Use of fertilizers in India and quantum of yield

07/09/2015

In India, there is a lot of writing against use of fertilizers in agriculture because if their harmful effects on human body. But the fact is that fertilizers usage in India is low at less than 200kg per hectare per year, while in countries like Vietnam, South Korea and China it is about 300kg or more/ha/year. In a few countries, the usage is as much as 500kg/ha/year. In Africa the usage is very low, but larger usage is being encouraged. While fertilizers are being used in Europe and USA for several years, in India, large scale usage of fertilizers is only of recent phenomenon. Because of low consumption of fertilizers in India,the yield of various crops is low compared to developed countries.While China produces more than 500 million MT of cereals on less than 100 million ha, India produces less than 300 million MT in more than 100 million ha.

In this context, it is relevant to note that the human body is made up of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium. All these are necessary to life.Inorganic fertilizers also contain usually more or less same chemicals like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NKP) calcium, sulphur, magnesium etc.

So it is necessary to have more research on whetheruse of chemical fertilizers are really harmful to human body and if so how much or whether human body can get used to taking food grains etc. grown with the use of fertilizers. On the basis of the results of the research,
the use of fertilizers can be increased or decreased.

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China’s economic develoment

20/02/2011

China’s economic development in the past 30 years has been phenomenal. It has overtaken several countries including Germany and Japan to become the world’s 2nd largest economy(GDP US$5.7 trillion). It has become the largest exporter in the world. There is discussion already,on when China would overtake USA(GDP US$ 14.6 trillion) to become the largest economy. However, it appears that China may not overtake USA in GDP, in the near future, as its development is based on weak foundation:

a. unlike in countries like India, in China, the contribution of foreign invested companies to the GDP is very high- about 40%. Foreign direct investment in China is nearly US$ 1 trillion.

b. contribution of foreign invested firms to china’s foreign trade is over 50%

c. if foreign firms withdraw, China would lose its position as the 2nd largest economy and the largest exporter. GDP growth rate would also fall substantially from the present
level of around 10%

d.China’s investment in research and development is low- about 1.5% of its GDP, compared to 3% in USA. It depends on foreign countries for technology.

e.arable land in China is limited-only about 140 million hectare(just about 15% of total area) for its population of 1350 million. USA has about 175 million hectares for a population of about 300 million.

f.agricultural land is over exploited with high input of fertilizers. Soil degradation is likely to lead to drop in agricultural production.( China has however done a good thing in leasing large areas of agricultural land in Africa.)

g. natural and man-made calamities take place more often in China than in many countries.

While the achievement of China in the last 30 years is adorable, it may also have to be noted that this has been possible because of foreign assistance, which means foreign developed countries also have contributed to the progress. Of course, the foreign countries have benefited enormously from their investments.


Poor Performance of Tamilnadu on agricultural front

15/01/2011

The per capita production of food grains (rice, wheat, coarse grains and pulses) in India is less than 200kg per year while in the world it is over300 kg. This means that India’s performance in agriculture needs to be improved vastly. In India among the various states, Tamilnadu’s performance is very poor. During 2009-10, India produced 218 million tonnes for a population of around 1180 million. The per capita production is about 185 kg per year. Tamilnadu state produced about 8.0 million tonnes for a population of about 67 million people, which works out to a per capita production of only 120kg per year.

India’s production went up from 176 million tonnes in 1990-91 to 218 million tonnes in 2009-10 which works out to about 24%increase in 20 years. This increase itself is low. But increase in Tamilnadu is very much lower at 8% from 7.4 million tonnes in 1990-91 to only 8.0 million tonnes in 2009-10.

The reasons for the slow growth in production in Tamilnadu are:

• unremunerative prices for agricultural products resulting from high cost of agricultural labour.

• insufficient water for irrigation. During rainy season, large quantity of water flows into the sea without irrigating fields, as water is released from reservoirs even though not required, for want of storage space. So the urgent need is to construct more reservoirs which could be even underground reservoirs if necessary.

• During rainy season, large quantity of water stagnates in shallow ditches. This water evaporates in 15-20 days after the rainy season. The period of stagnation is short and the depth of ditches is low and these do not permit recharge of underground water. What is required is to drain this water into nearby lakes where lakes exist nearby or to construct lakes in suitable area.

• Fertilizer use is satisfactory. In addition, there is enough manure by way of cow dung, chicken refuse, dry and green leaves etc.


Credit Rating Agencies-Is there a need?

30/05/2009

India has allowed western credit rating agencies to operate in the country. It has also allowed the establishment of local credit rating agencies. Government of India and regulatory authorities including Reserve Bank of India and Securities and Exchange Board of India recognize the ratings of these agencies. People also give consideration to these ratings in taking decsions on investments. How do the agencies come to conclusions about the financial strength or weakness of a company  and how can one rely on their findings?

First of all, it is not possible for any agency to rate any manufacturing or financil services company correctly. Secondly, how can one be sure that its ratings are not subjective? Can the rating agency prepare any report on a company without the company’s full cooperation? Will the company provide any information which will show it in a bad light?

Reserve Bank of India and a few research organisations estimate the national GDP to the accuracy of 0.1% i.e say 5.7% or 5.8% and keep revising the same. When it requires the entire government machinery to estimate GDP to the accuracy of 0.1%, how can any smaller organisation or institution do it? At the most one can say that because of good rains, the agricultural production may go up by 10 or 15%; the production of fertilizers, pesticides, agricultural implements etc. may also go up by 5% or 10% etc. If there is increse in wages of the entire working class, one can predict that the demand and hence production of consumer durables may also go up. But no agency can estimate that the economy of a large country like India can grow, say  by 7.1% or 7.2%.

The ratings of the agencies is creating havoc in stock markets. Many companies abandon proposed projects which affects the growth of the economy. There appears to be a need to seriously consider whether there is need for the credit rating agencies.