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Green Revolution

“Hitler used it in gas chambers; We’re using it in the open fields”

From The Citizen: “Hitler used organophosphate gases to execute thousands in his gas chambers, we are now using the same to kill our farmers in the open fields,” said Kishor Tiwari on the recent deaths of more than 40 farmers from pesticide poisoning in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal. Tiwari heads a government task force for farmers’ welfare.

40 farmers dead, 2000 hospitalised: Task force chief calls it ‘pesticide genocide’

From The Indian Express: According to Kishor Tiwari, chief of a Maharashtra government task force for the welfare of farmers,  more than 40 farmers had died and at least 2,000 more hospitalised from pesticide inhalation in Vidarbha and Marathwada. He has termed the deaths of farmers from pesticide inhalation as “genocide committed by the state”. 

Debal Deb: ‘We have more hardy, nutritious grains than GM can offer’

From India Water Portal: Records show there were 1.10 lakh varieties of rice in India in 1965. After the Green Revolution, which pushed for hybrid varieties, less than 7,000 remain. Debal Deb, who has conserved 1,200 climate-resilient rice varieties, speaks on the need to conserve traditional seeds and why we don’t need genetically modified ones.

The precarious situation of India’s water problem

Hari Pulakkat writes: The country’s water data has been largely hidden from public view, and what was available was poor or untrustworthy. This brings up a question rarely asked by policymakers. If scientists find it difficult to analyse the country’s water resources at the moment, how valid are the reports that forecast India’s water future?

Pumped dry: India’s accelerating and invisible groundwater crisis

From Policy Forum: India is now facing a water situation that is significantly worse than anything previous generations ever faced. All water bodies near population centres are now grossly polluted. Interstate disputes over river water allocations are becoming increasingly intense. Surface water conditions in the country are bad. However, the groundwater situation is even worse.

Learning from the past: A new protocol for agricultural education and research in India

We scientists, each one of us, should ask ourselves what the agricultural establishment needs to do in order effectively to address our current agricultural crisis. Given our present mechanistic scientific paradigm, we are part of the problem, and thus cannot, be part of its solution. Our first task, therefore, is to change our outlook fundamentally.

Bookshelf: Tending Our Land – A New Story

In ‘Tending Our Land’, authors M.G. Jackson and Nyla Coelho present a vivid, historical account of the great human enterprise of food production, an entirely new story– one that reinstates an ancient but eminently relevant imperative for our times. It makes essential reading for policy makers, academia and the budding bold generation of land tenders.

Bookshelf: Tending Our Land – A New Story

In ‘Tending Our Land’, authors M.G. Jackson and Nyla Coelho present a vivid, historical account of the great human enterprise of food production, an entirely new story– one that reinstates an ancient but eminently relevant imperative for our times. It makes essential reading for policy makers, academia and the budding bold generation of land tenders.

The global farm land grab in 2016: How big, how bad?

In 2008, GRAIN exposed how a new wave of land grabbing was sweeping the planet in the name of addressing the global food and financial crises. Their new report shows that the global farmland grab is far from over. Rather, it’s in many ways deepening, expanding to new frontiers and intensifying conflict around the world.

Modi and agribusiness: Doing business or corporate imperialism?

Colin Todhunter writes: With Modi now at the helm, the government is doing the bidding of global biotech companies and is currently trying to push through herbicide-tolerant GM mustard based on fraudulent tests and ‘regulatory delinquency‘, which will not only open the door to GM crops but will boost the sales of Bayer’s glufinosate herbicide.

From the Green Revolution to GMOs: Living in the shadow of global agribusiness

Colin Todhunter writes: Powerful corporations hold sway over a globalised system of food and agriculture from seed to plate. The narrative about farming has been shaped to benefit this handful of influential corporations. With major mergers within the agribusiness sector in the pipeline, power will be further consolidated and the situation is likely to worsen.

With cultivable land shrinking steadily, food surplus India stares at food deficient future

Maninder Dabas writes: With 35% of agricultural households having less than 1 acre of land, the shrinking of agricultural land holdings in India is a worrying trend. Since 1995-96, the average size land holding has decreased from 1.41 hectares to 1.15 hectares which accounts for the decrease of 30,000 hectares of cultivable land each year.

NEWS UPDATE #71

5 reasons why Tibet’s melting ice is a disaster for India, Europe and US Nihar Gokhale, Catch News Did you know that rivers originating in Tibet’s glaciers supply water to 1.3 billion people? That’s equivalent to the entire population of India. But these glaciers are fast disappearing due to global warming. Tibet’s sustainability is crucial

Obituary: The Passing of Bhaskar Save: What The ‘Green Revolution’ Did for India

In this tribute, Colin Todhunter writes: Bhaskar Save died on 24 October 2015 at age 93. Emphasising self-reliance at the farm/village level, Save was regarded as the ‘Gandhi of natural farming’. Masanobu Fukuoka, the legendary Japanese organic farmer once described Bhaskar Hiraji Save’s farm as “the best in the world, even better than my own!”