Over 20 research studies related to GM crops are ongoing in the public sector in India. It is important that public sector research be supported in order to facilitate a level playing field with resource-rich private sector companies
The 'new' proposals from the US and European Union that promise to cut farm subsidies drastically, appear to be a giant step forward in agricultural trade talks. In reality, the US proposal will only bring down the level of support from $ 74.7 billion to $ 73.1 billion. For the EU it would mean no reduction at all in existing support to farmers
Bt cotton has not delivered what it had promised to India. During the last three years of its commercial cultivation, thousands of farmers have experienced this firsthand. Several empirical studies, the most recent by CICR, Nagpur, have exposed the inappropriateness of Bt cotton technology in India. Why aren't the powers-that-be listening?
Studies show that there is little difference in the quality and productivity of processed 'certified' seed and normal seed. But Indian farmers are being pressurised to grow registered seed, regardless of the fact that much of the current agrarian crisis is a result of cost-intensive technologies being forced onto farmers
Dr M S Swaminathan, the father of the Green Revolution, is determined to put agriculture centre stage in India's economy. With 600 million people employed in agriculture, he sees it as being the single largest private enterprise in the country
The average rural Indian family eats 100 kg less food every year than it did in 1991. The average Indian farmer is lucky to get institutional credit at 17% interest, whereas an urban consumer gets a house or car loan at 9% with ease. That is what 12 years of economic reforms have meant for Indians living in the countryside
Indian farmers were left to the vagaries of international markets and the monsoons by the BJP government. The UPA government must reverse the trend, induced by the IMF and World Bank, of deflationary fiscal policies and resume active state support for agriculture