Participatory Media

Small, diverse and beautiful

By Hemangini Gupta

At a time of food scarcity worldwide, non-literate dalit women in Andhra Pradesh have ensured food security for their community through a model that could be called a “villaged global” rather than a “global village”. And they are spreading the word through their own media centre

Following a global rise in food and fuel prices, mud cakes are being sold in Haiti to keep hunger at bay and riots are breaking out in places as far apart as Cairo and Dhaka. At the recently concluded G8 summit in Japan, concerns over food and energy supplies took precedence over climate change, leading to calls for funding for an ambitious aid programme to boost agriculture in the world’s poorest nations. Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown is calling on the European Union to relax its rules on importing GM (Genetically Modified) animal feed and has asked for the controversial matter of GM crops to be “studied scientifically” (The Independent, June 19-20, 2008). Ministers in the UK believe that GM crops can be used to increase food production at a time of immense shortage, thus bringing global prices down. These suggestions are likely to bring the strong local lobby against GM crops out in full force.

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