20 May 2011

From Burlington, Vermont to Boston by Bus

We left the hotel at Burlington by 8.45 and moved over to Tetra Tech ARD's office at Burlington. There interventions in six areas, namely, Agriculture & Economic Growth, Democracy & Governance, Environment & Natural Resources, Land Tenure & Property Rights, Water Resources & Infrastructure, and Information & Knowledge Management. They mentioned about their interventions in Bangladesh and Nepal as also many other countries across the world on agriculture related aspects. Some of the larger concerns raised were increasing population pressure, availability of technology to produce more food without increasing costs and risks, and the need to work with farmers. There was a thinking that if farmers are not using fertilizers to increase productivity then they are not taking the rational approach but this questioning also stems from not being able to view the farmers perspective. At the end of the meeting we were given a sample of Vermont's Maple syrup.

Our next stop was Cold Hollow Cider Mill which specialized in making products from Apple, another product of Vermont. Had a sample of fresh and raw apple juice and picked up some tidbits of wooden toys. It is from here that we went to Stowe where we had lunch. Over lunch Roger the driver of the van was mantioning that about 40 millioniores own a vaccation home there. Even Jackie Kennedy used to come here for her skiing. The next stop was at Cabot, a cooperative of dairy farmers since 1919 that is known for its cheese in this region. From here we moved on to the last official stop at Ben and Jerry's took a tour of their ice cream factory which has some fair trade practices in paying appropriate prices to the farmers from whom they get milk and insist that they do not use any growth inducing hormones and also insist that the farmers pay their workers well.

We reached Mariott at about 7.30 pm. This hotel has its class as it is the costliest, but slightly disappointing for the participants as it does not give some facilities that we were used to - complimentary breakfast, free internet in room for those with laptops. In the evening we went out for a stroll to Charles river and then all the participants including Alan had dinner together at the Legal Sea Foods, Kendall square, for the first time. It was a nice evening together where we talked about us being at the intellectual hub lose to MIT, Harvard and the Boston college.

No comments:

Post a Comment