Food Security-expansion of irrigation

03/09/2014

Total world production of cereals increased from 2353 million MT in 2007 to 2566 million MT in 2012 i.e by 9.1% in 5 years while the population during this period went up by around 6% only. Thus the per capita availability has gone up. What is more important is that in the food deficit Africa the growth rates of food prouction are higher than the world average growth rates.In Africa the increase in cereal production is 25.2% and in roots and tubers 26.4%. Similarly there is considerable increase of around 15% in production of vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat and milk. To sustain this increase, expansion of irrigation is important. Construction of dams, lakes, digging of canals, diversion of rivers should be given priority. Simultaneously micro irrigation like drip and sprinkler irrigation should also be undertaken.

The current per capita production of cereals at 350 kg per year is more than sufficient. The surplus will become more pronounced if feeding animals with cereals is reduced and fodder production is increased.

Enough food grains are produced. Giving buying power to the people will ensure food security.


Profits, salaries,wages,prices,money,physical strength

26/09/2012

There seems to be wrong notions about wages, prices, investment, development and related issues among the people,political parties, intelligentsia etc.

Some of the wrong/irrational notions are:

i. that if profit is substantial companies’ management can enhance the salaries of top executives exorbitantly rather than think of reducing the prices of products/services in the coming years.( The government should consider imposing a limit on salaries/perquisites of top executives as in the past)

ii. that if there is profit, the companies should share it with employees by giving bonus to them rather than reduce the prices in the coming years or invest the money to produce and employ more

iii.that there should be universal which means additional employment but there should not be inflation

iv.that procurement prices of cereals,milk, eggs etc.should be increased but consumer prices should remain unchanged.

v.that wages of agricultural labourers should keep increasing but prices of vegetables and fruits should not go up

vi.that workers should not be asked to improve productivity but prices of manufactured goods should come down

vii.that wages of workers,drivers,cleaners, engineers,mechanics, office staff etc. should be increased periodically but the train and bus fares, electricity charges,cleaning charges, etc should not be increased

viii.that charges for any service should not be increased but the quality of service should be enhanced.

ix. that people should have more entertainment, comforts, luxuries etc. but need not put in additional labour.
(People do not think that while money not spent on any occasion can be saved and spent on other occasions but physical strength can not be saved for using on some other occasion. It is therefore necessary that one should work as long as possible when the opportunity comes.)

religious,social leaders,writers etc. talk of virtues of people with money giving charity to poor people,but nobody talks of people who are physically strong and healthy, helping physically weak people.

people talk of short duration of prosperity but they do not talk of shorter duration of physical strength.

money not spent can be invested for development, for creating jobs etc. while physical strength not used, for doing work cannot be put to any other use.


Production, yield and per capita availability of fruits

21/07/2011

Excerpts from “Simple Alternate Development Strategy”

“India is the second largest producer of fruits in the world behind Brazil In 1991,it produced 28 million MT or 8% of the total world prodution of 348 million MT. Per capita production of fruits in India was 33kg/year against ….65kgin the world. India produces mainly mangoes(10 million MT)and banana(6.4 million MT). It does not produce much of the other fruits which are major ones in the world like grapes, oranges, pine apples etc. For example, its production of grapes at 314000 MT in 1991 was only 0.5% of the total global producion of 57 million MT. However, in grapes, the yield is significant at 20.9 MT/hectare against…world aveage of 6.8 MT. This is because, the entire area under grapes cultivtion is under irrigation. more than anything else viz high yieldig varieties, fertilizers,pesticides etc.though these are important inputs. Major producers of grapes are Italy, France, former USSR and Spain,the four together accounting for 47% of the world production.

Another major fruit in the world is orange. The world production in 1991 was 55 million MT,closely behind that of grapes. India is not a significant producter.Its productio of 1.89 million MT accounts for only 3.4% of world production. The major producers are Brazil (34%) and China (9.7%)

Banana is another major fruit with a production of 47.7 million MT in 1991.The leading producers are India (13.4%), Brazil(11.8%),Philippines(7.4%), Indonesia(5.0%) and China(4.4%). In spite of being the largest producer of bananas, the per capita availability is only 7.3% kg per year while the world per capita availability is 8.8 kg and the per capita production of the rest of the. world(i.e,excluding India)is 9.14kg…..

The fourth important fruit in the world is apple whose production in 1991 amounted to 39.4 million MT.India’s production of 1.02 million MT comes to only 2.6% of world production. The major producers in the world are former USSR(15.2%),China(12.2%) and USA(11.4%)…..

Mango is the fifth important fruit in the world, production of which amounted to 16.12 milliom MT. Out of this, India’s production was 9.70 million MT i.e. 60% of the world production. Mango is perhaps the only item in which India has a dominat presence in the world. The per capita poduction comes to 11kg per year.

In pine-apple, India’s contribution was 700.000MT to the world production of 10.08 million MT. It comes to 6.9% ofthe world production.”

India’s production of fruits has gone up now to around 32 million MT, but its share in the world remains more or less same i.e.8%. India needs to double its production of fruits,if Indians are to consume on an average as much fruits as the rest of the people in the world.


Money, Printing of Currency Notes, Inflation (continued)

30/06/2010

Excerpt from the manuscript “What Ails Indian Economy?”

“In fact, any product, commodity or service acquires value because of the demand. Today, a music system may cost about Rs.50,000. If tomorrow, people are no longer interested in music or there are other ways of listening to music, the music system loses its value. The value of any product or commodity is based on the importance people attach to it, particularly if it is not an essential item like food, clothing and shelter. …..

To understand better, what money is, it would be useful to have some background information. Direct barter system was used in the olden days. It was possible then, as the requirements of the people were limited to, may be food, clothing and shelter. It would not have been very difficult for a person, to locate….. For example in the olden days a person would have grown cereals on his land. The other person would have grown vegetables and a third person would have grown fruits etc. all in the same locality. People knew each other well and the person who wanted to exchange his cereals with vegetables would not have had any difficulty in locating the person who had vegetables to dispose of and at the same time needed cereals.

Sometimes, people had products to dispose of, but they did not need to buy anything at that time. They therefore needed to keep something in exchange for their products. This something has come to be called the money. People used to keep their money in the form of land, cattle, grains and later in gold, silver, copper etc.

In order that goods and services are disposed of and acquired without much discussions, there is need to express their values. Earlier people might have expressed the value in terms of land, grains or cattle or other domesticated animals. People would have talked of wages of a worker in terms of units (weight or volume) of grain. They would have talked of value of some area of land in terms of cattle-10 cows or 20 cows etc. But now the value of goods and services are talked of in terms of currency -rupees or pounds or dollars or euros etc.

People are willing to exchange valuable goods and services for printed small sheets of paper- currency notes, because they know that other people would accept these papers in exchange for their goods. The currency notes thus acquire value. The same is true of gold…….

 (to be continued)


India and China- agricultural production

03/01/2010

India claims to have brought in green revolution. The green revolution is reported to have been brought mainly by introduction of high yielding and drought resistant varieties and increased use of chemical fertilizers. It is a fact that more than anything, for increasing production irrigation is required. India has failed to provide irrigation to the extent possible. Rainfall in India is neither low nor high, over large parts of the country. Comparison between India and China shows, how India is failing in agricultural production and yield.

  China China China India India India
Crop Area(ha) Production(mt) Yield Area(HA) Production Yield(mt)
Cereals 86,060 000 457 443 000 5.31 99 472 000 260 480 000 2.62
Pulses   2 884 000     3 777 000 1.31 23 200 000   14 170 000 0.61
Oil crop 28 962 000  14  955 000 0.52 39 193 000  12  019 000 0.31
Sugar

cane

 1 813 000 115 363 000 63.63   4 900 000 355 520 000 72.56
Vegetables 23 717 000 451 633 000 19.04  5 905 000  77 243 000 13.08
Vegetables 102 405 000  57 456 000
             

 

Except in sugarcane, yield is much lower in India than in China.  Government has to take urgent action to increase the irrigation facilities by digging new lakes, deepening existing lakes, connecting rivers with lakes, linking rivers wherever possible, draining rainwater into the nearby lakes and harvesting rain water etc.  If these are done, there is no need to subsidize sale of fertilizers, electric power supply for pump sets etc. as increase in yield will take care of the higher costs of fertilizers, power etc.

Introduction of courses on water management in all major universities could be considered.