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  • A Farmer’s Life Crisis — And India’s Farming Predicament – Ecologise
    wheat so the official compensation of Rs 18 000 per hectare appears to cover his expenses except that the government allows compensation for a maximum of two hectares Ramlal lost crops across 16 hectares of land If this was a normal year Ramlal would have sold his harvest to the state owned Food Corporation of India for roughly Rs 58 000 per hectare a profit of Rs 30 500 per hectare without transportation cost So in good years Ramlal prospered but increasingly uncertain weather as we shall see later has upset a tenuous normalcy across rural north India Ramlal s total losses are Rs 2 80 000 the state reimbursement covering less than 13 of crop raising costs Head Cost Rs Ramlal s Sowing expenses 16 hectares 2 79 200 Total Expected income profit 16 hectares 4 88 000 Total compensation 2 hectares 36 000 From satellites from the ground the estimation problem Ramlal did not lose all his wheat He estimated that 10 of the crop could be saved A government estimate put that figure at 30 It is hard to assess what the remnant might fetch Ramlal said the harvested kernels were blackened and stunted which means lower rates Like 80 of Indian farmers Ramlal does not have crop insurance an agricultural dysfunction that leaves governments liable not by law but by political necessity At least 600 million Indians still depend on farming although the share of agriculture in India s gross domestic farmers is declining Farmers are an electoral constituency that cannot be ignored and could as this Livemint report warned imperil the Bharatiya Janata Party Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised an increase in compensation and dispatched senior ministers to visit farms in 14 states One of those Nitin Gadkari recently advised farmers against relying on God or government You yourselves are the architect of your lives said Gadkari Source India News Currently Ramlal s only concern is how the government assesses his crop losses There are two ways of establishing such losses said Sudhir Panwar a member of UP s Planning Commission One by satellites that pass over an area and use special sensors and cameras to determine damage in fields Remote sensing as the technique is called is reasonably accurate but only offers a block or taluk level view Two a subjective assessment by the local Lekhpal the local revenue officer These assessments may be an easier method of reaching individual farmers but they are greatly inaccurate UP and 13 other states hit by the recent crisis largely depend on the lekhpal Obviously this involves huge amounts of guesswork said Himanshu he uses only one name an agricultural economist from Delhi s Jawaharlal Nehru University Revenue officials are hardly equipped to assess the damage and there are very few of them to take care of large geographical areas The result is guesstimates said Himanshu That is why there are so many flip flops sic as far as these estimates are concerned In Delhi on March

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/2016/01/08/weathering-the-change-3/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Digest: What the WTO talks at Nairobi mean for Indian agriculture – Ecologise
    Google Opens in new window 18th May 2016 22nd May 2016 Two short courses on Development at Azim Premji University Bangalore Designed for professionals working in various domains of development Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window 24th May 2016 3rd June 2016 View All Events Special Features Digest What the WTO talks at Nairobi mean for Indian agriculture Written by Ecologise Dec 25 2015 0 Comments Commentator Biraj Patnaik writes Nirmala Sitharaman gave the world a good illustration of crocodile tears She was at the centre of the negotiations and walked away with little more than assurances of pious intent after conceding to the core US demand to drop the re affirmation of the Doha Development Agenda DDA from the ministerial declaration WTO talks explained What s at stake for Indian agriculture Latha Jishnu The Nairobi ministerial will define the future direction of WTO and the multilateral trading system In the face of dogged opposition from activists the developed world has taken to signing regional trade pacts such as the Trans Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership These agreements which bring together the rich countries in a secretive pact with emerging economies hit at the very heart of a free and fair multilateral system The club of the elite can bypass the rules enshrined in WTO and also exclude the majority of the world s developing countries from a very large chunk of trade Both China and India are excluded from these trade agreements WTO NAIROBI PACKAGE India packed off empty handed and humiliated South Solidarity Civil society groups in India have come out strongly against the outcome of the WTO Nairobi Ministerial citing concerns on both the negotiating process and substantive issues in the various texts adopted The Ministerial was extended by an extra day due to disagreements from various developing countries including India and was finally concluded in the late hours of 19 December with the adoption of the Nairobi package which includes a Ministerial Declaration and six related decisions on agriculture cotton and Least Developed Countries LDCs Also read India Africa Solidarity Statement How Sitharaman Served Up India Instead of Using WTO High Table to Block US Agenda Biraj Patnaik The Wire India s commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman gave the world a good illustration of crocodile tears with her closing plenary statement expressing disappointment at the DDA not being re affirmed in the ministerial declaration She was at the centre of the negotiations and walked away with little more than assurances of pious intent after conceding to the core US demand to drop the re affirmation of the Doha Development Agenda DDA from the ministerial declaration ENDWTO Developing Countries return Empty Handed from WTO s Nairobi Ministerial Afsar Jafri Focus on Global South Those of us who were in Nairobi however are still contemplating how it is possible to have a

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/2015/12/25/digest-the-wto-talks-at-nairobi-and-the-future-of-indian-agriculture/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Did Marx call the peasant an idiot? He was right, I am an idiot. – Ecologise
    author s farm during the drought of 2011 2015 Uma Shankari Did Marx call the peasant an idiot He was right I am an idiot Written by Contributor Dec 22 2015 0 Comments Chittoor based farmer and activist Uma Shankari writes After the year 2010 for the first time we ve had good rains in fact exceptionally good rains a side effect of the Chennai disaster My husband used to say If Chennai drowns we ll be saved This time it came true We ve not seen such heavy rains in twenty thirty years This is the second installment in our series Weathering The Change Uma Shankari My husband Narendranath and I moved to the ancestral village in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh in 1985 to live by organic farming and practice an eco friendly lifestyle and social activism We witnessed three droughts 1987 1998 2004 and 2011 2015 Thanks these successive droughts the water situation here has become worse The main culprit government policy which encourages unsustainable use of ground water for growing water intensive cash crops Poverty the need for money and desperation makes people including farmers to do all the wrong things After 2010 for the firs time Chittoor district has had good rains in fact exceptionally good rains a side effect of the Chennai disaster My husband used to say If Chennai drowns we will be saved This time it came true We have not seen such heavy rains in twenty thirty years Chittoor has been suffering a five year shortage of rainfall with ground water dropping to 1000 plus feet Chittoor district now has the dubious distinction of having the highest concentration of borewells The mainstay of drinking water in most villages had been the water tankers supplied by the government Thousands of trees have died during these last five years due to lack of water a crisis wrought by both man and nature If nature withheld showers man relentlessly went on digging the ground for water In our family farm of 30 odd acres we lost 600 coconut trees and around 400 mango trees trees that were hundred to fifty to twenty years old Workers cutting down dead coconut trees But then the rains did come at last and everyone heaved a sigh of relief But now what Farmers are in a dilemma Should we grow a crop or not If yes what crop For the agricultural situation has changed so much The number of farm workers has drastically reduced in the villages Young people have migrated In many villages only the older people remain In farming you need attentive intelligent and committed labour And that comes from family labour Both land owning and landless families have lost much of their labour force due to drought and to the lure of the city lights Share cropping arrangements used to be a way of tying landless marginal farmer families to farming Now workers are not ready to take up share cropping If as a daily

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/2015/12/22/weathering-the-change-2/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Digests & Special Features – Page 2 – Ecologise
    electric cars also damage the environment Tags activism agrarian crisis agriculture air pollution alternatives Books capitalism carbon emissions China Climate Change coal corporate rule deforestation development ecological conflict economic growth education awareness energy extreme weather events food security fossil fuels future scenarios Gail Tverberg global economy green politics India inequality Kurt Cobb Narendra Modi government neoliberalism oil prices organic farming Paris climate talks peak oil Renewable energy resource depletion resource extraction Richard Heinberg rural India Sagar Dhara Sustainability Transition videos water crisis weather patterns Archives Archives Select Month May 2016 4 April 2016 51 March 2016 46 February 2016 31 January 2016 27 December 2015 31 November 2015 29 October 2015 19 September 2015 12 August 2015 13 July 2015 9 June 2015 11 May 2015 13 April 2015 12 March 2015 16 February 2015 17 January 2015 10 December 2014 10 November 2014 10 October 2014 10 September 2014 11 August 2014 7 July 2014 5 June 2014 7 May 2014 2 April 2014 3 March 2014 4 February 2014 1 January 2014 2 December 2013 3 November 2013 2 October 2013 8 Special Features Digests Special Features Paris Climate Accord Interactive guide and post mortem Written by Contributor Dec 20 2015 0 Comments This interactive graphic by Carbon Brief outlines and explaines all the fundamental components of the Paris climate deal Among other issues the graphic covers mitigation adaptation loss and damage finance and transparency It looks at the elements of the so called ambition mechanism the inclusion of a 1 5C aspirational target the long term goal and much more Continue Reading Special Delhi s alarming pollution problem Written by Ecologise Dec 19 2015 0 Comments According to a recent survey air pollution in Delhi is one and a half times worse than in Beijing which has always been among the world s most polluted cities This feature looks at Delhi s unprecedented air pollution which is endangering the health of its citizens especially young children and making the city a textbook example of urban dysfunction Continue Reading Series Weathering the change Part 1 Written by Contributor Nov 23 2015 0 Comments Note The weather is changing adding to the woes of the Indian farmer who is already in a state of crisis Even as the pundits split hairs over climate change for the farmer it seems the writing is on the wall In Weathering the change we present a short series presenting the farmer s perspective on the impact of these changes Continue Reading Special Nuclear power wanes as solar rises worldwide Written by Ecologise Nov 9 2015 0 Comments India drastically lowers nuclear energy target Deccan Herald With little progress on ground since the 2008 Indo US nuclear agreement the government has drastically cut the nuclear energy target from 63 000 Mwe by 2032 to just about 14 500 Mwe by 2024 Quiet Burial For India US Nuclear Deal Amit Bhandari Gateway House Solar power developers have offered Continue Reading Special Questioning the UN s

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/category/special-features/page/2/ (2016-05-02)
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  • NEWS UPDATE #82 – Ecologise
    Scroll in Germany shut down eight of 17 functioning nuclear plants immediately after Fukushima In May 2015 the French parliament approved a bill to reduce dependence on nuclear power from 75 to 50 by 2025 Many other countries have paused their nuclear programmes The cost of nuclear is rising exponentially But we seem to act as if we have an enormous store of money When you look at history and how we got here we can understand There is a commonality between UPA the United Progressive Alliance and this government Both are close to companies foreign and Indian that want to make money Also read India Has Agreed on a Site for Second Russian N project Lesser water recorded in Indian reservoirs than last year Down to Earth The Union Ministry of Water Resources on Friday released data pertaining to water storage in India s reservoirs The survey has revealed a dip in the country s water reserves as the current levels amount to just 78 per cent of the storage levels during the corresponding period last year and just about 3 4th the average storage achieved over the past 10 years Why the 75 Drop in Global Oil Prices Isn t Reaching You Abhishek Waghmare IndiaSpend Record production in the United States US weakened demand from the Eurozone and emerging economies like China and Brazil and Iran s entry into the international market have effectively slashed the price of crude oil for India from 106 per barrel in July 2014 to 26 in January 2016 a 75 drop over 15 months So why are you not seeing evidence of this price cut at your local petrol and diesel station The answer As global crude prices reach a 11 year low the Centre and state governments steadily increase excise duties and value added tax shoring up their revenues and keeping fuel prices high for retail consumers Indian consumers of petrol and diesel now pay about double the global rate Sikkim Organic Mission Why We Need To Dig Deeper Varun Santhosh Huffington post There s been a lot of buzz recently about Sikkim becoming a completely organic state The state government has won kudos from many quarters from being featured on the popular TV show Satyamev Jayate to being effusively praised by PM Modi While there is no doubt that Sikkim is one of better governed small states in India a more balanced view has been missing from the general discourse Nabard thinks Mumbai needs 50 of agri loans Alok Deshpande The Hindu Bristling with glass towers and commercial districts Mumbai is unquestionably the financial capital of India The most greenery an average Mumbaikar can hope to grow is a few herbs in window flower pots Which is why it seems strange that the city will the biggest beneficiary of agriculture loans as projected by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Nabard for the fiscal year 2016 17 Govt plans to double per capita plastics consumption Pradhan Business Standard

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/2016/02/08/news-update-82/ (2016-05-02)
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  • NEWS UPDATE #81 – Ecologise
    document dating back to 1916 become the basis on which the National Democratic Alliance is deciding the fate of the people in Uttarakhand its rivers and hydroelectric projects in the hill state The 1916 document is an agreement on how much water should flow through the weirs dams and canals and the main stem of the Ganga river specifically across the ghats of Haridwar so that the Hindus taking a dip in the river continue to believe in its purity It was signed between the then British government some kings of the era Madan Mohan Malviya and others speaking on behalf of the Hindus 38 000 trees to be axed for a smooth ride between Belagavi and Panaji The Hindu A faster ride between Belagavi and Panaji will now come at the cost of nearly 38 000 trees A recent meeting of the Regional Empowered Committee Southern Zone of the Ministry of Environment and Forests has accorded Stage I in principle permission for the widening project that is expected to improve connectivity between the northern hinterlands of the State and the port at Panaji The National Highways Authority of India had sought permission to divert nearly 210 acres of forest land for the four laning project The estimated number of trees to be cut is 37 682 No one in the government is responsible for attaining the air quality standards India sets Anup Bandivadekar Business Standard Anup Bandivadekar Passenger Vehicles Program Director of the US headquartered International Council on Clean Transportation ICCT tells Nitin Sethi of the lessons from the odd even scheme and how India lacks a planned approach to reducing air pollution 2015 Officially the Hottest Year on Record Common Dreams The final tally is in 2015 was the hottest year in recorded history by a record breaking margin NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA announced the official record for last year s runaway temperatures which by NOAA s calculation hit an average of 58 62 degrees Fahrenheit 14 79 degrees Celsius That s 1 62 F degrees hotter than any average year in the 20th century And according to NASA which measures differently temperatures in 2015 jumped 23 F degrees just from the previous year It s getting to the point where breaking record is the norm Texas Tech climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe told the Associated Press It s almost unusual when we re not breaking a record World ocean assessment warns of excessive pressures on ocean resources Down to Earth Cumulative impacts of human activities have pushed the oceans carrying capacity almost to its limit according to The First Global Integrated Marine Assessment carried out under the United Nations and released on January 22 The report which assesses the state of the world s oceans from the scientific as well as socio economic point of view was presented at and endorsed by the UN General Assembly in December 2015 It warns that climate change overexploitation of marine living resources increased uses of ocean

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/2016/01/30/news-update-81/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Why a Brazil tribe has the world’s highest suicide rate – Ecologise
    sharing strategies and tools for doing so Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window 18th May 2016 22nd May 2016 Two short courses on Development at Azim Premji University Bangalore Designed for professionals working in various domains of development Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window 24th May 2016 3rd June 2016 View All Events Special Features A Guarani family mourns the death of a member Survival international Why a Brazil tribe has the world s highest suicide rate Written by Contributor Jan 10 2016 0 Comments According to a new report published by Survival International the rate of self inflicted deaths within the Guarani tribe is 34 times the Brazilian national average and statistically the highest among any society anywhere on earth Suicide rates among many other indigenous peoples such as Aboriginal Australians and Native Americans in Alaska also remain exceptionally high Survival International A new report published by Survival International reveals that the appalling suicide rate among the indigenous Guarani Kaiowá people of southern Brazil is the highest in the world The rate of self inflicted deaths within the tribe is 34 times the Brazilian national average and statistically the highest among any society anywhere on earth Suicide rates among many other indigenous peoples such as Aboriginal Australians and Native Americans in Alaska also remain exceptionally high This can be viewed as the inevitable result of the historical and continuing theft of their land and of development being forced upon them The report Progress can Kill exposes the devastating consequences of loss of land and autonomy on tribal peoples As well as the shockingly high suicide rates among tribes it also reveals high rates of alcoholism obesity depression and other health problems Particularly striking statistics include the sky rocketing rates of HIV infection in West Papua which increased from almost no cases in 2000 to over 10 000 by 2015 and the rate of infant mortality among Aboriginal Australians twice that in wider Australian society In large parts of the world poor nutrition continues to cause further problems such as malnutrition for Guarani children who are forced to live on roadsides and obesity for many Native Americans for whom junk food is the only viable option Roy Sesana of the Botswana Bushmen forcibly evicted from their land in 2002 said What kind of development is this when the people lead shorter lives than before They catch HIV AIDS Our children are beaten in school and won t go Some become prostitutes We are not allowed to hunt They fight because they are bored and get drunk They are starting to commit suicide We never saw this before Is this development Olimpio of the Guajajara tribe in the Brazilian Amazon said We are against the

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/2016/01/10/4626/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Kurt Cobb: Syria, climate change and the horror in Paris – Ecologise
    in various domains of development Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window 24th May 2016 3rd June 2016 View All Events Special Features From the comic Syria s Climate Conflict written by Audrey Quinn and illustrated by Jackie Roche Yearsoflivingdangerously tumblr com Kurt Cobb Syria climate change and the horror in Paris Written by Contributor Nov 16 2015 0 Comments Kurt Cobb Resource Insights As the world mourns those who died in Paris last week in a killing spree for which the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria ISIS has claimed responsibility reporters and commentators have been discussing the motivations behind the attacks I m not sure that any so far has considered whether one can draw a straight line from a severe drought in Syria to these mass killings My own answer is that if the line is there and I think it is then it has taken many twists and turns before arriving in Paris Even so it might be worthwhile for those who will soon be gathering in this bereaved city in order to negotiate a new worldwide climate treaty to understand any such connection For in the background behind these events there is a Syria starved of water almost surely because of climate change A study released earlier this year suggested that the first link in the causal chain that led to the current conflict in Syria was a severe drought lasting from 2006 through 2009 a drought that yielded some of the strongest evidence yet for the link between climate change and increasingly extreme droughts As The New York Times reported last March Some social scientists policy makers and others have previously suggested that the drought played a role in the Syrian unrest and the researchers addressed this as well saying the drought had a catalytic effect They cited studies that showed that the extreme dryness combined with other factors including misguided agricultural and water use policies of the Syrian government caused crop failures that led to the migration of as many as 1 5 million people from rural to urban areas This in turn added to social stresses that eventually resulted in the uprising against President Bashar al Assad in March 2011 So climate change is not a sufficient explanation for the Syrian conflict nor for the ugly and brutal attacks on French civilians In fact ISIS had been threatening France long before the French military joined the conflict in late September Nevertheless climate change appears to be the first link in a long chain of events involving a myriad of groups and countries that ultimately led to the attacks in Paris attacks believed to be in retaliation for French airstrikes on ISIS It is not that climate change causes people to be violent so much as it exacerbates their violent tendencies Lack of water and the failure of harvests can make

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/2015/11/16/syria-climate-change-and-the-horror-in-paris/ (2016-05-02)
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