India ranks lowest in food sustainability

India ranks last among the 25 countries that were ranked according to their food system, as per a report by the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition and the Economist Intelligence Unit. The report ‘Fixing food – towards a more sustainable food system’ uses the Food Sustainability Index (FSI) and reports on the food system…

Social exclusion in community forest management

Through the 1990s there have been attempts to reform India’s forest management that have been marked by a departure from colonial approaches and have tried to incorporate the concerns of the historically neglected forest dependent communities. Conservation, sustainable use and benefit sharing have been the focus. A shift was made away from exclusionary notion of…

Alien weed rings alarm bells in Northeast

It is an invader nobody has seen on our borders but it can play havoc with the country’s biodiversity. An alien weed, Ludwigia Peruviana, is posing a threat to biodiversity in parts of Assam, particularly the catchment area of river Dhansiri and eastern part of river Kopili, scientists have reported while expressing concern that it…

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…