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After protests, Govt changes norms: Dalit land first choice for NREG work, small Farmers next

tes and/or Scheduled Tribes will be the first to be earmarked for works under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and once this is saturated, only then land belonging to small and marginal Farmers will be taken up. These are the amended guidelines issued by the Rural Development Ministry after protests that expansion of works under NREGA would undermine its benefits to Dalits. In July, Rural Development Minister C P Joshi had de

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First public audit of special economic zones in Maharashtra

Farmers and affected people from 8 districts present their cases before an eminent panel; public audits will take place in seven other States also   DIV VILLAGE (RAIGAD DISTRICT): Speakers at the first public audit of special economic zones (SEZs) in Maharashtra raised trenchant questions on the constitutional validity of the law permitting these zones, and called for dislodging the government that was promoting such illegalities.

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Needed policies, not just promises

ICAR needs a searching review and early upgradation. Otherwise, the Prime Minister’s call that "our scientists must devise new techniques to increase the productivity of small and marginal Farmers" will not be operationalised. The Prime Minister says at one point: "It is our ardent desire that not even a single citizen should ever go hungry". Yet recent six starvation deaths in Orissa, 10 in Madhya Pradesh and 15 each i

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Farm boy who fed India

inable. The critics have warned that the Green Revolution has contributed to a dangerous fall in the groundwater level across India’s northwestern states. In Punjab, scientists are asking Farmers to consider other crops -- with little effect. According to The New York Times, Borlaug responded that the real problem was not his agricultural techniques, but the runaway population growth that had made them necessary. He also felt that sc

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A home-grown drought

chal Pradesh suddenly released water from reservoirs. This caused flash floods in four districts. In eastern Uttar Pradesh the Ghaghra, Sarada and Saryu rivers flooded several places in August. Farmers are not asking for food grain like in previous droughts; they want more electricity to pump groundwater, said Samra. Droughts are not new to India but people used to grow crops sustainable in low rainfall. The cropping pattern has changed with the

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Richer states, poor performance, in reducing malnutrition

ed states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka find themselves in the category of high food insecurity. In fact, one of the most prosperous states i.e. Maharastra has recently seen Farmers committing suicides owing to agrarian crisis in its countryside. The soon to be launched Right to Food Act, which is attempting to target the below poverty line (BPL) population must, therefore, widen its ambit so as to make the public distr

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Distress migration at its peak in Chhattarpur

Houses in villages are deserted as over 1,50,000 Farmers have left in the last one month Chhattarpur (M.P.): Even as the Centre-State political tussle over Bundelkhand goes on, drought-hit Chhattarpur district of the region is on its way to becoming the epicentre of exodus. While Farmers have been migrating from the region for the past three years, this year every day thousands of people are making

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DEBATE: Is NREGS II a product of a complacent UPA II?

oy of the Sanjha Manch, Arundhati Dhuru of the NAPM, Annie Raja of the National Federation of Indian Women.   So far the NREGS work was allowed on the private land of the dalit and tribal Farmers but the govt. has now widened its ambit to include all others who own up to five acres of cultivable land (see details in the links below). Those opposed to the amendment believe that the NREGA II strays from its objectives because it removes the

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jobs for poor rural households. * 500 million small farms worldwide, most still rain fed, provide up to 80 percent of food consumed in a large part of the developing world. Investing in smallholder Farmers is an important way to increase food security and nutrition for the poorest, as well as food production for local and global markets. * In 1990, 53 percent of all Indian children were malnourished. In 2015, malnourishment declined to 40 percent.

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Dalits, the poor and the NREGA

and Scheduled Tribes or below poverty line families or to beneficiaries of land reforms or to the beneficiaries of the Indira Awaas Yojana of the Government of India, or that of the small or marginal Farmers as defined in the agriculture debt waiver and debt relief Scheme 2008.” (the amendments made are marked in italics). The definition of small and marginal farmer used here implies that anyone who owns up to five acres of arable land (over 80

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