing winter session of Parliament, is ostensibly about keeping a check on seed quality. In fact, it will protect the interests of big business, keeping farmers’ seeds out of the market and discouraging small seed dealers and producers

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Hot potatoes from Farmer Obama

US President Barack Obama’s farm mission has been a very important part of his India visit. But does the new India-US Agriculture Dialogue seek to provide food security and fair trade or to push USA's National Export Initiative, asks Rahul Goswami

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Food security: Getting it right

By R V Bhavani

All three pillars of food security -- food availability, food access, and food absorption -- have to be addressed to make the country food secure. Unfortunately, India’s draft food security bill is a package of piecemeal measures that fails to address all of them, says RV Bhavani

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Lessons from the Bt brinjal consultations

By Samir Nazareth

The consultations on Bt brinjal held across seven cities in India were important not only for the moratorium on the production of India’s first genetically modified food crop that resulted. The process also established that if development is for all, and technology is being touted as its vehicle, then people (be it farmer or consumer) should be included in its design

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The road from drought

By Rahul Goswami

By the time the rabi sowing season for 2009 is over, farming households in the 252 districts declared affected by drought will be further encircled by systems and frameworks over which they have little or no control. This will happen because administrative India is wedded to "area increase and productivity enhancement in targeted districts" as a primary aim. Rural livelihoods are a by-product

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Food insecurity in Incredible India

By Kathyayini Chamaraj

A concept note on the proposed National Food Security Act circulated to all states continues to push for a targeted public distribution system instead of a universal one, and proposes to reduce the issue of foodgrains to 25 kg per BPL household, completely ignoring the contentious issue of who is poor and what an adequate and nutritious diet consists of

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