Thursday, October 26, 2006
Indian farmers for once could have luck on their side with well known singer Lucky Ali singing for their cause. Ali sang at a concert in New Delhi on May10th ,2006 in Siri Fort Auditorium as a part of 'Oxfam Make Trade Fair ' campaign, urging people to sign a petition to save Indian farmers from exploitation. The Oxfam campaign is battling against what they term as unfair WTO agricultural trade rules that force developing South Asian countries to open their markets for foreign farmers to bring in their produce. The resultant cheap imports force Indian farmers to sell their produce at low rates leading to rise in poverty levels.
Ali's association with Oxfam has led him to field trips in various villages and one-to-one interaction with poverty-stricken farmers. Ali said, "Indian farmers don't get any representation from the agricultural sector, while America and EU go all the way to provide subsidies to their farmers which almost covers their cost of production.
Being a farmer himself, Ali believes it is his duty to stand for this humanitarian cause, speak up for the Indian farmers and spark motivation in them. "This is the only way to save our farmers from committing suicide, as agriculture is not a business in India but a way of life," he added.
Monday, October 09, 2006
FOR WANT OF A PAIR OF BULLOCKS: Bheemrao Manigempure, a small farmer of Kadlabad village in Bidar district, Karnataka, with his son Shivasharanappa and daughter-in-law Saraswati. While the two men pull the plough, she helps them, sowing, de-weeding, or adding fertiliser and pesticides.
The family has a huge loan to repay. Bheemrao owns a small tract of land, which is anything but fertile. '`Any one else would have hanged himself by now,'' is how he explains his life. Reforms mean nothing to them.
The State Agriculture Minister and district in-charge says his ``Government understands that Bidar is one of the poorest districts in the country. We are trying to help the families that need immediate assistance.'' The question is when will this help come. Bidar district is part of the semi-arid and drought-prone belt of northern Karnataka and has been susceptible to periodic droughts. (Courtecy : The Hindubusinessline)