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

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Bt Cotton: Farmers' Reactions

A field study in Andhra Pradesh elicited the views of farmers in two districts in the state on the efficacy of Bt cotton in withstanding pest attacks, use of pesticides, compliance with government norms, and farmers' willingness to continue with cultivation of Bt cotton in the coming seasons.

Hybrid Rice for Indian Farmers

In spite of huge capital and human resources invested over the past decade to develop and supply hybrid rice technology for Indian farmers, there has not been a noticeable impact on the sector. India has tried to emulate China's success story in the area of hybrid rice research and development, but Indian farmers have not readily accepted hybrid rice technology. This paper provides insights on why this has been so, based on the evaluation results of a study on farmers' experiences with hybrid rice adoption in India.

Prospects of Regional Agribusiness

Food For Thought! The Experience of the SAARC Region by Sanjeev Chopra; Wisdom House, Panchkula, 2002; pp 131, price not mentioned

Strategy for Economic Reform in West Bengal

During the last two decades West Bengal has led the rest of the country with regard to agricultural performance and implementation of panchayat institutions. But these developments have begun to level out. At the same time the state has fallen behind in other sectors - industry, higher education and state of public finances, particularly - to an extent that is seriously worrying. This paper reviews performance of these different sectors, discusses possible explanatory factors, and makes a number of suggestions for policy reforms. With regard to industrial revival, it stresses public investment in transport and communication, measures to improve higher education, foster industry-university collaborations, and help small-scale industries overcome specific market imperfections (access to credit, technology and distribution channels). In public finance, emphasis is placed on raising tax revenues (especially with regard to the service sector), limiting losses of public sector undertakings, and widening the scope of land taxes and user fees. In the agricultural sector, the need for a greater role of the government with regard to biotechnology, extension services, irrigation and flood control is emphasised, along with suggestions for encouraging and regulating contract farming with MNCs. Finally the article urges greater empowerment of panchayats with regard to social service delivery and agro-business development, and administrative reforms to enhance accountability of state government employees.

Agriculture in India and Pakistan, 1900-95

This paper re-investigates the performance of agriculture in India and Pakistan, 1900-95 from historical and comparative perspectives. The decomposition results show that aggregate changes in crop mix were one of the most important sources of land productivity growth in India and Pakistan. Their contribution has become more important in recent decades in India whereas their contribution was the most important in Pakistan during the 1950s, i e, the period just prior to the green revolution.

Reforms in Agricultural Extension

The changing economic scenario and the need to respond to food and nutritional security, poverty alleviation, diversifying market demands, export opportunities, and environmental concerns pose new challenges to technology dissemination systems. This paper argues for a holistic reappraisal of existing agricultural extension systems and the need to work towards an outlook that encompasses a whole new policy mix favouring a plurality of institutions.

Inter-State Water Disputes Act 1956

The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (NCRWC) has recommended the repeal of the Inter-State Water Disputes Act (ISWD Act) and the enactment of a new Act. Its recommendation is to bring river water disputes within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. This article argues that the repeal of the ISWD Act would be singularly ill-advised. Article 262 together with the ISWD Act represents a very good mechanism for dispute-resolution (as a last resort when negotiations fail) and it would be a great pity to dismantle it. There have been some deficiencies in the functioning of that mechanism; the amendments to the ISWD Act passed in early 2002 seek to remedy them and some further improvements are suggested here. The NCRWC is right in wanting to restore the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, but it should be appellate jurisdiction.

Suicide by Farmers in Karnataka

Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Punjab have been rocked by the suicides of a large number of farmers, posing a serious challenge to policy-makers. This paper attempts to identify the agro-economic situations faced by the farming community, as well as other factors, as reflected by the case studies of the suicide victims, and to suggest remedial measures to avert such tragedies in future.

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