Shyam Khadka, India's representative at the FAO of the United Nations, interviewed by Sayantan Bera (Livemint.com)
In India, 9 million people left farming between 2001 and 2011 largely due to distress, not because industry invited them, says Shyam Khadka, India’s representative at the FAO
Shyam Khadka, India’s representative at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, says more Indians are moving out of agriculture due to distress and not because the manufacturing sector is inviting them. In an interview, Khadka calls for converting food security into nutritional security. Edited excerpts:
* Despite consecutive years of normal monsoon, farmers are protesting. How do you see the distress situation in Indian agriculture?
On the price front, there are certain crops where Indian farmers have a reason to say that they are not fully compensated for their effort. But if one looks at the comparative prices globally, Indian agricultural produce prices are not very low, especially for grains. FAO studies show that during the next decade, agriculture commodity prices...
Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel laureate and child rights activist, interviewed by Soumya Pillai (The Hindu)
Child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi urges President to set up National Children’s Tribunal for time-bound disposal of cases of crimes against kids
Nobel laureate and child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi reached Delhi after completing his 11,000-km-long Bharat yatra across 22 States, from Kashmir to Kanyaumari, against child sexual abuse.
Speaking to Soumya Pillai, Mr. Satyarthi, said his yatra was aimed at providing a platform to several children, youth and their families to speak out about the sexual abuse and violence they faced and how it scarred them.
* After touring almost 22 States, you met with President Ram Nath Kovind today (Monday). What were the core issues that you discussed with him?
A major issue that I experienced through my work in all these years and from the places I visited as part of the Bharat yatra is that children in India are suffocating because of the diktat we feed to them in...
Yogendra Yadav, national president of the Swaraj India party, interviewed by Manas Roshan (Scroll.in)
The Swaraj India leader says the economy needs a big boost in the rural areas and for small scale manufacturers.
In July, Yogendra Yadav, the national president of the Swaraj India party, embarked on a nationwide movement accompanied by activists and hundreds of farmers. Under the banner of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Co-ordination Committee, a coalition of more than 150 farmer unions across the country, the yatra was planned to raise the twin demands of a complete waiver of agriculture loans as well as fair and remunerative prices for farm produce.
The journey began in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh on July 6, a month after five protesting farmers had been killed in police firing. On September 23, it concluded its South India leg and over the next two months, plans to cover northern and eastern states.
Speaking to Scroll.in on the road from Mysore, where a protest was held on September 22,...
Kishore Tiwari, chief of Vasantrao Naik Shetkari Swavalamban Samiti (VNSSM), interviewed by Shishir Arya (The Times of India)
-The Times of India
Kishore Tiwari has been taking up the cause of the farmers since several years. Farm suicide in the cotton-district of Yavatmal came into focus due to his persistent efforts of continuously informing the media. After the BJP came into power in Maharashtra, Tiwari was roped in as chief of Vasantrao Naik Shetkari Swavalamban Samiti (VNSSM), a state government think-tank on agriculture.
He feels it is time to reduce dependence on the cotton crop. "The soil here is no longer suitable for cotton," he says.
Though its been grown in the region for generations, "it is time to change with the times", he says.
Excerpts from an interview...
Q. Do you agree that the soil in Vidarbha is not suitable for growing cotton?
A. Yes it is not suitable at all. However, this is the only crop being grown since years. Its not Vidarbha alone, the cotton belt extends up to parts of...
Shaktikanta Das, former economic affairs secretary, interviewed by Sidhartha & Surojit Gupta
-The Times of India
Former economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das , who played a key role during the demonetisation drive, spoke to TOI's Sidhartha & Surojit Gupta, four months after retiring from service in May. He says he does not agree with the criticism that implementation of demonetisation had serious shortcomings. Excerpts:
* What is your assessment on the state of the economy?
The macroeconomic parameters, except the growth figures which are down in the last quarter at 5.7%, all the other numbers are within the range. Yes inflation has gone up from 2% to 3.6% and now RBI says it could go to 4.2% or perhaps 4.6% in the last quarter. Your inflation target is 4% plus minus 2%, 4.6% is very much within the range. The economy is strong and stable and there is no need for any undue alarm. However, there are certain challenges. The government is addressing those challenges.The...