Anantapur reels under drought

The drought sweeping across Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh has had an unpleasant outcome with 223 debt-ridden farmers committing suicide in the last two years. Not much has been done by the administration to salvage the situation in this semi-arid water scarce district that got just 284 mm rainfall. Its sloppy approach on drought relief even after…

Shifting cultivation under threat

A study by SPWD on ‘Environmental, social and health implications of shifting cultivation’ points to the risk faced by the rich agro-biodiverse systems of the shifting cultivation lands in Odisha and Chhattisgarh. The study looked at shifting cultivation practices by two Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in two districts and confirms the distinctiveness of shifting…

Need a layered approach to aligning wage employment and crop insurance schemes

A report by the International Institute for Environment and Development makes a case for promoting better alignment between the Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS). To do this, the report authored by Steinbach, D et al suggests that “policymakers also need to address structural constraints that limit…

Some basic employment, but a long way to go

As per a recent paper in Development Policy Review, 2017, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), in order to enhance food security and well-being through employment in India, needs to explore longer-term solutions for employment security. An investment of around 5.3 billion dollars which amounts to 0.3 percent of the country’s gross…

Study decries slow pace of recognition of community forest rights

Just about 3 percent of the minimum potential of Community Forest Rights could be achieved in the last ten years, as per a recent report. Titled ‘Promise and Performance: Ten Years of the Forest Rights Act in India’ the report released late last year was produced as a part of Community Forest Rights-Learning and Advocacy…

A global assessment of trees, forests and land use in drylands

The FAO has along with Google developed an economically feasible way of assessing trees, forests, land use and land-use change in any area of the world. The preliminary report of the first Global Drylands Assessment by FAO provides a baseline for monitoring and help in identifying priority intervention areas for land restoration. The full report…