The farm is greener than five years ago, yet the bounty is hyped

While declining real product prices faced by primary commodity producers was one of the central causes of rising farm indebtedness, the gradual shrinkage of formal credit institutions in rural areas has simultaneously caused increasing dominance of private players in the credit market, rendering producers all the more vulnerable.

Depression in agriculture and farmer suicides continue, thanks to the misguided actions of Indian policymakers.

AS the outstanding Marxist economist Paul Baran had pointed out in The Political Economy of Growth, what is cooked in the kitchen is not decided in the kitchen. Similarly, what happens to agricultural producers is decided outside agriculture by public policy.

The Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) is in the news again for the wrong reasons, as usual. This time the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL) is trying to go back on its promises to the very investors who put their money in the project when it was facing its strongest opposition from all quarters.

The need for developing countries to address issues of adapting to and mitigating climate change is both urgent and evident, as the impact of climate change grows daily. Yet they have competing immediate development and poverty reduction expenditure demands, and have recently been faced with food, fuel and financial crises.

The Maharashtra government is working overtime trying to plug gaps in the Rs 60,000-crore loan waiver for farmers announced in the Union budget. As things stand now, Vidarbha, the state's worst-hit region which has seen nearly three suicides a day for the last two years, will benefit the least

The mortgage crisis in the US has not just precipitated a worldwide economic meltdown. It has also made an impact on the English language. The Macquarie Dictionary, widely regarded as the guardian of Australian English, has named the phrase

Farmers adapt to changing weather by switching crops Farmers who have to live with the reality of unpredictable rainfall are trying to cope as best as they can. They are experimenting with different crops to see what works. And each time they start new field trials, they incur debts. In Andhra Pradesh, where intense rainfall incidents are increasing, farmers are growing fruit orchards.

Maharashtra has proved to be the slow but steady winner. On the surface a proverbial tortoise without any flashy attributes, the state has performed as well as a long-haul horse in a gruelling race. The study of the Institute for Competitiveness has adjudged Maharashtra to be the No. 1 state in overall business competitiveness.

Agricultural development in Maharashtra over the last three decades has been unequal across regions with western Maharashtra much ahead of other regions in terms of major developmental indicators.