Field day

  • 30/01/2003

Field day What is soil? Nothing but simple clod, always taken for granted. But dig deeper, and you will find that this simple clod generates complex equations of survival and wealth, equity and polity. It is a big little ecological variable. Its influences remain hidden from us. It is ploughed-upon and planned-about. Small farmers subsist on it. Large farmers cash-crop it. Canals have been built to waterlog it. Bed-shapers, rolling cultivators, v-shaped para-soilers and spider teeth have been designed to rake it into cultivable shape; pesticides drench it, fertilisers to despoil it, and harvesters routinely trample it.

It creates feed for goats and city-dwellers. It allows markets and middlemen to flourish, and executives and exporters to fatten. It gives traders their credit, truckers their itinerary and tariffs an extremely important reason to exist.

The stock index is sensitive to it, as is the gross domestic product. It in/directly justifies the existence of the Union ministry of agriculture, ministry of petroleum and natural gas, ministry of water resources, ministry of commerce, ministry of food and consumer affairs, ministry of industry, ministry of rural development, and

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