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The Khamam way by Devinder Sharma

Indian agriculture can be transformed into a healthy and vibrant system, where farmers’ suicides are relegated to history. As we enter 2010, the script for a futuristic agriculture which brings back the smile on the face of the Indian farmer, without leaving any scar on the environment, is being rewritten. What began as a small initiative some six years back in a non-descript village in Khamam district, has now spread to over...

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Food as people's right by MS Swaminathan

This is the season to count blessings. India's greatest blessings are its adherence to the democratic system of governance, an independent judiciary, a free and fearless media, and an Election Commission that inspires confidence. I hope that soon India will have an independent and effective Lokpal, which will pave the way for a corruption-free India, a pre-requisite for a hunger-free India. The other major paradigm shift observed in recent years is...

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Agriculture in ruins by Devinder Sharma

Degraded soils, depleting groundwater, and Chemical Pesticides are playing havoc, placing agriculture in terrible distress. I haven’t forgotten that night. Sitting with a group of farmers in a village in Ludhiana district in Punjab, at the height of the Green Revolution, a farmer showed me a bag of fertiliser that he brought from the market. “Why are you showing me this bag”, I asked. “Wait”, he said, and began to open the...

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NBRI’s fungus to tackle pests attacking pulses

The production of pulses in the country has been hit by a pest called pod borer. The common pest which attacks all pulses, chick pea, pigeon pea, gram, groundnut and lentils is a cause of worry for farmers in several states. The National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) has developed a technology based on Beauveria bassiana, a fungus, which is effective against pod borer of chick pea and pigeon pea and...

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Endosulfan Industry's dirty war to save its toxic product: Summary of Recent Events by CSE

As the demand for a ban on Endosulfan in India is gaining pitch and Karnataka being the latest state to ban the pesticide, the Pesticide Manufacturers and Formulators Association of India (PMFAI) is going around crying foul. They are leaving no stone unturned to save endosulfan. Press meets across the country and plugged newspaper reports maligning studies that have indicted endosulfan in the past is a desperate attempt to save...

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