Food and agriculture is far too important to be left to the formal schools of macro-economics. Energy (like education, health, water and sanitation, decent work) is far too important to be left to business and planners. In this running diary I bring out aspects of current and recent work (including my own) that explain these areas and how they are tied together, sometimes in a complementary way, and which otherwise affect a household, a village, or a tehsil or district.
Over the last decade I have studied rural economies with a focus on agro-ecology, culture and the patterns of contemporary development. I work with one of the Unesco conventions, the 2003 Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage (a term that can be read together with traditional knowledge), and over the several years of my association with this excellent multi-lateral instrument I have trained groups in several countries (of South-East Asia) on its aspects, and have assessed the submissions of governments that have successfully (or not) nominated some remarkable ICH/TK to Unesco.
Converning food and agriculture, I have served as a consultant with the National Agricultural Innovation Project in India, a programme under the Ministry of Agriculture. This experience provided an understanding of how the world’s largest national agricultural research system (in terms of number of people and institutes) works, and what its contribution is (and ought to be) to the people of India.
I work with several associations and networks that are concerned with food and agriculture, but also with equity and justice, education (in its true sense and not the confined, superficial, expensive industry it has become), and the decentralisation of planning and governance (swarajya and self-reliance). These include the Economics Research Foundation (New Delhi), the Bhoomi College and Network (Bangalore), the Centre for Social Markets (Bangalore) and the Centre for Communication and Development Studies (Pune, Maharashtra) which is the patron organisation of the excellent Infochange India, a development news and features website that has for ten years done steadily and quietly what the mainstream media has not.
To write to me, please send an email to this id: makanaka [at] pobox [dot] com