India's quantum jump in agricultural production in 1960s when it changed from a `basket-case' in food grains into a net exporter has been a subject of universal amazement. A good part of the credit goes to the "green revolution" technology, the scientists who helped usher it in and the then political leadership. Green revolution technology meant higher cost of cultivation. This made the monsoon-dependant agriculture in India even more non-viable. The agricultural policies of the government which had their origin in the war period made agriculture a losing proposition. Sharad Joshi and his farmers' organisation Shetkari Sanghatana provided the economic analysis and the political muscle to overcome this situation. His thought represented several new paradigms which were opposed by most Indian economists and politicians until 1990s when the WTO negotiations provided sub-stantial evidence of his thought. This book, a compilation of his selected writings, relates to the relatively more recent issues in agricultural development. As Sharad Joshi, a widely respected veteran in the field, likes to put: "I hope the scholars and others interested in Indian agriculture would find this representation of the non-official, if not the anti-official, position on agricultural issues interesting.
Sharad Joshi is the National President of the farmers' organisation Shetkari Sanghatana, which describes itself as the only truly liberal party in India. He is Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) since 1984. A former bureaucrat and UN technocrat, he turned farmer in 1980s. His work for farmers and rural women and also in the field of promotion of enterprise, technology and economic reforms provided new dimensions in the understanding of the Indian agricultural problems.