Kabir Agarwal

Journalist and Researcher

Kabir is an award-winning independent journalist who has contributed to the South China Morning Post, Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Caravan magazine, Al Jazeera and worked for several years at The Wire - India’s leading independent news site.

His reportage has focussed on development issues — food security, agriculture, climate change, migration, water, health and human rights. Kabir's work has also revolved around business and finance, from covering the bad loans crisis in India to ESG analysis of some of the world's largest corporations and pension funds. His work has been cited by international scholars in books and journal papers with almost 100 citations to date.

His work reviewing government policies on water, housing, health, food security, climate change, and agriculture has won recognition globally. A series of his reports, for instance, shone a light on the various shortcomings on the Indian government's policy that aimed to address the open defecation challenge. He also uncovered, for the first time in the history of India, the political sensitive list of corporate houses who have not paid their loan dues despite having the financial ability to do so.

He is a multi-platform journalist and his work has included filming video interviews, video stories and hosting a podcast series on climate change and food policy

Most recently, he was part of two global collaborative investigative projects: The Pegasus Project, The Congo Hold-up and Hunger Profiteers.

Alongside his work as a reporter and journalist, Kabir has also had extensive experience as a researcher and consultant where his work has included advising local governments on raising urban infrastructure finance, resolving the affordable housing crisis and issues of sustainable finance. He has co-authored a boon about Mumbai's affordable housing problem and journal problems on solving the urban housing question.

Awards, fellowships & grants include
- Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue Fellowship (2020): as a media fellow with a focus on India's clean energy transition
- Society of Environment Journalists’ grant: for stories on the destruction of the natural habitat of migratory birds in northeast India
- Water Aid's media fellowship: to report on the water crisis in urban India
- Red Ink Award (2018): for excellence in business and economy journalism for his reportage on farmer suicides in India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh

The Wire
'Betting on Hunger': Market Speculation Is Contributing to Global Food Insecurity

New Delhi/London/Rome: Food prices have climbed to unprecedented levels in recent months, adding to an already precarious food security situation in large parts of the developing world. The report blamed the "toxic triple combination" of climate change, the economic effects of the pandemic and over the past two years.

Foreign Policy
India's Green Revolution Sowed the Seeds of Today's Meltdown

Indian farmers, many of whom have been engaged for more than six months in protests against new agricultural laws passed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, are angry. Some have referred to their protest as the largest such mobilization in human history.

Washington Post
Opinion | An ignored water crisis is at the center of the farmer protest in India

It was more than six months ago that Indian farmers started protesting against three new laws pushed in unilaterally by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The laws aim to change the way agricultural markets operate. But, from the very beginning, the protests have not been only about the intricacies of those laws.

The Wire
Exclusive: Under RTI Act, RBI Finally Discloses Details of Major Wilful Defaulters

New Delhi: Four years after the Supreme Court first directed the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to disclose a list of India's wilful defaulters, the central bank has finally complied. In response to a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by The Wire in May 2019, the RBI has released a list of 30 major wilful defaulters.