Thursday, January 18, 2007

we all know how bad agriculture in india is doing. indiatogether has a good series on this. as p.sainath, the rural affairs editor of hindu says, "it is easier to get a 4% loan on a new mercedes benz rather than getting a 10% loan for farming".

pongal, mainly celebrated extensively by farming community, is a festival that reflects the tradition of agriculture.

but the farmers of erode sum it up as follows:
They say that since the last decade Pongal, also called *Uzhavar Tirunal*(Farmers' day), has come to bear very little meaning to them, courtesy pollution, falling prices, labour shortage and other factors. In short, agriculture is no longer remunerative.

and sadly the huge and unchecked pollution in their area is one of the main reason for this and as the hindu report sums it up:
Take for example the plight of 30,000 farmers in the 50,000-acre Noyyal ayacut. They say Pongal holds very little significance because they suffer the ignominy of buying rice to stew pongal. "Unlike in the not-so-distant past when we prided in preparing pongal using produce from our lands, today we are forced to buy rice grown elsewhere," rues V. K. Ganesan, president, Noyyal Farmers' Association. These farmers, affected by the discharge of untreated effluents into Noyyal, are now keeping their fingers crossed expecting a favourable verdict from the Madras High Court where they have filed a case. In no way different from them in their share of woes are farmers in Kalingarayan ayacut.

very sad to hear. only in name of development if we can add value to agriculture, agricultural products, organically farmed products, agri based rural industries that dont destroy the environment - then that day can be termed as true development.

because nearly 300 million people depend on agriculture and to replace agriculture with low cost manufacturing (the is the pet word of the infosys titan mr.murthy) it will call for huge efforts that can wreck havoc on environment, because all over the world 'low cost manufacturing' means "low spending on environmental safeguards" and "low spending on worker safety" resulting in destruction of ecology and ecology dependent people


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