India: Land, Life, Learning

Ten students and two professors from St. Lawrence University recently spent three weeks travelling and studying in India with a focus on the challenges facing Indian farmers.  The trip was funded by the university's Mellon Foundation Grant For Environmental Education Initiative.  This blog is the result of their work. 

Grains of Despair: Sand Mining in India

            Driving the rural streets of India, a common sight is massive sand-filled trucks.  With just a touch of research, it is quickly revealed that the trucks are carrying the product of illegal, indiscriminate sand mining operations.  Uttrakhand, Kerala, and Delhi (Noida) are locales of sand mining in which our journey visited, but the prominence of river mining in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu cannot be ignored.   The significance of this mining is so great that people are willing to fast, and to die for the cau


CECOEDECON brought into view the core of humanity, where women, men and children fight the daily battles of poverty, water shortage, malnutrition, and patriarchy, and, with the help of the inspiring NGO, come out with community-driven smiles and conviction.  Too often in my travels have I seen NGOs powered by individuals with the selfish desire for selfless action.  COCOEDCON rids pretense from the equation, not only focusing on the needs of one issue, but on any issue at the forefront of human well-being in Rajasthan. 

Natural Rubber Industry in the Global Context

India is the third largest rubber producer behind Thailand and Indonesia, respectively. Each year, Indian rubber tappers cut slits in the trunks of millions of Hevea brasiliensis trees and collect the white slippery liquid in their pails. Once it has dried, the concentrated latex is sold in sheet form to create anything from car tires to condoms, Band-Aids to tar.

Handing over land isn’t easy for the state

The Land Reform act in India was meant to give land to the people who really had a connection with it not absentee land owners. The Zamidars were a group of aristocrats in India with large land holdings; their land was worked by many people, both sharecroppers and tenant farmers.  This system was interrupted when the British colonizers came in but still held strong during colonization. The land continued to be passed down through hereditary lines during colonization.

The Zuri

They have a silent protest and after 22 days nothing happens, then the union joins for another 22 days, nothing happens, then they break something.


Can a self regulating market really regulate itself?

            Farming used to be the main occupation of people hundreds of years ago all over the world including India. Most people were tied to the land through the British colonization of India starting with the East India Trading company, colonial British changed farming by asking people to give them some of what they produced, a tax. By doing this people now had to produce more food than they were used to to be able to have enough after some was given away.


Endosulfan Ban

            Endosulfan is a chemical pesticide known by the United States Food and Drug Administration and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Association to be terminally hazardous to human health. The substance has been banned in 84 countries, but not in India until earlier this year. The Indian Supreme Court made the decision to ban the substance in India on April 30, but there has been trouble enforcing the ruling. The main arguments within India for maintaining use and production of the fertilizer are twofold.

Migration in Kerala’s Tea Plantations

The state of Kerala lies on the south west coast of India and has a variety of geography ranging from the backwaters and coastal areas of the west, to the towering mountains of the east.  For decades Kerala’s politics have been rooted in a socialist mindset that results from many culminating events in history.  This socialist background has had great effects on the state has a whole, including many positive aspects such as high education levels and literacy rates, as well as a high quality of life.  For this has made Kerala very unique and makes Keralites very aware of their

Food Security in India

 by Andrew Vance

            Rising inflation in India has led to a severe rise in the price of food. With wheat, rice and milk prices rising as much as 50%, the poor are forced to spend more income on food, equating to a rise in hunger and malnutrition.

Food Rotting and People Suffering in the Name of Free Trade:

Globalization has been touted as the solution to the problem of the growing world population. The principal proposed by Adam Smith where the market would be self regulating in a system where everyone sought a comparative advantage in production of goods and free trade. The global economy has made it so that people have lost all connection with the food that they eat.  “The high resource demand of globalization is creating resource wars across the planet- wars over land, wars over water, wars over seed and wards over food. . .