The Agriculture Sector in India
In the final analysis, agricultural sustainability can only be achieved if the country's path of development undergoes fundamental changes. Currently, the development policies of countries like India appear to be heading further into the direction of destruction and unsustainability, fueled by its own internal contradictions and by being sucked into international homogenising forces like WTO and the WB. Unless the new economic policies and the proposed changes in legal regimes governing agriculture are challenged with united action and alternative visions, concerns related to biodiversity, sustainability, and equity will remain subordinated to the lure of profit.
It is in this context that the efforts of mass movements and activist groups gain critical importance. The Beej Bachao Andolan in the Himalayas, the farmers movement in Karnataka represented by the Karnataka Rajya Ryoth Sangha, the forces struggling against the new economic policies and against the imposition of the WTO regime in India, and a host of other popular struggles are critical components of a move towards a more sustainable agricultural future.
In all this, even though their work is at a quiet and relatively undramatic scale, and will probably never make the morning headlines, it is the thousands of farmers and groups and communities who are reviving or experimenting with crop and livestock diversity, which are providing the final answer. …
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