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A major driver of growth sputters as consequences of a lackluster monsoon season trickle down through economy.
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Some parts of India are experiencing floods but in other parts the rains have failed badly this year. 2012 is in all likelihood, a drought year.
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Kerala’s achievements have long been celebrated by development economists — high literacy rates, including among girls, low infant mortality rates and so on. There has also been a spate of writings highlighting the ills of Kerala society. Critics have pointed to the high rates of suicides and feminists have also raised difficult questions. While there might be some truth in these critical perspectives, when one compares Kerala with other Indian States, there is no doubt that it has got something right.
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Farmers in six states can now claim compensation from seed companies for their false claims of productivity by complaining to the branch office of Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Authority, to be inaugurated on Saturday.
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It may take some time for the implications to sink in. More than whether the decision by Team Anna to go political is correct or not, what worries me is the dangerous fallout it will have on social movements in future. Is it the beginning of the end of social movements and peoples' struggles? Will it lead the powers that be to exercise the same contempt and rudeness towards citizen protests?
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Reserve Bank of India in August 2011 set up a Committee to re-examine the existing classification and suggest revised guidelines with regard to Priority Sector lending classification and related issues. 
Recommendations of the committee have now been accepted by the Reserve Bank of India.  RBI has now included Loans up to INR.50 million to farmer cooperative societies as a priority sector lending in the notification on 20th July 2012. These loans can be used to dispose the produce of member farmers.
This provision creates access to finance for the producer organizations to market the produce of the members at reduced interest rates.  Of special interest in this revision is the provision for loans upto Rs. 5 crore for Producer Companies set up exclusively by small and marginal farmers under Part IXA of Comapnies Act, 1956 for agricultural and allied activities.
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Indian farmers will now get the opportunity to stamp their presence at the upcoming Mumbai Fashion Week with a stall by Shop For Change Fair Trade, an initiative that ensures fair trade for farmers by empowering them to directly associate with brands and earn better remunerations...


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The roots of one of the most significant public policy failures in India can be traced to the lack of gender rights within families.
The proposed law that seeks to guarantee most Indian households access to cheap food may also radically transform the power balance in Indian families. The National Food Security Bill proposes to recognize the woman of the house as the head of the family. The ration card will be made in her name.
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THE dizzying midday heat of India’s northern plains cracks the earth. Farmers slump on the charpoys on which they sleep outdoors. It should be raining, yet the sky is clear. Prithi Singh, lean and wrinkled, says his entire rice crop has withered, along with fields sown for fodder.
After two summers of erratic and delayed monsoons, this year the rains simply failed. Mr Singh cannot afford to pay for a borehole, generator and diesel to reach ever-diminishing groundwater. Farmers always grumble. But Mr Singh has lost half of his annual income of 50,000 rupees ($890) and now depends upon his crop of winter wheat. Another farmer nearby fears he must sell his land to pay accumulated debts to moneylenders.
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Insulated from the international market, India's massive stockpile of food grains will see it through the crisis.

The prospect of a failed monsoon at home poses bigger problems for India than the spike in global prices for corn, soybeans and wheat resulting from America's worst drought since the days of the dustbowl, agriculture experts here said.
“The wisdom of India’s decision to build and maintain large grain reserves is now clear, considering the extreme volatility in international prices,” said M.S. Swaminathan, the agricultural scientist, known as the father of the green revolution, which made India self-sufficient in the late 1960s.
As GlobalPost reported earlier, India is, indeed, facing a food crisis of its own. But it has nothing to do with shortages or international prices....
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