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Fri25Jul2014

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Ragi over rice

By Ananda Siddhartha

As in the rest of India, in Pavagada taluka of Karnataka, ragi is losing out to rice, groundnut and other cash crops. Until 15 years ago, it was the reverse. What are the market and policy pressures that have caused this reversal, and what are its consequences on health and nutrition, productivity and drought-proofing?

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Stealing from the mouths of babes

By Kathyayini Chamaraj

A chronicle of the civil society action that exposed the shocking scam in Karnataka which saw government functionaries colluding with industry to supply inedible food packets to children in anganwadis, regardless of the fact that children are dying of malnutrition and starvation in the state

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Accountability for malnutrition

The 2nd Convention on Children’s Right to Food held in Bhopal recently explored why malnutrition persists and grows in India, despite attention from the media, voluntary organisations, political parties and MNCs. Is it because malnutrition has still not become a big enough issue with the people, asks Sachin Kumar Jain

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The tragedy of the potato farmer

Why have potato and chilly farmers been dumping their stocks on the streets in protest? Biju Negi reports on the market engineering that is looting the poor farmer

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Monsanto defeated by Roundup-resistant weeds

By Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji

While Monsanto grandly claims that its GM technologies help the environment by reducing pesticide use, weeds resistant to glyphosate, the main ingredient of Monsanto’s bestselling Roundup herbicide, are rapidly spreading across continents, further burdening farmers

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Sustainable agriculture reduces distress migration in Orissa

By Pradeep Baisakh

Thanks to intervention from MASS, migration from Orissa’s Bargarh district has reduced considerably as villagers have been encouraged to start their own kitchen gardens, keep goats and chickens, and set up seed and grain banks, thereby adding to their income from agriculture and reducing their dependence on unscrupulous moneylenders

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Grassroots scientists challenge seed monopolies

By Biju Negi

Beej Bachao Andolan is removing the veil of secrecy from the seed research and development process by training farmers in Uttarakhand on cross-breeding rice varieties, helping them reclaim this traditional knowledge and technology from the agri-chemical industries that monopolise the sector

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Requiem for sustainable, subsistence agriculture

By Ravleen Kaur

In Ladakh, the dzo has been replaced by the tractor, organic manure by chemical fertilisers, and indigenous crops by vegetables for the tourist market. A whole culture of agriculture is dead

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A PDS that works is better than cash transfers

A survey of the Public Distribution System across 1,227 BPL households from 106 villages in nine states reveals an impressive revival of the system, with an overwhelming majority of the poor preferring food to cash transfers

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'Push-pull' agriculture stems migration into cities

By Keya Acharya

More than 25,000 small farmers in East Africa have multiplied yields with push-pull cultivation, in which Desmodium planted alongside maize pushes out pests while Napier grass planted along the borders pulls them in. The method could be used in India to good effect

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