Ananthoo's updates

When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Humpty dumpty NO! honest humpty dumpty..

oh man! what a disgrace..
our MMS- the honest PM we ever had or so touted..
every one, just about every disgraced politico from Kalmadi to A raja to Yeddy- every one says this man, the honest PM knew!!
and i thought only the world bank (or WTO) bought him..
and here u see..
prolly a pick pocket arrested in a small town tomorrow, will say the PM knows..

so be informed we are indeed ruled by a very knowledgeable man- a Know all (thieves) man!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ragi in the SRI way!

The regulars here know our association with PR and the numerous visits. Each time is fun and new learning out there. Infact W and me go there often as farm labour volunteers. (ok, we havent been as often as we would like, but still..)
This time it was ragi transplanting..we were excited bcos it was to be done the SRI way..(fellow restorer and good friend rajeev had documented about madagascar method aka SRI long back here) There is the official sri site too here!
Today SRI is no more associated to just rice..there is the wheat grown using this method.experts these days say it is - System of Root intensification..rightly so..the root intensification and hence the advantages are plenty..
But to try that for ragi( Finger millet) is a novelty!

so we were excited..but to handle a 10 day old sappling and transplant is amazing..but the care taken means its a slow process..single sappling at 8 inches or a span apart..This was done in a heavily mulched part of the land. a 10th of an acre took us all a good amount of time..Its always fun to do anything with Sriram, Karpagam, Siddarth and DV!

and then another great event happened the next day!
guess what that is?or was??

yeah..poo! its human poo composted and absolutely no smell! be assured..its such a great feeling that human waste is int wasted actually but composted and surrendered to land as fertiliser!
see this and more on ecosan toilets in the same web site.

Labels: ,

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bio Cotton! my new love!

man! cotton is such a fascinating a serious follower of agriculture and in the context of anti-GM politics, cotton had a different dimension for me. BT cotton is full of contradictions and flaw..lots of failures and health hazards that I didnt see the cotton there but only the politricks behind it and foul play of the MNCs.

Then I did have some stories on cotton seed oil entering our food cycle (and hence BT) and the compromise we make by consuming refined oil.
I also had the luck to go with kk on a cotton trail few months back!

But what i have now is all different from this.
an year and half ago when I visited Madurai Thalanmai, I had documented about the millets processing and how the women groups out there process the millets by hand. Then as we spoke about rain fed agri, it went on to cotton and since that is so soft on the ecology, I thought we shud do something extra..These small farmers who grow cotton organically that too rain fed shud be compensated more for their eco services..
so we thot they shudnt be selling their produce as raw cotton but with some value add..hence we pitched in and after cotton procurement put it to hand spinning, hand weaving, natural dyeing, manual stitching and buttons made of coconut shells! Can u think of a more eco friendly shirt? Low on water, low on energy, low on pollution, zero effluents!
But did it sell like hot cakes? NO! due to various reasons like no variety, only 2 sizes, it was just small sample, etc.

Now we want to go ahead and make this a more structured bigger project involving some 15 farmers which wud translate to 30 acres. this wud also offer livelihood to 15 weaver families apart from the 15 farmers. Add a few more in the form of stitching etc. sounds very interesting and noble!

So I had to try and learn more and as one goes closer, so many things are striking.
Phew..there is so much behind a many steps, so much process, so much creativity, value add..ofcourse in the chemical way- so much chemicals, effluents, pollution, sucking up of water, energy..
One wud shudder to sport a cloth if u really see it closer!
Add to that many more processes like knitting, printing, block, etc..just no end..
But the pity is the farmer at the end of a 10 month crop has been getting the same pittance for ages..a design house and hence a designer is the most benefited in this cycle. Ofcourse as my friend jai (who has done so much research and given me so much gyan) says ‘if the farmer has a clue of the value of the final product and the margins/revenue made by those he wud prolly chop them all’.
As for me I wud never dye a product and wud just live with unbleached off white stuff..
But for now, I will work on natural dyes along with machine spinning, hand weaving, manual stitching to somehow get the farmer some due. We intend setting up a replicable system so that many more such small and marginal farmers start (a cooperative or some hybrid model we come out with), run and benefit.
To share the nuances of weaving, hand spinning, dyeing etc means some reams shud pass by. Paucity and brevity stops me here. That’s all for another day.
More cotton stories later..for now wish us luck..try and read more on cotton, organic that too and other processes! value and respect any cloth and thank the farmer for having produced them year after year even though they were hardly compensated.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, July 04, 2011

GM industry on back foot!

It is common knowledge how corporates esp the special MNCs like Monsanto function. how they are in news world wide for one or other corrupt or surreptitious move and how they have always been noted for hazardous produce.
We also know how organisations esp the monitoring agencies across the world including FDA have always been biased and helped bring wrong products on to our plates!

GEAC the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee has been censured even by the Environment minister under whom this comes. GEAC has bent their back many times to help these corporates. The scientists within GEAC, what ever their compulsions and profit could be, unceremoniously favour the GM industry lobby. That has been brought to light many times earlier.

This time its even more blatant! nepotism!! one of the scientist Swapan Kumar Datta has pushed and got clearance for trials of GM rice to be conducted by his wife, Karabi Datta, faculty with the botany department of Calcutta University! by beating all norms and regulations, even altering a basic requirement!

what a shame! and we are sitting here believing our Govt authorities will take care of our safety esp in such food items. hmm...

The GM industry marched strong only because of their surreptitious moves and inglorious adjustments and backdoor maneuvers..These corporates as proved time and again have only their profit and market share in mind and nothing but that. So buying a bunch of politicos should help them move fast.
That leaves us public to be aware of such moves and civil society groups to be on vigil and save our food and farmers' livelihood from them..

In quick succession after that blatant nepotism and dare devil move by the GEAC member and scientist, another unsafe, careless n reckless trial by Monsanto the Goliath corporate has been exposed by Green Peace and civil society members in Karnataka.
see here:

the MSM also carried it!

the same story in Hindu:

Wish the environment minister Jayaram ramesh takes severe action and suspends this perma villain called Monsanto from any GM affairs in India. they can jolly well screw the Americas, as has been happening for decades now. Monsanto as we have seen many times here has no end for its greed. one planet might not suffice them as said here.

Labels: , ,