This year a lot of publicity had been given to a Rs 60000 crore loan relief scheme for farmers which was later extended to a Rs 71,000 crore scheme. This scheme did not include loans taken from private moneylenders, it was confined to loans taken from banks and related financial institutions. Still this scheme had raised a lot of hope as many farmers had significant levels of bank debt. While the scheme provided full waiver for small farmers, it also promised 25 per cent loan waiver for bigger farmers if they could return the remaining 75 per cent loan.
Failure of Loan Waiver to Help Most Farmers
by Bharat Dogra, Mainstream Weekly, 19 December, 2008
Economic independence becomes important for empowering farmers, especially farm women. “Such an empowerment can be achieved through the formation of women self help groups (SHGs) or farmers’ clubs. “Through the formation of such clubs farmers feel more secure, can learn and earn more than what they can do in isolation,” says Dr.V.A. Parthasarathy, Director, Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR), Kozhikode, Kerala. “It is not as though those working individually are not secure.
Self-help groups come to the rescue of farmers, farm women too
by M.J. PRABU, The Hindu, 25 December, 2008
On December 4, some 200 farmers arrived at the cotton procurement centre in Yavatmal tehsil of Maharashtra, with about 60 tonnes of cotton loaded in carts and tractor trolleys. They demanded the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 3,000 per 100 kg promised by the Centre.
Not making the grade
by Aparna Pallavi, Down To Earth, 16 December, 2008
In the global hunger index of the recent report of the Food and Agricultural Organisation, India ranks 66th among 88 countries. In the index, all Indian States are at “serious level of hunger.” Twelve States fall in the “alarming category.”
India Rising and the hunger index
by Brinda Karat, The Hindu, 23 December, 2008
Andhra Pradesh\'s soon-to-be-finalized policy on organic farming has set off fears that rather than bringing down the cost of cultivation and making organic crops available at local level, it may end up making farmers market-dependent.
Market hand
by Savvy Soumya Misra, Down To Earth, 16 December, 2008