Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Musings: India's Urban Farmers

People are leaving their villages throughout India and going to the cities, seeking new opportunities. Some of them continue to farm on the outskirts of urban areas, like this settlement at Yamuna Pushta, just outside the hustle and bustle of New Delhi.
This family traveled to Delhi because there were no jobs in their home village, about 200 kilometers from the city. 
They and the other laborers who live here know how to farm, so they struck up arrangements with landowners to grow vegetables along the Yamuna River, one of the two most polluted waterways in India. 
Power plants and other industry dump effluent into the river, and much of the land is contaminated with heavy metals.
Families share tractors to till the soil. Goats and cows are tethered near their little shanties, providing milk.
Though some romantic Westerners (and Vandana Shiva) say farmers should be practicing traditional organic agriculture, they don't realize that the dung that could be used for fertilizer is also needed for cooking fuel.
This family washes vegetables in preparation for market.

Then loads the cart.
Everyone helps, even the youngest.
The farmer, who was very proud of his harvest of green onions, cauliflower and cilantro, waters down his load to keep the veggies fresh as transports them via a bicycle cart along the busy roads to buyers in New Delhi.


Anonymous said...

Thank God I live here!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the excellent pictures and reporting from afar
safe and happy travels to you!!

Anonymous said...

Such inefficient cooking fuels and technologies produce high levels of household air pollution with a range of health-damaging pollutants, including small soot particles that penetrate deep into the lungs. In poorly ventilated dwellings, indoor smoke can be 100 times higher than acceptable levels for small particles. Exposure is particularly high among women and young children, who spend the most time near the domestic hearth.

4.3 million people a year die prematurely from illness attributable to the household air pollution caused by the inefficient use of solid fuels (2012 data). Among these deaths:

12% are due to pneumonia
34% from stroke
26% from ischaemic heart disease
22% from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and

Anonymous said...

"they don't realize that the dung that could be used for fertilizer is also needed for cooking fuel."

So Vandana Shiva doesn't realize what you, as a outsider, so readily discovered! That many people in India use cow dung for cooking!

Manawai said...

She was being kind to the Shiva who could care less for her countrymen and has merely made a good living out of wooing the dollars out of gullible anti's pockets.