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A First-Person Note based on Two Decades of Active Work in this Sector About 10 years ago, I took a group of agricultural academics from Tamil Nadu Agriculture University (TNAU), delegated by the then Vice Chancellor to (then) Andhra Pradesh to visit the Community Managed Sustainable Agriculture (CMSA) programme. The visit was facilitated by the Rural Development Department of the Tamil Nadu government, through the newly formed State Rural Livelihood Mission (TNSRLM). The occasion was the opportunity presented by the newly created national programme called Mahila Kisan Sashaktikiran…
Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Machine Learning algorithm is increasingly envisaged to play a major role to do various typical human decision making and problem solving methods utilizing vast amounts of human fed data, rapid processing speed, high speed internet and connectivity, devices that can handle such demands, humans that need them and data processing and self-learning machine algorithms.The novelty of machines doing what humans and nature does, has been the pursuit of modern science and technology for well over a century now. The reduction of drudgery and the improvement of…
It was over a month ago that we released the report Future Nutrition - Understanding our toxic transition on the four major transitions that are impacting our food systems today. The debate around ultra processed food since then has increased all around and currently the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) and Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) have recommended heavily against the intake of the Ultra Processed Food (UPF) that we had highlighted as one of the biggest menace against nutrition security in the  country. Their key recommendations are summarized here. …
Short term Project: Testing and Comparing the Nutritional properties of Traditional varieties of Rice grown in diverse Agro-Ecological zonesDuration: 3 monthsProject Promoters: Samanvaya, Nammalvar Multiversity, Tamil Nadu Iyarkai Vivasayigal Koottamaippu (TNIVK) Background: Traditional rice varieties, also termed as land races are sources of diverse nutritional properties.  Two factors have enhanced their need in recent times, viz., the immunity enhancement demand since the pandemic and need to cultivate climate change resilience among the food crops. On both counts there are…
My childhood was by the southern Indian coast, living in Chennai. We ran and walked the beach in the morning, played cricket in the beach in the evening. The sea that stretches forever was and continues to be part of life. So do the fishing community whom i have see from close as a kid. I learnt to row in the backwaters early on, though, I never did swim in the sea. Holidays were spent watching the sea, any visitor invariably was taken to the sea. Have slept in the sands for nights after searching for Olive Ridley eggs through the night with the fantastic SSTCN group and cleaned and planted…
Baingan Swaraj, the book i wrote 14 yrs back has been taken up by a class of students (age 8 - 12) for reading and after completing they wanted to meet the author... It was an amazing interaction to sit and listen to them today and share some thoughts and answer many questions. What started off as a half hour interaction ended up with two hours and another 3 hours with the faculty later on. Unlike adults who often are waiting to talk about themselves in an interaction, children are still curious, they listen, ask equations, think, ideate, and are playful and creative in their expressions…