Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Shrinking Villages and Green Cities

Most of my vacations and holidays were spent in my aunt's village. Days were spent going from one farm to the other, walking in the shades of coconut trees, playing in water, observing farm what farm labourers did, riddling them and they riddling me, sowing groundnuts, transplanting onion saplings, sitting on the cane chair outside in the evening and watching the stars...

Over the years things have started to change. Many farmers have opted to do coconut farms instead of crops. Some have stopped farming altogether. Many farmlands are being purchased by 'developers' and are plotted into 'sites' and are being sold to people who may want to build their retirement homes in the future. All these are signs of 'development' around here. Things are becoming urban. Anju had written about a similar experience about a year and a half ago.

I suppose it is inevitable. As the population increases more forests get converted into farmland, farmland into house, and on and on it goes. I also suppose it is justified as farmers aren't protected or incentivised for growing food. Urban development and industrialization seems to be the focus. Rural development, although talked about and certain things being done for the sake of having done something about it, isn't really the focus. Throw into this cauldron freebies that politicians give away to ensure strong vote-bank, we seem to have the perfect strategy for going downhill.

However, certain things give me hope. All is not lost. This article - although happening in Detroit - shows me that things are possible. Development keeps coming back to empowerment.

6 comments:

Ryan said...

dead trees don't grow.

Large organisms have more impact than small.

A city is greater than the sum of it's parts.

SandyCarlson said...

I wish these things weren't inevitable. I wish we could stop and think about what we value rather than be swept into the Going Value.

Julie Kibler said...

Glad to see you back on here! This urban farming thing is what my son is up to these days.

Bungi said...

Ryan - There will be streams in the desert! Sometimes, all it takes is a spark to get the fire going. And we need the parts to make a whole, nonetheless.

Sandy - I agree. If only we can make choices which would include choosing lesser instead of more, i think we will make it.

Julie - That is super awesome! I knew he worked on a farm, but not on urban farm...

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Vivek G said...

There should be strict regulations to prevent rapid urbanization and degradation of forests and farms. Sensitizing the farming community about the importance of Sustainable Farming and providing incentives for them to adapt Integrated Farming methods will definitely change the scenario. Also Farming is currently perceived as an occupation for illiterates and incapable in Rural areas; this mindset has to change and many capable people should pursue this as a career occupation.