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The release of "Bitter Seeds" completes an intriguing trilogy about globalization, some dozen years in the making.
San Francisco filmmaker Micha X. Peled got started in the late 1990s with an expose of Walmart's effect on local American communities in "Store Wars: When Walmart Comes to Town," which was released in 2001. He then tackled cheap Chinese labor, following a teenage factory worker through her long hours, in "China Blue" (2007).
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DELHI: Planting genetically modified (GM) crops should reduce the use of chemical pesticides, right? A study of 16 years of growing GM cotton, soyabean and corn in the US contradicts this. It shows that herbicide use on such crops has grown by 239 million kilograms between 1996 (when GM crops were first introduced in US by Monsanto) and 2011. Insecticide usage has declined on Bt crops by 56 million kilograms in the same period.
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The Global Food Security Index (GFSI) 2012, released on Wednesday, has ranked India 66th among 105 nations, placing it in a “moderate” category and citing affordability rather than availability as a key food security threat for the country. According to the index, India is significantly more food insecure as compared to China (39) and slightly lower than neighbouring Sri Lanka (62), although it fared well against Pakistan (75) and Bangladesh (81).
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The monsoon has started withdrawing from northern India after a tumultuous journey across the country. After fears of a devastating drought, farm output is estimated to be better than the 5-yr average, although 10% lower than last year, when monsoon was exceptionally good. Also, brimming reservoirs and moist soil augur well for the rabi crop.
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PUNE: A pilot project for dissemination of agriculture advisory services via SMS to 50,000 farmers in 10 districts of the state was launched on Monday.
The service has been started by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in collaboration with the India Meteorological Department (IMD, agrimet division), Pune, and 10 Krishi Vigyan Kendras in 10 districts of Maharashtra. A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the NABARD and the IMD for the project.
Under the project, technical inputs - including crop, weather and market advisories - shall be provided on a daily basis through SMS services by 10 development correspondents trained by the Krishi Vigyan Kendras.
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The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture has come down heavily against the use of genetically modified (GM) crops in the country. The Committee, which took almost three years to complete its report on the controversial issue, concluded that GM crops, particularly Bt cotton, had not helped farmers.
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The controversy over genetically modified seeds has become a matter of life and death. Every 30 minutes, one farmer in India, deep in debt and unable to provide for his family, commits suicide. This programme follows a season in a village in Maharashtra, from sowing to harvest.
Watch Docu on NDTV profit (3min.45 secs)

NAGPUR: The office of Director of Inputs and Quality Control (DIQC) under state agriculture ministry has banned Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (MMB) from selling Bt cotton seeds in the entire state. The Pune-based DIQC is the licensing authority for seeds sale.
"There were a lot of complaints against Mahyco, particularly for creating artificial shortage, failure to distribute seeds as per prior booking, leading to unrest among cotton farmers," state agriculture commissioner Umakant Dangat told TOI on Thursday. Confirming the ban order was issued against the company for an indefinite period by DIQC on Wednesday, he said he had not received any appeal against the order from Mahyco. Dangat ruled out any hardship to farmers in the state as there were several other private players selling Bt cotton seeds in the market.
Times of India report
DNA report
NDTV Profit video report

It’s finally official. India is facing drought. Already, the Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA) has prepared a contingency plan for 320 districts which had scanty rainfall. According to Minister of State for Agriculture Harish Rawat, 24 meteorological sub-divisions are affected where rainfall is deficient by 20-60 per cent. Though the situation is not as grave as 2009, a clear picture would emerge early or mid September, he added.
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Admitting for the first time that genetically modified (GM)cotton may havehad an adverse impact on the state's farming community, the Maharashtra government has ordered a socio-economic study of the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton by the country's leading independent institutes.
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