it seems times have changed. Information technology is out and agriculture is in. The thrust on agriculture is now enshrined in the draft of the Indo- us Knowledge initiative on Agricultural Research & Education, which is the agenda for us President George Bush when he comes to India in March 2006. Prime minister Manmohan Singh said in July 2005 during his us visit, "We owe our green revolution to America. Now we can herald a second green revolution with the American assistance.'
This statement cleared the decks for big time us entry into Indian agriculture. Though agriculture has been prioritised, supposedly for public good, not a single bit of information has been made public. Neither scientists nor farmers have any clue about the initiative. The authorities make it clear that nothing is being disclosed because of the impact on the budget session. Down To Earth has managed to unearth the following disquieting facts.
Knowledge or trade? The so-called knowledge initiative has the world's largest retailer Walmart and second largest seed corporation Monsanto on the board from the us side. While the Indian business community is represented by Venkateshwara Hatcheries. The board is co-chaired by Mangla Rai, Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (icar) and Ellen Terpstra, administrator, Foreign Agricultural Services, United States Department of Agriculture.
On February 14, 2005, the board of 14 members (seven from each side) prepared a draft focusing on four areas