Sharma is a noted
Indian journalist and outspoken critic of
Devinder Sharma is an Indian journalist, writer, thinker. He is well-known and respected for his views on food and trade policy. Trained as an agricultural scientist, Sharma has been the Development Editor of the Indian Express, the largest selling English language daily in India at that time. He quit active journalism to research on policy issues concerning sustainable agriculture, biodiversity and intellectual property rights, environment and development, food security and poverty, biotechnology and hunger, and the implications of the free trade paradigm for developing countries.
He has been a Visiting Fellow to the International Rice Research Institute, in the Philippines; Visiting Fellow at the School of Development Studies at the University of East Anglia, Norwich (UK); and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge (UK).
An award-winning journalist, Sharma is associated with numerous national and international organisations and civil society groups. He was the founding member of the Chakriya Vikas Foundation (Foundation for Cyclic Development) in India, which has been successful in socio-economic transformation and uplift, based on sustainable agriculture practices, in almost a hundred villages in the poverty stricken belt of Bihar, in north India. He also is a member of the board of directors of the Asia Rice Foundation and a member of the CGIARís Central Advisory Board on Intellectual Property Rights.
His recent works include, three books: GATT and India: The Politics of Agriculture; GATT to WTO: Seeds of Despair; and In the Famine Trap. Among the forthcoming titles is Keeping the Other Half Hungry, an incisive analysis of how the globalisation is accelerating the process of marginalisation of farmers in the Third World.
He has spoken at various public forums, universities, institutes and groups in India and abroad on issues concerning sustainable agriculture, biotechnology, trade and food security. He has delivered some 15 keynote addresses at international conferences in the past two years. He also uses his regular columns to disseminate the analysis among the masses.
He chairs an independent collective in New Delhi, called the Forum for Biotechnology & Food Security. The Forum is a collective of some of the well-known policy makers, agriculture scientists, economists, biotechnologists, farmers and environmentalists to examine and analyse the implications and fall-out of various policy decisions, both national and international. The Forum was successful in stalling the import of cow dung and piggery droppings from Holland, stopping the import of recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) into the country, banning terminatorís entry into India and delaying the introduction of genetically modified Bt cotton in India.
*photo: Nic Paget-Clarke