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

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Leapfrog to Conscious Capitalism

In his interesting article (“From Trickle Down to Leapfrog”, EPW, 15 June 2013), Frederic Landy proposes a subsidy scheme for dry land farmers growing organic food. This is a good idea but its objective can also be achieved by involving the private corporate sector. In the United States, the Whole Foods Company is gaining importance among consumers because of its emphasis on organic food. The chief executive officer of Whole Foods, John Mackey, and a business management professor, Raj Sisodia have written a path-breaking book entitled Conscious Capitalism. That book provides insight into how the private sector can create socially and environmentally optimal goods. In India too, there are enlightened private sector people and non-governmental organisations who have been promoting organic food. One such organisation is the Bharatiya Agro Industries Foundation (BAIF) near Pune, established by a Gandhian, the late Manibhai Desai. Relevant state government agencies can provide a partnership with such organisations and help dry land farmers in growing organic food efficiently. “Conscious capitalism” has a capacity to create a “win-win situation” without relying entirely on the monopolies of the state schemes which are infested with well-known moral hazards.

Chandrashekhar G Ranade
WASHINGTON DC

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