From here DDS activities look interesting and impressive but I do not have any contact with them. Last year I enquired in Hyderabad and the few friends I spoke to said good things about DDS. One said dismissively that it is Vandana Shiva type of organization. Arun Shrivatsava reports on one of their activities here.
A trenchent conpiracy theory by the same author here.
Data on the nutritive content of the seeds collected by the women here.
Update (3rd November,2006) Kuffir refers to Arun Shrivatsava's article in blogbharti .
Some of Kuffir's comments:
why i liked the article was despite its somewhat strident tone..it attempts to take a holistic look at the causes behind today’s agrarian crisis.
look at the valid point he makes about ‘warehousing’ receipts - there are many activists/economists advocating provision, through public/private investment, of warehousing facilities so that the farmers 1)have more control over the marketing of their produce and 2) so that they may access credit in lieu of their stocks. but, his interpretation of the reasons behind dismantling the structure of ‘warehousing’ in 1971 is narrow - he says it was because of pressure from fertiliser/pesticide companies - the larger truth is the govt probably believed in the idea that the nationalisation of banks would open the floodgates of credit to farmers.. it also attempted to regulate a large portion of credit towards agriculture and rural india. but that didn’t happen..credit increased from around 10% of total lending by banks to around 20% or so in the initial two-three years or so after nationalisation..but has remained at the same level for that last thirty five years. also, the beneficiaries were mostly large, medium and some small farmers and not the vast majority of..marginal and sub-marginal farmers in india.
yes, i agree with you that the section ‘truth’ does seem farfetched but..i’ve noticed most indian commentators take rigid ideological positions on agriculture.
but look at the causes he alludes to, apart from irrigation and ‘marketization’: rural electrification, illiteracy, malnourishment, drinking water, healthcare. these are the issues that are driving these suicides, in my view, more than anything else.