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Showing posts from February, 2013

Food, Fibre and the Indian Farmer

In August 2012, an Indian parliamentary panel recommended against the use of genetically modified crop research. Some scientists, corporates and policy makers raised alarms that this will shake India’s food security. I believe, it provides very timely opportunity to explore alternative approaches such as agroecology which has potential to enhance productivity and farm sustainability through adoption of ecological techniques that improve functional agricultural biodiversity, avoids expensive inputs and are less energy intensive. More than half of India’s population are farmers and it is not surprising that corporate control of agriculture (through GM seed) is perceived as threat to livelihoods and food security. The focus of the discussion now should be on realising the potential of farmers to improve productivity and adaptation to climate change through increased investments in research and resources required for the development and uptake of sustainable agriculture that remained e…

Clean Development Mechanism: How clean and whom does it develop?

The United Nations promote the integration of poverty reduction and environmental sustainability through its various programs. However, such attempts have not been highly successful as more than one billion human beings continue to live under poverty and biodiversity continues to erode at the faster rate. This is primarily due to the failure to simultaneously address economic and environmental problems and lack of people centric agenda for poverty alleviation and for addressing environmental issues. The United Nations however has made tremendous progress in partnership with other agencies, governments and communities to work for the sustainable development. However, the outcome of such projects needs to be carefully evaluated for the future development programs. One approach taken by development organisation in the eastern Himalayan region in Darjeeling district, West Bengal, India, is to partner with corporates and develop projects such as Mini - Hydel power projects, using s…