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India’s imprisoned farmers

By refusing to move on from its outdated approach to agriculture, India is condemning farmers to misery and impoverishing its own citizens

By Salil Tripathi   September 2008

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When the Doha global trade negotiations collapsed in July, many countries shared the blame. But one of the more surprising culprits was India. Indian consumers have suffered during the recent food crisis, with inflation over 12 per cent for some commodities. Removing agricultural trade barriers would surely have helped get cheaper food to India’s many millions of poor citizens.

Yet Indian trade minister Kamal Nath declined to open India further to farm imports, claiming he had to protect the “livelihood of millions of farmers” in India. What was behind…

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