Subjects Archives: Agriculture

  • Lessons from the Indian Experience

    India’s economic experience since the beginning of economic liberalisation constitutes a resounding refutation of “mainstream” (bourgeois) development theory.  On the basis of official data during this period there has been a remarkable acceleration of the growth rate of GDP, together with a striking increase in the incidence of absolutepoverty, a combination which no strand of […]

  • Two Decades of Neo-Liberal Reforms in India: The Worsening Employment Situation

    Two decades after neo-liberal economic reforms started in India as part of the agenda of imperialist globalisation, the condition of the masses of the labouring poor is worse in every part of the country except where some positive intervention has taken place to stabilise livelihoods.  The richest minority at the top of the income pyramid […]

  • Fred Magdoff on What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know about Capitalism

    What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know about Capitalism is a short, accessible introduction to the ecological crisis that is intended for a wide audience — why did you decide to write a book like this, and why now? In the fall of 2008 I attended a conference where discussion of the environment was prominent, although […]

  • Looking Back for Insights into a New Paradigm

    It is becoming widely acknowledged that the leading ideas of some of the most prestigious late-20th-century economists (such as Alan Greenspan and Lawrence Summers in the American government) are outmoded and that a new paradigm of economics is needed.  Part I of this essay will focus on two issues which we think it has to […]

  • Cautionary Tales for Would-Be Weather Engineers

      James Rodger Fleming.  Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control.  Columbia Studies in International and Global History Series.  New York: Columbia University Press, 2010.  Illustrations. xiv + 325 pp.  $27.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-231-14412-4. In Fixing the Sky, James Rodger Fleming traces human efforts to control weather and climate from ancient […]

  • India: Saying No to Iranian Oil to Please America

      “[A]n assessment of whether India is fully and actively participating in United States and international efforts to dissuade, isolate, and, if necessary, sanction and contain Iran for its efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction, including a nuclear weapons capability (including the capability to enrich uranium or reprocess nuclear fuel), and the means to […]

  • India: The Latest Employment Trends from the NSSO

    No sooner were the results of the 66th Round of the National Sample Survey Organisation (relating to data collected in 2009-10) released, than they became the subject of great controversy.  Surprisingly, the controversy was created not by critics of the government and its statistical system, but from within government circles! Some highly placed officials found […]

  • What Happened at Fukushima and Why It Can Happen Here

      “The primary cause is an extended loss of power at the power plant, as ironic as that might be.  When the earthquake occurred, the normal grid was lost, and the plant’s own in-plant power from the generators was also lost because of the result of the earthquake. . . .  The tsunami came in […]

  • Global Oil Prices

    There was a time when global oil prices reflected changes in the real demand and supply of crude petroleum.  Of course, as with many other primary commodities, the changes in the market could be volatile, and so prices also fluctuated, sometimes sharply.  More than anything else, the global oil market was seen to reflect not […]

  • Shashe Declaration: 1st Encounter of Agroecology Trainers in Africa Region 1

      We are 47 people from 22 organizations in 18 countries (Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Angola, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, South Africa, Central African Republic, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Portugal, USA, France, and Germany).  We are farmers and staff representing member organizations of La Via Campesina, along with allies from other farmer […]

  • The Politics of Iran’s Space Program

    Iran’s recent successful launch of a second satellite into orbit has drawn considerable attention around the world. As in the past, Iran’s announcement of the launch of its domestically built satellite into space received mixed reactions in the West. Some mainstream U.S. media treated the announcement with skepticism and ridicule. “Before you cancel that European vacation or start building a bomb shelter, it’s worth taking Iran’s boasts with a grain of salt,” one commentator wrote in Wired. “While Iran has cooked up some indigenous weaponry over the years, its desire to puff out its chest and pronounce immunity from the effects of international sanctions has led to some absurd exaggerations and outright lies.”

  • Israeli Flags at South Sudan Independence Celebrations

    Images of Israeli flags at the celebrations of the independence of South Sudan have been widely circulated and commented upon in the Arabic-language media, though they appear to have received no attention in the English-language media.  E.g.: Broadcast by BBC Arabic Published online by Al Jazeera on 9 July 2011 Published online by Rum Online […]

  • Comparison of Annex 1 and Non-Annex 1 Pledges under the Cancun Agreements

      Abstract: This report examines four recent detailed studies of countries’ mitigation pledges under the Cancun Agreements, for the purpose of comparing developed (Annex 1) country pledges to developing (non-Annex 1) country pledges.  It finds that there is broad agreement that developing country pledges amount to more mitigation than developed country pledges.  That conclusion applies […]

  • Are High Agricultural Prices Good or Bad for Poverty?

      Dani Rodrik is back, and he reignites an old debate with his recent blog post.  He asks if high food prices are good or bad for poverty, and answers, “It depends on whether the poor are selling or buying, of course.”  Citing a recent paper by Jacob Swinnen, he goes on, “High food prices […]

  • Agrarian Distress and Land Acquisition

    The recent agitation by farmers in Uttar Pradesh against cropland acquisition for non-agricultural purposes is only the latest in a long series of protests by farmers and rural communities, which started a decade ago in different parts of the country and which gathered momentum over the past five years and coalesced in some areas into […]

  • Politics and Natural Resources in Eastern Saudi Arabia

      Toby Craig Jones.  Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia.  Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010.  312 pp.  $29.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-674-04985-7. Toby Craig Jones opens his book, Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia, with a description of a scheme to transport Arctic icebergs to Saudi Arabia in […]

  • Pity the Nation

    “Pity the nation that wears a cloth it does not weave, eats a bread it does not harvest, and drinks a wine that flows not from its own wine-press.” — Khalil Gibran 3.5 million farmers produce food for the Egyptian people each year.  36% of the Egyptian population work in agriculture. “My ancestors used to […]

  • My Water’s on Fire Tonight (the Fracking Song)

    “You better keep ’em far away from the water supply.”

  • Michal Kalecki and the Economics of Development

    In the long and impressive catalogue of Michal Kalecki’s contributions to economics, the proportion of writings devoted to what is now called “development economics” is relatively small.  And most of his work in this area is concise to the point of being terse, in short articles that simply state some crucial principles, typically without much […]

  • El Salvadoran Government and Social Movements Say No to Monsanto

    On the morning of Friday, May 6th, President Mauricio Funes of El Salvador’s left-wing FMLN party arrived at the La Maroma agricultural cooperative in the department of Usulután for a potentially historic meeting with hundreds of small family farmers.  Usulután has often been referred to as the country’s breadbasket for its fertile soil and capacity […]