Underreported: Agribusiness and India

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Mira Kamdar, senior fellow at the World Policy Institute and associate fellow at the Asia Society, examines why U.S. agribusinesses are extremely interested in India, especially when it comes to the development of new GMO crops.


Mira Kamdar

Comments [8]


I haven't had a chance to listen to the story yet, but wanted wanted to mention another angle to this story. Agricultural productivity must increase India in order to for standards of living to increase there. In order for this to happen, efficiency in the entire supply chain must increase. This will take investments which can come from large corporations. Perhaps the only way these types of investments will be made is if the companies can get a return on their investments. I know that the situation is very complex, but so far none of the comments have considered the benefits of agribusiness.

Feb. 03 2011 05:52 AM

I stayed for a week on a farm called Basudha in West Bengal. Debal Deb has a modest amount of land there where he is keeping a rice seed bank, educating local farmers, and practicing a model of radical sustainability. He grows nearly 700 varieties there, more each year--many of which are forgotten thanks to corporations like Monsanto who have a very few very weak and very expensive varieties. Deb has seeds that grow in flooded areas, arid areas, multigrain seeds, etc. He's developed a number code system at his seed bank to confound thieves; Monsanto has broken in on more than one occasion because thousands of years of human rice domestication out-produces poisonous corporations.

the seed bank:

the farm:

Read Deb's amazing book "Beyond Developmentality."

Dec. 02 2010 05:02 PM

Vote with your shopping cart, (or box of goodies from your csa) even when it is less convenient than Whole Paycheck or A&P - save the planet - it really is up to us - I have watched the movement grow and it is mainstream now and growing and brilliant people like Gary Hirshberg is beating big agra at its own game with fair trade and uncompromised product (though he says we're not done till the (Stonyfield) yogurt cup is compostable) If you don't have your own farmer making your yogurt (or you can't make your own) Stonyfield supports so many good things on a huge scale.

Big Agra is evil! Monsanto? Please it's like a Batman segment, only real.

Dec. 02 2010 03:01 PM
mallika from New York

This is horrifying! A total exploitation of Indian agricultural land and farmers by the monstrous, greedy American corporations. Please watch "the corporation', "the future of food' to know more about these American companies and foreign agro polocies Obviously lobbied and funded by the same, and the so called "Help" to 3rd world countries. Wake up India and smell the Smoke!

How can we be so blind and keep going in the wrong path? How can you expect the to be healthy when we genetically modify the food we eat
and ruin our environment? American food industry is like a malignant tumor that is sending it's long tentacles into india and destroy whatever is left over of the natural farming there...

I am horrified and enraged.

Dec. 02 2010 02:00 PM


But thank you for reporting!!!!

Dec. 02 2010 01:47 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Democratic India, with its 1.2 billion relatively young people, is the perfect partner for America into the future, unlike some other more dubious and less than democratic states in the region.

Dec. 02 2010 01:41 PM
Justine Simon

US agribusinesses and other corporations are also operating in India in the industrial animal sector. With factory farming techniques spreading, pollution of land and water from chemical fertilizers and pesticides worsens, water shortages increase, and greenhouse gas emissions - from the system's reliance on fossil fuels - rise.

What kind of agriculture is the US supporting in India, and who is really benefiting?

Dec. 02 2010 01:41 PM
Kathy from Beacon

1. Monsanto sues and drives farmers out of business for saving seeds.
2. It's really unsafe to let three giant corporations control the food supply.
3. Genetically modified organisms affect other flora, there are untold symbiotic relationships between food plants and native plants and animals. for example, genetically modified corn contains a toxin, when it interacts with milkweed poisons the milkweed, which then poisons the monarch butterflies that feed on it.

Dec. 02 2010 01:31 PM

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