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…

Phad irrigation systems help mitigate risk of crop failure in drought prone Vidarbha

Communities have across diverse ecological and sociopolitical contexts devised myriad ways over time to harvest and manage water in order to sustain their lives and practice agriculture. Many of these systems (1) continue to function and are often more sustainable, cost-effective and successfully managed by local institutions. Phads are one such community-based and managed diversion irrigation management system…

The legal trajectory of land acquisition in India

Equitable and efficient acquisition of land by the state for economic development projects, including infrastructure and industry, is a huge challenge if it has to be socially inclusive, ecologically sustainable, politically feasible, and in accordance with the rule of law. The Centre for Policy Research (CPR), a leading public policy think tank in India has…