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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Energy Crisis

When we talk about energy our attention goes towards electricity and fossil fuels. What about the energy we need to survive? No one speaks about poor farmers on whose produce all survive, grow and prosper. But perhaps plight of farmers is not known to most of us who do not have any relation to farming or agriculture.

As per the latest news items world is facing an acute food crisis. Meanwhile WTO is in preparation for opening up trade further to include agriculture. There is a relation between food crisis and opening up of trade in agriculture produce. The developed world is gearing up to ensure its food security.

The condition of poor farmers is pathetic at least in the third world countries including my nation India. India is known as country of farmers. Still most of the population of India lives in villages and sustain on agriculture. Their plight is imaginable from that fact that when India secured her political freedom 70 to 80 per cent population was living in villages and was dependent on agriculture. Today, still around 60 per cent population is living in villages but agriculture needs only 10 per cent of the rural population. What rest of the people should do, is a big question neither attended and nor addressed. The pressure on agrarian land is tremendous. It is loosing its fertility in the need to grow more and more and for all kind of efforts to make it possible.

The interesting twist to this food crisis is that India is harvesting her bumper wheat crop these days as the second largest wheat producer of the world and India does not have enough safe places to store the harvested crop! Hats off to the Indian Administration system and political will for taking care to the agriculture!!

The fossil fuel crisis has added woes to the production of food grain. Bio-fuel crops are paying rich dividends to the farmers. They are finding growing bio-fuel crops profitable to cultivating food grain crops. Even floriculture is also a better option for farmers. Then who will grow food grains for 6.7 billion people of the world?

A series of questions have queued up in this small puzzling write-up on energy crisis. The first and foremost is that can Government compel farmers to grow only food grains? The other side of question is another question, Do farmers have right to make a choice what to sow?? Do farmers have right to select buyer of his crop? Do the farmers have right to use their fields exclusively for exports just like exports oriented units? In India Government exercises its powers to control exports and imports in food grains. Will this power remain with the national governments in the light of opening up of agriculture for trade under the aegis of WTO?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Rahul,

I would like to congratulate you on your initiatives and concerns about the society and the environment. The world is becoming a global village and facing a clash of civilizations faster than ever before. On one side we have the societies that promote self-constraints and their value system preaches minimization of consumption. Traditional Indian system respects the individuals who are smart, knowledgeable, and capable and yet live on bare necessities.

Modern world pays more attention on people who acquire lot of wealth and encourage consumerism. The class of people equipped with the modern education, technology, business and law degrees and political lobbies is claiming a greater share in the generation and distribution of wealth. This class is putting all its efforts in a direction to maximize the consumption and postpones the answers to questions that do not affect them.

Now we need a dialogue between these two classes.

Indians need to open more institutions for education, economics and politics. Politics should be understood as a means of communication between various groups of diverse interests. Politics should not be confused with greed and conspiracies. Indian politicians should get higher education to put forward their perspectives in international forums. Unfortunately our politicians are not qualified to resolve the conflicts, document the issues, and apply mathematics to day to day life situations. We, the Indians are loosing disputed cases not only at international level, but we are failing to resolve domestic issues as well because of lack of education at political level. We need more education and advancement in the field of politics than is available at present levels. There is an infinite long queue at Indian courts and the court proceedings seem to be moving at snail's pace in this jet age. The problems are that public is uneducated and politicians are uneducated. If the laws are not properly formulated, then they can not be implemented properly. If a group does not understand economics, law and politics in today's environment, it can not survive.

I will write more later.

Best regards,

Rakesh Mittal