ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Uma ShankariSubscribe to Uma Shankari

Agrarian Crisis

After the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the economic and political situation of Dalit agricultural workers seems to be improving. However, rising incomes of Dalit labourers vis-à-vis falling incomes of farmers make the situation difficult for farmers. Both are looking for escape routes: education, migration, mechanisation, and non-farm occupations. Casteism still prevails, although people avoid practising untouchability in an overt manner. This is the second and last part of the article which has been published in two parts.

Agrarian Crisis

The 70th round of the National Sample Survey Office estimates the average income of a farm family at₹ 6,426 per month from all sources such as cultivation, animal husbandry, wages, etc. This personal account, which has been divided into two parts, traces the developments leading to the crisis in the context of a village in Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh. Needless to say, it is important to understand the ground realities as much as the statistical data for suitable policy and administrative interventions.

To Free or Not to Free Power

That the promise of "free power" to agriculture wins elections was demonstrated in the 2004 elections to Parliament and assemblies (Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra). There is a need to understand why farmers are demanding quality power and yet not willing to pay for it. This paper, by three pumpset farmers from Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, is an exploration in this direction. It explores the spread of pumpset irrigation across the country and the reasons for the farmersâ?? refusal to pay for the power they are consuming: a deliberate neglect of surface irrigation by planners and decision-makers, disparity vis-a-vis canal farmers, increasing input costs and declining incomes. The authors are, however, worried that the present trend in power consumption in agriculture (already covering 58 per cent of irrigated area) is ecologically unsustainable and ruinous to farmers, power utilities and the economy as a whole. A series of measures are suggested to overcome the crisis situation.

Indian Farmers and WTO

I am a farmer living and working in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. I read with interest the commentary on WTO panel rulings on anti-dumping by C Satapathy (November 25-December 2, 2000). As farmers, we are extremely worried about the impact of the WTO regime on agriculture.

Tanks Major Problems in Minor Irrigation

Uma Shankari Though the neglect and decline of tank irrigation has been well documented its critical importance to survival in semi-arid areas has only recently begun to be appreciated. While some discussion has started on how to rejuvenate tank irrigation into a functional and efficient system, viable models involving user participation are yet to be evolved. This essay outlines the problems associated with tanks in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh and makes an assessment of the prospects of user participation.

What Is Happening to Cows and Bulls of Sundarapalle

What Is Happening to Cows and Bulls of Sundarapalle?
Uma Shankari Given the context of a prolonged drought, in which the little income they derived from dairying went a long way in meeting their survival needs, it is no wonder that the farmers of Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh studied here had a positive attitude to the crossbreed programme. But while the crossbreed cow is clearly a superior milch animal to the local breed and the local breed cow is fast becoming redundant for all categories of farmers, the fact that the bullocks cannot be dispensed with drives at least a few of the farmers to maintain bullocks. The losses from the bullocks are made up by the gains from the crossbreed cows. The landless, however, tend to maintain local breed cows even if it means far lower incomes since the investments and risks involved are smaller.

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