'Stepping onto a booby trap'
"Isn't it like sending a soldier to the battle front and then asking him not to use the latest sophisticated assault rifle," a British radio journalist asked me the other day. He was obviously referring to the Indian government's initial decision to burn down the illegally grown genetically modified cotton on some 10,000 acres of farmland in Gujarat.
"It will certainly be tragic to deprive a soldier of the latest weapon. But it will be more sinister and criminal to provide the soldier with an AK-47 gun and then deliberately make him step onto a 'booby' trap," I replied. Devinder Sharma on the Bt-Cotton fiasco.
[also at: http://members.tripod.com/~ngin/051101a.htm]
'WTO gains for India have been negligible'
Devinder Sharma tells Ramesh Menon how Indian farmers could be protected and food security ensured, and how India's anticipated gains from the WTO have turned out to be practically zero in agriculture after trade liberalisation. "Already, cheaper imports of skimmed milk powder, edible oils, sugar, tea, arecanut, apples, coconut, etc have started flooding the market. It was expected that with the removal of trade-distorting measures, agricultural exports from the developing countries would increase. This did not happen. On the contrary, prices of most agricultural commodities are declining in the world markets."
'WTO (We Take Over)'
The day the World Trade Organisation (WTO) came into existence, January 1, 1995, the Indian Express carried a pocket cartoon on its front page. It showed two people walking amidst high-rise buildings with huge billboards for popular multinational brands like Pepsi, Coke, Philips, and McDonalds. The cartoon depicted one of the people walking down the street asking, "What does WTO stand for?" The other man replied, "We Take Over."
Devinder Sharma looks at the Doha-round of talks.
Biotechnology: Exploiting the Poor and Hungry
National Convention on Biotechnology and Hunger
Hyderabad, India, July 2, 2001
BIOTECHNOLOGY: NOT THE ANSWER TO HUNGER
By Devinder Sharma
"...the cutting-edge technology, as biotechnology is fondly called, provides them with a perfect tool to distract the decision-makers from the more pressing problems of alleviating hunger and poverty."
"Biotechnology is a cosmetic tool which will ...ultimately subject more people to hunger and starvation."
Source: The Hindu Business Line, July 21, 2000
"Green Revolution turns sour"
New Scientist, July 8, 2000
from the second article:
Dr Devinder Sharma is a well-known analyst respected for his views on food and trade policies. He has researched on policy issues concerning sustainable agriculture, biodiversity and intellectual property rights, environment and development, food security and poverty, biotechnology and hunger, and the implications of the free trade paradigm for developing countries.
He has been a Visiting Fellow at the International Rice Research Institute, Philippines, a Visiting Fellow at the School of Development Studies at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK; and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge, UK.
Sharma chairs an independent collective in New Delhi, called the Forum for Biotechnology & Food Security. The forum is a collective of policy makers, agriculture scientists, economists, biotechnologists, farmers and environmentalists to examine and analyse the implications and fall-out of various policy decisions, both national and international.