vijay's blog

Climate Change Solutions for Poor Farmers

Hi Pam, Nikki, John and others in the dadamac team and community,

Here is something that all of you would find interesting and useful.

I just read an interesting story on agricultural solutions for farmers to tackle the multiple challenges of climate change, desertification, high energy demand and an exploding population.

Education and ICT

Hi Pam, Your chat with me this morning set me thinking about ICT. As I told you, I have been toying with the idea of studying further and adding to my knowledge and skills. But it almost seems impossible for me, since most of the online courses (I am not even thinking of proper, offline courses) seem unaffordable, in term of time and money. Some of the best online courses in UK and US cost a bomb for somebody like me in India. This is where I think ICT can play a crucial role in filling the gap for many like me who want to learn even as they earn.

The Future of Farmers and Food

Hi Pam,

I enjoyed the chat that we had on the way ahead for Dadamac.net. I think it is a good starting point to take the discussions further about the evolution of the site.

Now to get on with my post for the Open Letter section, I have been looking at some interesting articles on the farm sector. The more I read about it, the sadder I feel about the farm community across the world--more so in developing countries.

As the global population surges by a few billions over the next few decades, farmers are going to face more pressure than ever to produce food in the face of challenges like climate change, shrinking agricultural labour (caused by movement of people from villages to cities), and shortage of land to till.

In a recent article, Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, says as the rural and farm population gets reduced, agriculture will increasingly become more capital- and knowledge- intensive to produce more and higher quality food for bigger and richer urban populations.

Why Maldives is Worried About Climate Change?

President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed is one of the most outspoken spokespersons on the immediate need to end the climate impasse (over caps on carbon emissions) between the developed West and emerging countries like China and India. He believes that climate is now becoming a security than an environmental issue.

Nasheed is more worried than other heads of states since he fears (based on predictions by scientists) that his island nation might cease to exist owing to rise in sea levels triggered by climate change. In an article published in The New York Times just a month after he got elected in December 2008, Nasheed wrote that "for the first time in the country's history, the Maldives faces a new threat. The new danger is of apocalyptic, existential proportions, and it looms silently, invisibly and menacingly over our azure horizon." He brought the extreme vulnerability of his country to the global centre stage by holding an underwater meeting of his Cabinet.

Nobel Victory for the Commons

It has been a record haul for women at the Nobel prizes this year. But more heartening for me was the Nobel for economics going to a political scientist, who has worked painstakingly to show that privatising natural resources is not the answer for stemming environmental degradation.

US-based Elinor Ostrom’s studies have challenged established economic thinking that natural resources can either be owned by the State or the private sector. They have shown that fish stocks, pastures, woods, lakes and groundwater basins can be managed better as common resources by communities. 

I don’t know who should celebrate more for this recognition, economists or political scientists? But, as The Guardian’s Kevin Gallagher says in his column, the Nobel prize for Ostrom is a call to economists to spend a lot more time analysing human behaviour, rather than assuming that we are all rational selfish individuals.

Going to School in India

Hi Pam,
 
Thanks for forwarding Sam's views about fish farming. I agree with him that sustainability can come through empowerment and lasting peace. But creating that peace is not easy, in places which are threatened by violence and unrest. And empowerment can happen only when people are ready for change to happen.
 
It has been a busy week for me so far. But it also became an interesting week, thanks to my meetings with people like Lisa Heydlauff, who has been living in New Delhi for many years now.
 

Learning from the Fisherfolk

I just got back to New Delhi (where I stay) after an exhilarating trip to the southern coast of India. I went there to report on the post-tsunami projects in a place called Karaikal, about 150 km from Pondicherry. Both Pondicherry and Karaikal were under French rule for long years.

A Clearer Picture

My reply to Pam.

Hi Pam

Thanks for the long reply and please convey my thanks to Andy for his thoughts on how the open letter section should look and feel.

Over the past five hours, I have not been able to open the site. So I had no other choice but to take a look at the cached versions of the site (which takes time to download).

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