Sunday, January 31, 2010

Are farmers not eligible for Padma awards?

Yes, 2010 Padma awards committee ignored the farmers. The committee considered the citizens from only Art, Literature, Education, Sports, Medicine, Science and Engineering, Trade and Industry…Click for 2010 awards with discipline They did not recognize the farming & rural community related fields though farming community comprises up to 70 % of Indian population living in rural. I am not under estimating the dignitaries who are nominated, but requesting to update the selection criteria by including agriculture and rural related disciplines also. Film actors, dancers, cricketers, businessmen and others are important but let us give importance to farmers also.

If the committee really want support the farmers, they can consider the scientist from agriculture universities,Journalists in rural and agriculture disciplines,rural business entrepreneurs, rural innovators, Model farmers, individuals who are working for farmers’ development and so on. These distinguished awards encourage them and influence others to strive for excellence. How ever... my beloved humble Indian farmers have abundance of self esteem, they won’t plead and lobby for awards.
General Info: Republic day has been the occasion for India to honor its citizens who contributed for nation. Padma Awards were instituted in the year 1954.The award is given in three categories, namely, Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan.Padma Shri is awarded for ‘distinguished service’Padma Bhushan for ‘distinguished service of a high order’; and Padma Vibhushan for ‘exceptional and distinguished service’. The Awards Committee submits the recommendations to the Prime Minister and the President for their approval.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Urban-Rural Disparities

Mahatma Gandhi dreamt about GRAM SWARAJ that every village should be self reliance since he believed villages are backbone of India. He started the PANCHYATHRAJ as a manifestation which was reinstated to a political system and finally established as a Department in government. Still most of the villages are pathetic and unable to satisfy the basic amenities (Water, housing, Medical facilities, Education, Roads, unemployment…) when you compare with towns and cities (comfortable life, paved roads, stylish buildings, super specialty hospitals, hybrid cars, white collar jobs, revolutionary technologies, big malls, multiplex..). Our father of Nation want to fortify the India by reinforce the rural but we have started from other end (towns and cities).Shall we assume that the government and policy makers are failed to respect the fundamental right of equality for all citizens irrespective of rural or urban? Have the Economic reforms bypassed the rural India? I can say... YES, the following information which gives us evidence.

India has 640,000 villages approximately and 70% of the population lives in villages. According our recent census, per capita consumption expenditure in rural is RS.14.50 per day and urban Rs.21.60 per day. India poverty headcount ratio is 37.2 per cent of the population — with the rural area poverty at 41.8 per cent and urban area poverty at 25.7 per cent. Three-quarters of urban households living in well constructed houses, compared to only about a quarter in rural areas. Less than One-quarter of the rural population has access to tap water while the corresponding proportion in cities is about three-fourth. 80 percent of rural population doesn’t have sanitary & hygiene facilities where as 30 percent urban people don’t have such. The rural dwellers have to travel miles together for primary care physician and think how difficult to get emergency care and maternity troubles. I can explain a lot like electricity, telephone connections, transportation, less investment in rural areas, banking and credit facilities… and so on. Not only opportunities, rural areas are losing their manpower which is migrating to urban areas as labor due to heavy investments in urban and metros.

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005
is helping the distressed poor lives in rural areas. According to this scheme the government will give 100 days wage employment in rural areas by carry out village development works. We need a common rural development policy irrespective of states which needs to improve the villages and the achieve the Mahatma’s SAMPURNA GRAMA SWARAJ.
Please send your suggestions to: farmersindia

Friday, January 08, 2010

Genetically Modified Crops

In the controversy of BT Brinjal in India, I would like to share my opinion about GM Crops:
What is GM?
GM techniques are the direct manipulation of the genetic makeup of organisms for human or animal consumption using the latest molecular biology techniques. Combining genes from different organisms is known as recombinant DNA technology and the resulting organism is said to be "Genetically Modified," "Genetically engineered," or "Transgenic."
Importance of GM:
Today‘s world population is 6.8 billions and by 2050 it’s going to be 9.5 billions upward. In 40 years the population will be increased by 40%, our natural resources are shrinking and many regions of the world will be lack of food and nutritional security. The answer for the challenges is to increase the cultivation with more yields and nutritional values. Bio-technology brought revolutionary changes in crop production and management techniques by reduce the dependency on conventional insecticides, herbicides.GM Corps improve the quality of nutritional contents and of food products, bring higher net economic returns to the farmers and reduce the risk of environment pollution.
A number of developed and developing countries including USA, Argentina, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Spain, France, South Africa and China are growing genetically modified crops. The Indian first Transgenic crop BT cotton made rapid strides to Bio technology crops in India. Lot of farmers adopted the BT cotton, cultivated more than 700,000 acres and got a lot of gain in terms yields and cost wise. GM Maize illustrated great results in South Africa, and American Continent. Most of the scientific organizations like UK academies of sciences, US National academy of sciences, GRAS- FDA, International Food Policy research Institute- Asia, WHO and all are concluded thatGM Crops can be used to produce foods. The global transgenic crops market is going to be $25 billion by 2010.
Achieving Food and Nutritional security is not easy task, we need to try every option either GM or Conventional. The food grains which are cultivated today are not absolutely wholly natural, some of them are altered by selective breeding or chemicals or Viruses. Definitely, we need to depend on these modern technologies to get bumper yields, disease resistant and drought resistant crops for growing food need. The government and the progressive thinkers should focus on public understanding on AG-Bio technology.
We are against to hunger and poverty, not to the technology.