Rights and Service should be coordinated…

The people, particularly the coastal is facing severe difficulties with drinking water. The women of the coastal region walk two or three miles to collect drinking water. The Jalbayu Parishad, in English Climate Council, a local civic organization in Koyra and Shyamnagar, has identified two major problems coastal region due to climate change, one Embankment and the other drinking water crisis. To bringing solution of these problems, the Climate Council has taken various types of advocacy approaches; they conducts lobby meeting with local public administration, local government representatives and policy makers to address the issue of coastal embankment and water, and has continued advocacy activities at national level. Climate Council and Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL) have jointly convened a ‘Third National Climate Hearing’ in Dhaka in 2018, National Consultation Meeting in 2019, Memorandum Submission to the honorable Prime Minister by Union Council Chairman’s, holding press conferences, etc. to bringing a policy decision on these two issues.

Read more

Unfortunate fate is created by fortunate!

Introduction of big farm like those in the western countries is the solution for minimizing output cost of farm production, Dr. Shamsul Alam of Planning Ministry suggested to government for transforming agriculture for 21st century. He is also against imposition of higher import duty on import agricultural commodities like rice and sugar. It’s hurting `consumer sovereignty’, he said yesterday in the 15th Annual Conference of Bangladesh Agricultural Economist Association.

Read more

FOOD SECURITY IN SOUTH ASIA

Introduction

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), a contagious block of countries, started journey with seven countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka when it was established in 1985, but extended to include Afghanistan as eight members in 2006.  The region contains cultural similarities including similar food habit exists in the region, e.g. rice is the common food grain around the South Asia.

Read more

Solidarty Economy for Employment Generation and Equal Growth of the Naiton

The global leaders is facing crucial challenges and effects of widespread job losses, increased underemployment and unemployment, growing informal economy and increased vulnerable employment worldwide.  Most of the policy leaders globally are seeking a sustainable solution within the free market economy, a very few are thinking about alternatives. ” Alternative Development Strategies for Job Creation” under this caption the second committee panel of   of Economic and Social Department Affairs under United Nations has searched a solution of increasing unemployment situation and given importance on small and medium sized enterprises for job creation.

Read more

National Agricultural Policy 2011: Dilemma with Context and Text

Recently the Ministry of Agriculture of Bangladesh has published a draft policy on agriculture, “National Agricultural Policy 2011” for discussion which has created dilemma with context and text of the policy. At the very beginning under the context, the draft policy has recognized the importance of agriculture to reduce poverty and to increase employment. It has also recognized the importance of small farms in agricultural development.

But the text of the policy has undermined the above context described as principles. As principle, the draft policy has intended to introduce the commercial and competitive agricultural system in the near future. But the urgency of competitive commercialization of agriculture is not described at the context or  the draft has hidden the context. 

Read more

Agricultural Science and Technology for Development: An Assesment

[i]Agriculture and Development: A summary of the International Assessment on Agricultural Science and Technology for Development

What challenge does agriculture face today?

For decades, agricultural science has focused on boosting production through the development of new technologies. It has achieved enormous yield gains as well as lower costs for large-scale farming. But this success has come at a high environmental cost. Furthermore, it has not solved the social and economic problems of the poor in developing countries, which have generally benefited the least from this boost in production.

Read more

Youth Agricultural Week 2010

Colourful Rally & Human Chain orgnised at Rangpur to observe Youth Agricultural Week 2010

Press Release (Bangla) ; Leaflet (Bangla);  Memorandum to Prime Minister (Bangla)

With participation of local students, youths, cultural activists, media personalities, political activists and farmers, a colourful rally and human chain organised at Rangpur on 13.06.2010. Famous folk singer Ranjit Kumar Roy described the suffering of farmers through his folk song.  Shofia Shewle from CSRL;  Mofakharul Islam Toufiq from Online Knowledge Centre; ; Goutam Kumar Roy, Famers Leaders and Political Activist; Sabbir Ahmed, Youth Leader; Marina Lavly, Reporters of Channel i;  Rezwan Shatil from Online Knowledge Centre and Manjurul Islam Rubel, Organiser of Online Knowledge Centre, Rangpur spoke in the rally and human chain. Asking initiative to form Producers Cooperative and Marketing Cooperative with participation of farmers, a memorandum is submitted to Prime Minister through District Commissioner of Rangpur.

Online Knowledge Centre and Participatory Research and Action Network (PRAN) in association with Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood (CSRL) organised this events as part of Youth Agricultural Week 2010.

Kanak Barman কৃষিপন্যের ন্যায্যমূল্য নিশ্চিতকরণ উৎপাদন সমবায় ও বিপণন কেন্দ্র গড়ে তোলার আহ্ববান জানিয়েছেন “অনলাইন নলেজ সেন্টার”।

০০ রংপুর দক্ষিণ সংবাদদাতা

কৃষিপণ্যের ন্যায্যমূল্য নিশ্চিতকরণ উৎপাদন সমবায় ও বিপণন কেন্দ্র গড়ে তোলার আহ্বান জানিয়েছেন বেসরকারী সংস্থা অনলাইন নলেজ সেন্টার। এই দাবীতে সম্প্রতি মানববন্ধন, স্মারকলিপি পেশ ও সাংস্কৃতিক অনুষ্ঠানের আয়োজন করেন। দুপুর ১২টা থেকে ১টা পর্যন্ত জেলা প্রশাসনের কার্যালয়ের সামনে অনুষ্ঠিত মানববন্ধন চলাকালে বক্তব্য রাখেন, অনলাইন নলেজ সেন্টারের কো-অর্ডিনেটর শফিয়া শিউলি, ছাব্বির আহম্মেদ, গৌতম রায়, সাংবাদিক মেরিনা লাভলি, সাজ্জাদ হোসেন বাপ্পি প্রমুখ।

জেলা প্রশাসকের মাধ্যমে প্রধানমন্ত্রীর কাছে প্রেরিত স্মারকলিপিতে উল্লেখ করা হয়েছে, কৃষিপণ্যের ন্যায্যমূল্য প্রাপ্তি নিশ্চিত করতে সরকার উত্তরাঞ্চলের ১৫টি জেলায় ১টি করে পাইকারী বাজার গোয়ার্স মার্কেট ও রাজধানীর গাবতলিতে একটি সেন্ট্রাল মার্কেট নির্মাণের কাজ সম্পন্ন করেছে। গ্রামে ক্ষুদ্র কৃষকদের নিকট পৌঁছাইতে হলে অবিলম্বে কৃষকদের মধ্যে উৎপাদন সমবায় ও বিপনন কেন্দ্র গড়ে তোলা প্রয়োজন যাতে করে ক্ষুদ্র কৃষকগণ সমবায়ের মাধ্যমে বীজসহ অন্যান্য কৃষি উৎপাদন দ্রব্যাদি সহজে পেতে পারে। রংপুর অঞ্চলে তরুণ কৃষক যুব ও ছাত্র নেতৃবৃন্দ অবিলম্বে কৃষকদের মধ্যে উৎপাদন সমবায় ও বিপণন সমবায় গড়ে তোলার জন্য সরকারের কাছে সহযোগিতা কামনা করছে। স্মারকলিপিতে বলা হয়েছে দেশের প্রায় ৮৯ জন কৃষকের মোট জমির পরিমাণ প্রায় আড়াই একর। অর্থাৎ কৃষিতে নিয়োজিত অধিকাংশই কৃষক ক্ষুদ্র ও প্রান্তিক। এই কৃষকরা খাদ্য শস্যের বেশির ভাগ উৎপাদন করে। কিন্তু দারিদ্র্যতার কারণে তারা যা উৎপাদন করে অধিকাংশ ক্ষেত্রেই তা অল্প দামেই বিক্রি করতে বাধ্য হন। ফলে খাদ্য নিরাপত্তায় তারাই বেশি ভোগেন।

কৃষিপণ্যের ন্যায্যমূল্য দাবি

কৃষিপণ্যের ন্যায্যমূল্য নিশ্চিতকরণ উৎপাদন সমবায় ও বিপণন কেন্দ্র গড়ে তোলার আহ্বান জানিয়েছেন বেসরকারী সংস্থা অনলাইন নলেজ সেন্টার। এই দাবীতে সম্প্রতি মানববন্ধন, স্মারকলিপি পেশ ও সাংস্কৃতিক অনুষ্ঠানের আয়োজন করেন। দুপুর ১২টা থেকে ১টা পর্যনত্ম জেলা প্রশাসনের কার্যালয়ের সামনে অনুষ্ঠিত মানববন্ধন চলাকালে বক্তব্য রাখেন, অনলাইন নলেজ সেন্টারের কো-অর্ডিনেটর শফিয়া শিউলি, ছাব্বির আহম্মেদ, গৌতম রায়, সাংবাদিক মেরিনা লাভলি, সাজ্জাদ হোসেন বাপ্পি প্রমুখ।

জেলা প্রশাসকের মাধ্যমে প্রধানমন্ত্রীর কাছে প্রেরিত স্মারকলিপিতে উল্লেখ করা হয়েছে, কৃষিপণ্যের ন্যায্যমূল্য প্রাপ্তি নিশ্চিত করতে সরকার উত্তরাঞ্চলের ১৫টি জেলায় ১টি করে পাইকারী বাজার গোয়ার্স মার্কেট ও রাজধানীর গাবতলিতে একটি সেন্ট্রাল মার্কেট নির্মাণের কাজ সম্পন্ন করেছে। গ্রামে ক্ষুদ্র কৃষকদের নিকট পৌঁছাইতে হলে অবিলম্বে কৃষকদের মধ্যে উৎপাদন সমবায় ও বিপনন কেন্দ্র গড়ে তোলা প্রয়োজন যাতে করে ক্ষুদ্র কৃষকগণ সমবায়ের মাধ্যমে বীজসহ অন্যান্য কৃষি উৎপাদন দ্রব্যাদি সহজে পেতে পারে। রংপুর অঞ্চলে তরুণ কৃষক যুব ও ছাত্র নেতৃবৃন্দ অবিলম্বে কৃষকদের মধ্যে উৎপাদন সমবায় ও বিপণন সমবায় গড়ে তোলার জন্য সরকারের কাছে সহযোগিতা কামনা করছে। স্মারকলিপিতে বলা হয়েছে দেশের প্রায় ৮৯ জন কৃষকের মোট জমির পরিমাণ প্রায় আড়াই একর। অর্থাৎ কৃষিতে নিয়োজিত অধিকাংশই কৃষক ক্ষুদ্র ও প্রানিত্মক। এই কৃষকরা খাদ্য শস্যের বেশির ভাগ উৎপাদন করে। কিন্তু দারিদ্র্যতার কারণে তারা যা উৎপাদন করে অধিকাংশ ড়্গেত্রেই তা অল্প দামেই বিক্রি করতে বাধ্য হন। ফলে খাদ্য নিরাপত্তায় তারাই বেশি ভোগেন।

Youth Agricultural Week 2010, Rangpur

Online Knowledge Society organized human chain and colorful rally at Rangpur demanding Agricultural Producers Cooperative and Marketing Cooperative for ensuring Fair Prices of Crops. A memorandum was submitted on that issue to the District Commissioner (DC).

Bangladesh Krishi Camp, Noakhali

The youth group of Online Knowledge Centre participated at Bangladesh Krishi Camp at Noakhali, started from today. Shofia Shewle, Coordinator, Keep the Promises! End Poverty Now Campaign; Mofaq Kharul Islam Toufiq, Coordinator, My Rights! Our Budget Campaign leaded the team comprising Habib, Masum and Rezowan Satil.

Mofaq Kharul Islam Toufiq updated the camp activities through online office post in Bangla which has been translated here in english. Toufiq briefed the activities of other members like Shewle, Habib and Jahid, because they have only one laptop to communicate the forum. The Briefing as follows:

06.05.2010: 1st Day of Camp
After registration of participants the camp activities began at 10 am by Welcome speech given by Nurul Islam Masud, Executive Director, PRAN. Ziaul Haque Mukta, Acting Country Director of Oxfam GB and Member Secretary of Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood (CSRL) started camp discussion asking the participants about the expectation. Mr. Mukta then briefed about Agriculture, importance of agriculture, relation between agriculture and people, Food Security, Bio-Cultural System of People, Political influence in agriculture, agricultural reform, world policy of 96, agricultural system of European Union and proposed agricultural reform agenda of CSRL. After briefing, the participants are asked to identify the agricultural problems based on the proposed agricultural reform agenda declared by CSRL.

After lunch, two parallel session began. Toufiq and Shewle participated in financing and investment in agriculture session; Habib and Jahid participated in access to general resources. Toufiq updated the session of financing and investment in agriculture as follows by the points: Relation between World Development and Agricultural Development, Role of IFIs, Food Distribution System, Food Security, Food Import, Employment, Poverty Eradication, Economic Growth, Investment in agriculture, Subsidy in Agriculture, Agricultural Loan. Toufiq will prepare a paper on this discussion after returning from camp.

Jahid and Habib updated about access to natural resources as follows by substances: Natural Resources means Khas Land, Water Resources and pond, hoar, rivers etc. But the poor people have to access to these natural resources due to lack of power. Some powerful people captured these natural resources which is against the national policy.

 

 

 

 

Switzerland stands strong against GE

09 March 2010
Greenpeace activists dressed in traditional Swiss costume - called for  a moratorium in 2002.Swiss activists from Greenpeace called for a moratorium in 2002.
Zurich, Switzerland — The Swiss Parliament has just extended its ban on the cultivation of genetically engineered (GE) plants for three more years. Originally enacted in 2005, Switzerland will stay GE-free until at least 2013.

The original moratorium was backed by Swiss voters in a referendum 5 years ago. Supporters of the ban included farmers, who were concerned about the impacts of GE crops on organic produce. Our Swiss office has been supporting these farmers and Swiss consumers to ensure the country remains GE-free. This is a significant national victory, but more than that it is an example for the rest of the EU. It sends a strong message to EU Commission President Barroso, who is clearly trying to force GE crops into the EU and is trying to bypass standard authorisation procedures. The EU needs to follow the Swiss example by implementing a moratorium on all GE food in order to protect the environment, agriculture and people.

Greenpeace activists planted the word “Gentechfrei” (“GE Free”) alongside the railway line between Bern and Zurich. Greenpeace Switzerland asked for an extension of the moratorium on growing genetically engineered crops.

 Ban Barroso

The recent backdoor approval of the GE potato, by President Barroso, has met a wave of strong opposition from EU member-states. The governments of Greece, Austria, Luxembourg, Italy, Hungary and France have all publicly announced that they will not allow the GE potato to be grown in their countries. While six EU member-states (Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary and Luxembourg) have bans in place on GE maize cultivation.

Genetically engineered failure

Monsanto has just admitted that pests have developed resistance to GE cotton. Read the blog by Reyes, our campaigner in India.

 GE-crops are part of an outdated intensive agriculture model that promote the use of environmentally harmful chemicals while failing to generate high yields or provide solutions for hunger and climate change. Their costly development as ‘solutions’ to world hunger or climate change masks the real socio-economic, environmental and political causes of these problems. GE crops also pose unpredictable risks to human and animal health.


Volunteer activists created the living “GE-Free” banner in Switzerland – in 2009.

In 2009, GE cultivation in the European Union decreased by 11 percent. Accross the world farmers are abandoning GE crops due to both high prices and lack of demand. Many farmers are instead turning to ecological farming. They do not want to be at the mercy of bullying multinationals which are threatening to take control of our food.

We are committed to ecological farming worldwide: farming that protects soil, water, the climate, promotes biological diversity and does not contaminate the environment with chemicals and GE-organisms.

 

A tale of Rup Narayan Roy, the first communist leader elected in Bengal Assembly in 1946

Rup Narayan Roy

We have a great history of farmers movement like Te-Bhaga Andolon, Tonk Bidroho, Nankar Bidroho, Fakir-Sannash Bidroho, Saotal Bidroho in Indian Sub-continent, particularly in Bengal, now it is Bangladesh. Several times, I have heard the story of Rup Narayan Roy, a  communist MLA elected at first time in 1946 from Fulbari, Dinajpur along with other two Joyti Basu from Culcutta and Ratan Lal Brahamin from Darjeeling. My beloved mother has told me the political history of Rup Narayan Roy several times when I joined in student politics at the high school in 1983.

She had a very little idea about politics, but in her speech, `While I came to your home as a bride, I saw your home covered by Tambo (Samiyana). I thought, tambo was being covered due to marrige ceremony. But a week went away, nobody put down the tambo and I found after a week, a lot of people came to home at night and Rup Narayan talked with others about politics. I came to know that your grandfater also did politics with Rup Narayan. I also came to know that they were communist and discussed about a state where all will be equal, no poor, no rich. I was responsible to serve them tea whole night. I made tea in a birat deski (cooking stensils) and served about 100 of people in every night. I also came to know that Rup Narayan sold his land and did the politics. After a few year, I heard that he was killed by some unkown people. Now the son of Rup Narayan is daily waged labour in agriculture. No equality established, we have rich, we have poor; but Rup Narayan made his son a waged labourer due to sell his own property for politics lossing his own life. It is the great history of your communist politics’. Again and again my mother told me these story during my student life to motivate her beloved son for not doing politics. My mother couldn’t success, but time made it. I wait to hear about Rup Narayan Roy from our aged leaders, but nobody remember him. Only  I found a very little article on him written by Ajoy Roy in a daily newspaper in last 39 years of my life.

In my childhood, I can remember, I found a strong farmers movement in our rural villages which is totally absent now. Why? Let try to find out the answer.

Read about Rup Narayan Roy:

Lest we forget comrade Moni Singh: A leader of all people, by KG Mostofa: In the general elections of 1946, Comrade Moni Singh was a candidated from the Communist Party. His constituency included Netrokona, Kishoreganj and partly Mymensingh Sadar. The Congress candidate indulged in a nasty campaign, saying that the Communist were British agents who wanted to sabotage the quit India movement of Mahatma Gandhi. Only three of Communist Party’s candidates returned to the provincial Assembly. They were comrade Jyoti Basu, Rup Narayan Roy and Ratan Brahmia.

Indian Economic and Social History Review

Caste, Culture and Hegemony: Social Domination in colonial Bengal

Comrade Illa Mitra: A tributeThe movement sparked off in an area under Ps Chirirbandar in the district of Dinajpur. The area had a local communist leader, Shri Rupnarayan Roy, himself a small land owning farmer & local organizer of Krishak Samity, first and only MLA (member of the legislative assembly) of Bengal assembly elected from CPI ticket in 1946 election. He, together with other peasant leaders of the locality led a movement in and around his locality & organized the peasants mostly Hindus belonging to Kshatriya caste & some Muslim cultivators in a grand assembly on the day when jotdars men would come to collect 50% share of the corps. The assembled farmers refused to give 50% , instead they offered 33 % out of total yield. A serious fight flared up between the jotdars’ armed men and the adamant peasants resulting several injuries to both parties. Police came to the rescue of the jotards’ men and in doing so a peasant was killed in police fire. The event took serious turn; local villagers came on the side of the peasants and police had to retreat. But couple of days later reinforced police force set a reign of terrors in village after village in Chirirbandar police station- the leaders were haunted out, even common villagers including women were not spared from their physical torture and repressive action. Common methodology used by the police for physical torture were divestiture of clothe of womenfolk followed by beating with lathes and for men putting the man in between two hard bamboos and the sliding those bamboos over the body from feet to head apart from kicking with boots and charging with lathes and iron rods. Hundreds of villagers were arrested.

Departure of Red Flag Guru: Basu was elected to Bengal Provincial Assembly in 1946 from the Railway Workers constituency. Ratanlal Bramhan and Rupnarayan Roy were the other two Communists who were elected.

Caste, protest and identity in colonial India

Life Sketch of Jyoti Basu: In that year, Bengal Assam Railroad Workers’ Union was formed and Basu became its first secretary. Basu was elected to Bengal Provincial Assembly in 1946 from the Railway Workers constituency. Ratanlal Bramhan and Rupnarayan Roy were the other two Communists who were elected.

60 YEARS OF OUR INDEPENDENCE AND THE LEFT: SOME THOUGHTS::I entered the Bengal Legislative Assembly in 1946 defeating Humayun Kabir from the railway’s constituency. Only three communist candidates won the elections –Comrade Rupnarayan Roy from Dinajpur, Comrade Ratanlal Brahman from Darjeeling and myself.

http://www.jibeshsarkar.in/darjeeling.pdf

Chapter IX: Independence and Partition: Rupnarayan Roy could not become a member of the new assembly since his constituency fell in East Pakistan. We were left with only two members – Ratanlal Brahman and myself.

Nearly 2 lakh farm suicides since 1997

P. Sainath  

Over two-thirds in ‘suicide belt’ of five States, more than one-fifth in Maharashtra

 MUMBAI: There were at least 16,196 farmers’ suicides in India in 2008, bringing the total since 1997 to 199,132, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

The share of the Big 5 States or ‘suicide belt’ in 2008 — Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh — remained very high at 10,797, or 66.6 per cent of the total farm suicides in the country. This was marginally higher than it was in 2007 (66.2 per cent). Maharashtra remains the worst State in the nation for farm suicides with a total of 3802. (This is just 40 short of the combined total of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.) The all-India total of 16,196 represents a fall of 436 from 2007. But the broad trends of the past decade reflect no significant change. The national average for farm suicides since 2003 stays at roughly one every 30 minutes.

Within the Big 5, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh recorded higher numbers. The increase of 604 in these three States somewhat offset the dip in Maharashtra (436) and Karnataka (398). But a fall in suicide numbers in other States (for example, a decline of 412 in Kerala and 343 in West Bengal) means that the Big 5 marginally increased their two-thirds share of total farm suicides in 2008.

The NCRB data now cover all States for 12 years from 1997. In the first six years (1997-2002), the Big 5 witnessed 55,769 farmers’ suicides. From 2003 to 2008, they totalled 67,054, a rise of nearly 1900 a year on average.

Maharashtra has logged 41,404 farm suicides from 1997 (over a fifth of the national total) and 44,468 from 1995, the year when this State began recording farm data. No other State comes close. During 1997-2002, Maharashtra saw, on average, eight farmers kill themselves daily. The corresponding figure rose to 11 during 2003-2008. The rise was from an average of 2,833 farm suicides a year in the first period to an average of 4,067 in the next period.

Professor K. Nagaraj, an economist who has worked at the Madras Institute of Development Studies, says of the NCRB data: “There is hardly any decline in the suicide belt, though individual States may show variations across 12 years. If this is the state for 2008, the year of the Rs. 70,000 crore loan waiver and multiple farm packages, then 2009, a drought year, could show very disturbing figures. The underlying agrarian problems seem as acute as ever.”

Please Read the News: http://www.hindu.com/2010/01/22/stories/2010012258950100.htm

Gopal, My School Mate

Gopal, my school mate. We read in the same High School Together. I leave my village in 1987 for higher study, but Gopal stays at home and obtains college degree from Local College. Now He is working in local NGOs and his monthly salary is only Tk.4200 (US$60), Only US$2 per day. It is an income of the man, who have a college degree, who was a bright student once. 

How is the income of illiterate persons, casual workers, daily laborer’s, who haven’t any alternative skills but only two hands? I know, the men also my neighbors who earns less than US$0.50 per day. I work in the capital and every day I speak about poor people as many educated man do. But my poor neighbors becomes ultra poor, live without any life.

Read more