Apropos of the column “Less-cash agriculture” (FE, January 16), the author’s finding that, in Madhya Pradesh’s tribal districts of Dewas and Khargone, the NGO Samaj Pragati Sahayog discourages cash transactions for agricultural inputs is interesting. The interest rates—dheda, or 1.5 times, for fertilisers, and sawa, or 1.25 times, for pesticides—are clearly usurious. However, the dheda and sawa phenomenon is not limited to the particular region the author talked about. In Haryana and more so in Punjab, poor farmers have to pay similar interest rates on multiple commodities. Clearly, such transactions are more like wealth transfer operations. In that light, it was good to read this revealing report in your newspaper. This only goes on to prove that even after decades of Independence and after decades of Green Revolution, our poverty upliftment programmes are moving at a snail’s pace.
Rishi Bajaj, Chandigarh
In the editorial “3D-printed buildings” (FE, January 16), you have written about tall buildings that clean the air. What appeared like a “tall claim” a few years ago is now in the realm of reality. The examples you provided—in Dubai, in China, in New York—are an eye-opener. However, the editorial didn’t mention whether any of these buildings, planned or otherwise, are safe to live in, or whether they can sustain the forces of nature such as wind, rainfall or lightening. The cleaner air part—that buildings of the future can absorb smog, using a titanium dioxide-based coating, or maybe other similar technologies—is interesting. We wonder when can we see someone in India replicating this feat, or even planning to replicate. At least universities should start working on similar projects, even if these are on a smaller scale to begin with.
Subhash Rana, Bhopal