According to FAO, India has arable land of 157 million hectares(ha). It has a population of about 1250 million people. The density of population per ha of arable land is about 8 persons.
Bangladesh has arable land of 7.7.million ha and a population of about 155 million. The density of population per ha of arable land is about 20 persons i.e. about 2.5times that of India.
Bangladesh annually produces about 51 million MT of food grains, mostly paddy(not rice).i.e. about 330kg per head per year while India annually produces about 280 million MT(paddy taken into account- not rice)i.e. only about 225kg per head per year. It is strange that even with low per capita production India occasionally exports food grains while Bangladesh imports food grains.
Bangladesh receives rainfall of about 265 cm annually while India receives only about 110 cm of rainfall. But low production of grains in India is not due to shortage of water,It is due to under utilization of water as can be seen from the very large quantity of river water joining the sea in various parts of India.There shold be more lakes and dams in India and river and rain water should be drained in these lakes and dams .
Bangladesh takes two/three crops in a years on larger proportion of land than India. Average paddy yield in Bangladesh is also high at around 4.3 MT/ha while in India it is about 3.5 MT/ha. Thus while on an ha of arable land Bangladesh produces about 6.5 MT of food grains, India produces only about 1.8 MT(India produces coarse grains on rain fed areas where the yield is very low and this brings down annual production on an ha of land.
India needs to spend more time and energy on finding ways for better utilization of rain/river water -by linking rivers with rivers, rivers with lakes, recharging ground water etc.
India is the 6th largest producer and consumer of electricity in the world. However, India’s per capita production and consumption is very low as seen from the table below.
||Percapita consu ption(kwh)
Even as late as 2003, Vietnam’s per capita production and consumption of electricity was much lower than India. Electricity consumption is an indication of the economic and social development of a country. India should increase its consumption by about 10 times to join the club of economically developed countries. Every town authorities should be encouraged to produce electricity from garbage, biogas and sunlight in cooperation with local consumers. Every water reservoir should attempt to produce hydro power.
The prices of sugar, pulses and vegetables have gone up in recent days/months in India. There is a lot of talk and criticism of the government on the poor handling of price situation.
Sugar prices have gone up world wide. The price of sugar in world market is US$620 a tonne or Rs.29 per kilo. In Vietnam it is Rs.48 a kilo and in India it is only Rs.30-Rs.35.
Similarly prices of vegetables have also gone up in many countries for reasons like flood, heavy rains, lower production etc. For example in Vietnam, cabbage costs now Rs.37.50 (VND15000) against Rs.12.50(VND 5000) earlier. Tomato costs Rs.32.50(VND13000) against Rs.10(VND 4000) earlier. In Tamilnadu for example, tomato costs about Rs.20 against about Rs.10 (VND 4000) earlier(all in retail market) The price of pumpkins went up in Vietnam from around Rs.12.50 (VND 5000) per kg to Rs.35.(VND 14000)
In general in Vietnam prices have gone up by about 3 times while in India prices of vegetables have gone up in recent times by about 2 times.
In Bangladesh the prices are reported to have surprisingly fallen down, but they are still as high as or higher than in India. Brinjal used to sell at Rs.27(Taka 40) has come down to Rs.20,(Taka 20) which is the price in India, ladies finger from Rs.27(Taka 40) to Rs.23 (Taka 35) (In Tamilnadu it is Rs.20) and green chilli from Rs.33(taka 50) to Rs.20 (Taka 30). In Tamilnadu, green chilli is selling at Rs.20 a kg for several months.
In Vietnam and Bangladesh, the wage rates/salary levels are much lower than in India.
The wages of unskilled agricultural and other laborers have gone up from Rs.35 per day to Rs.100 per day in the last three years for women and from Rs.70 per day to Rs.150- Rs.200 per day for men
The prices of vegetables were very low in India for a long time and these need to be corrected. If prices stabilize at the present level, it would mean that the necessary correction in prices has taken place and the people need to accept this correction and learn to live with the present level of prices of vegetables. The prices may fall down but low prices may not last for long.