Archive for the ‘world’ Category

Rural Distress, Agriculture Strategy, Indian Economists

Indian Farm suicides Tracker – http://www.farmsuicides.blogspot.com/

Dry Cow Therapy, Rural Distress, Indian Economists : New Agriculture Strategy
From Second Green Revolution to Milking the Cow Dry – Pushing the ball in the states court

The concerned Indian Prime Minister, has been left searching for the right answers, from all the agricultural experts, while his own Agriculture Minister ignores the suicides from his home state and manages the strings of the Indian cricket team, a job no doubt he loves more than finding answers to the task entrusted to him as Indian Agriculture Minister – saving farmers from rural distress.
Another case of Humpty Dumpty on the rural front, as Indians get busy with cricket season and fortunes of coaches.
Even the Indian Sensex Minister is now feeling short changed, by the massive imports bills, deposited on his doorsteps, on the food front, which threaten to blow a hole through his economic strategy of industrial development and growth in Services sectors.

Never had the Sensex Minister thought that India would soon be vying for the “dubious slot of largest food importer in the world“, while safely in the hands of Punjabi wheat eaters, and Oxbridge economists, as a fallout of UPA government policies and the net result of the much touted Common Minimum Programme, with help of left parties.

The left parties are now more busy spending sleepless nights trying to ensure a President of their choice, rather than the reality of long term Indian food security issues.
Soon after suggesting budgetary support and subsidies for sugar exporters, the Agriculture Minister has gone ahead on a global buying spree for wheat. He just does not seem to like Punjabi and Haryanvi wheat. It is not tasty enough for him or maybe a trifle too full of pesticides for even his liking.
In a bid to wash off the spots on the UPA governments Three Year Achievements, and what even the lacklustre opposition performance by the NDA could not accomplish, is being accomplished in the rural fields of Vidarbha and West Bengal.
Understandably, genuine Congress election strategists are worried.
Let us examine the content of the Prime Minister’s concern about Indian rural distress, worded as it is in very general terms and coming on the heels of the three years of crowning achievements of the Central ruling UPA coalition and the electoral losses in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
In his directions to Planning Commission, Finance Minister and Cricket Minister he has pointed out :
1. Poor growth in farm output, at approximately 2%, is the main cause of agrarian and rural distress
2. There is need for focussing on short and medium term strategies for raising farm output
3. Burden of blame must be strategically be shared with states, as according to his understanding, the Central UPa government is having to face too much unnecessary criticism as being the most responsible player in the rural distress drama of Indian politicians and urban economists. The solution to this is seen as rewarding those states which come out with agrarian focussed programmes, agro climatic and local rural growth strategies, with possible budgetary support.

Surprisingly, the music of the old song of ushering in a Second Green Revolution, futures trading in commodities markets, contract farming, agro processing Special Export Zones, seems to have been lost in the wake of Vidarbha and Uttar Pradesh debacles.

He has stated “I would only like to emphasise that whatever strategies we choose to adopt must deliver some results in the short and medium term, so that tangible benefits are visible – to farmers, consumers and the rural economy as a whole.
This is important if we have to avert any crisis in the agrarian sector and fulfil the needs of a growing economy.”
All the king’s horses and all the kings men, couldn’t put Humpty together again … He directed the Planning Commission to come up with a major programme to enhance central support to those states that prepare localised plans.

This obviously means he is still not prepared to ask his heavy weight Cricket Minister to choose between Cricket, Food Imports or solving Agrarian Distress in his home state of Maharashtra.

The poor Finance Minister is keeping his cards close to his chest and will surely resist tooth and nail, attempts at further central aid to states because he himself knows the dubious record of states in preparing sensitive rural programmes of integrated development, as also knowing that further expansion of agricultural land exploitation is not feasible. Also known as the milking the dry cow therapy.
But the problem is who will be brave enougfh to bell the cat ?

Zubani – Indian rural women narratives – http://www.zubani.blogspot.com/

PM Vidarbha Package – http://www.pmpackage.blogspot.com/

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(THIS IS TRANSLATION OF LETTER OF ONE OF WIDOWS HAS WRITTEN TO INDIAN PRIME MINISTER FOR HELP)
To,
Dr. Man Mohan Singh,
Indian Prime Minister, Government of India
New Delhi-1100011

REF : YOUR HEALING TOUCH TO VIDARBHA FARM WIDOWS IS MISSING
SUB : PLEASE ARRANGE TO SAVE VIDARBHA FARM WIDOWS

Respected sir,

1. My husband Shivaji Betwar of Kelapur in Yavatmal district, Maharashtra, had killed himself by hanging to tree in August of last year after your announcement of package and you specially asked District Collector to give healing touch to farm widows of west Vidarbha.
Please see this photo below :

He was a cotton farmer, and he was forced to commit suicide as local bankers Bank of Maharashtra, Pahapal branch had failed to give him crop loan even though he was not defaulter.
2. Then since after the his sad death, I was told by local administration that as per promise made by you, the relief aid will be given to me as I have two small kids one age 4 and other age 7. After the death of my husband, nobody is there to look after me here at my in laws place. Nobody is there to look after our land too.
3. To day local Tahsildar has told me that Yavatmal District Collector has rejected my case as there was no crop loan, against by husband’s name when he committed suicide. It was matter of surprise that when local bank has not given us loan and credit crunch has been reason of distress to commit suicide, I am being refused the compensation.
4. In order to avoid my kid’s starvation, I went back to my mother’s place in Andhra Pradesh mandal Besa in Adilabad district. But it was very difficult for them to feed my family as my brother is farm labor and I was forced to return back to dead husband’s place in Maharashtra.
PRAYER :
Dear Prime Minister, it has been very difficult to live in these pathetic condition where as babus in local administration have not giving any help to me, I am writing to you that after your Vidarbha visit more than 1000 Farm Widows compensation claims have been rejected, in order to show the effect of your package, that suicides have declined, and we are innocent victims of your administrative politics.
You are kindly requested to save my small kids and help me.
Yours sincerely,
MANGALA SHIVAJI BETWAR

While India Makes Record Cotton Exports to United States of America. Who is benefiting from WTO ?

The Tale of Three Indian Widows :
Savita, Sunita and Pratibha are three women from different contexts, background and age groups, yet engulfed by the continuing tragedy that plays out in Maharashtra. The number of widows is growing at a frightening speed in the cotton country. Jaideep Hardikar reports.
http://www.indiatogether.org/2007/feb/agr-widows.htm

The most senior Indian bureaucrats and politicians, continue to deny any agricultural emergency in Indian rural areas, that calls for their attention.
Some IAS Relief Commissioners, are waxing eloquent on farmer’s folly, in pursuing high cost cultivation practices in un irrigated parts of India, while some IAS bureaucrats are issuing mental insanity certificates to suicidal farmers as “sirfira”. The Indian story of bureaucratic incompetence is tragi comic.

The Sensex Minister is following the bears and the bulls closely, while the Cricket Minister is celebrating the return to form of Saurav Ganguly in Indian cricket.