Devinder Sharma : Ground Reality
Oct 07 2006
Has the Bt cotton bubble burst?
Cotton farmers around the country are following Andhra Pradesh's lead in skipping both pesticides and Bt seeds. And there are no pests. Why? There are 28 predators of the American bollworm, cotton's main enemy. If you stop spraying pesticides, these beneficial insects devour the bollworm, notes Devinder Sharma.
Sep 13 2006
The 'Free trade' explosion
With the World Trade talks in limbo, the focus remains on aggressively pushing on the bilateral front. What could not be achieved through a multilateral trade regime, is now being pursued by the US through bilateral and regional deals. Devinder Sharma connects the dots.
Dec 27 2005
Much ado about nothing
For the sixth time in a row, the trade ministers of the developing world have been duped to believe that agricultural trade is for development. Despite making loud noises and fuming over injustice, the faulty framework that underlies the WTO remains very much in place, says Devinder Sharma.
Nov 06 2005
Theatre of the absurd
How can 'drastic cuts' in trade subsidies lead to no reduction? Simple: fudge the language. Economic jugglery and clever wording cannot, however, conceal the horrible effects of US and EU subsidies on livelihoods and food security in the developing world. Devinder Sharma urges the G-20 to simplify the terms of trade.
Oct 09 2005
The politics of farm technologies
Much of the agrarian crisis is the result of unwanted and cost-intensive technologies that have been forced on the farmers. Scientists were unknowingly trying to promote the commercial interests of the seed, tractor and the pesticides industry. And we don't need to repeat this error, says Devinder Sharma.
Sep 21 2005
Rice in a private grip
Swiss biotech corporation Syngenta has tightened its monopoly control over rice. Seeking global patents over thousands of genes in rice, the multinational based in a country that produces no rice itself, is set to own the world's most important staple food crop, says Devinder Sharma.
Aug 06 2005
Who will make hunger history?
With an estimated 24,000 people succumbing globally to hunger every day, more than 120 million people could perish by the year 2015 from this shameful scourge. In Gleneagles, however, the leaders of the world's richest economies did not even provide lip-service to the hungry and malnourished, Devinder Sharma writes.
Jun 29 2005
Conflict of approaches
President Kalam's vision for rural development is at odds with Ashutosh Gowariker's Swades where Shah Rukh Khan charts a simple location-specific path to village development. The two different routes to the same objective bring out the conflict in our understanding of the rural crisis, says Devinder Sharma.
Apr 04 2005
Hold economists accountable too
Eight months before the upcoming WTO ministerial of December 2005, prominent economists are closing ranks to dwarf sustained criticism of agricultural subsidies in developed nations. Devinder Sharma asserts that the continued undermining of food self-sufficiency in developing nations is economic lunacy.
Mar 05 2005
No pesticides, no Bt cotton, no pests!
6 years ago, Punukula village in AP was no different from many other cotton farming regions. Pesticide overuse and environmental poisoning were rampant, and so were pests. But by 2004, the village had successfully charted a simple escape route. Devinder Sharma looks at the lessons.
Devinder Sharma is an award-winning journalist, writer, thinker and researcher respected for his views on food and trade policy. His writings focus on the links between biotechnology, intellectual property rights, food trade and poverty. He is a regular contributor to leading national print publications. He blogs at