Saturday, August 30, 2008

Capital expenditure in agriculture

Consider this from the highlights of Union budget 08-09:

- Debt waiver of Rs 60,000 cr (later increased to a larger amount)

- Credit target of Rs 280,000 cr

- Investments of Rs 20,000 cr for irrigation

- Crop insurance scheme to be introduced

- Rural infrastructure spending of Rs 14,000 cr

- Planned spending of Rs 240,000 Cr. Unplanned spending of Rs 5o7, 000 Cr

Farm subsidies and debt waiver serve no purpose in long term and hence does not count.

We can assume that improvement in rural infrastructure will help farmers in some way and so it is actually agricultural capex. The proportion of capex in agriculture to total spending comes to around ((20,000 + 14,000)/(240000+507000)) = ~4.55%

So that is 4.55 percent for more that 50% of people sustaining on agriculture. And god knows knows how much of it will actually go down till implementation.

This amount may be smaller than capex of some of our large companies.

Friday, August 29, 2008

India's GDP, Rice output, Sugar export subsidy

1. India's Q1 GDP growth is 7.9%, lowest since 2004. There have been different estimates of the GDP growth for year 08-09. Some have been very optimistic forecasting more that 9%. With inflation taking time and ease and tighter credit policy, only time will tell how much we grow this year. Till then, lets leave the job of forecasting the growth to economists and stock market analysts. By simple law of probability half of them will be correct :p

2. Quite contrary to a news today, this one says that India may produce record rice this year. "India's rice production in this agriculture year may breach the record output of 96.43 million tons in the last year on the back of increased acreage even as floods in some producing areas have hit the kharif crop, a top government official said today."

3. Chidambaram says India must stop sugar export subsidy.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Rice output, new hybrid mustard and ASEAN FTA

1. Rice output to be low because of floods, but premium category output go up -
Floods to cap India summer rice output at '07 level
Reuters India - Mumbai,India
... some floods in Punjab and Haryana states," Agriculture Commissioner NB Singh told Reuters. The two states produce nearly half of India's rice and wheat. ...
India's premium rice production up, farmers eye exports
Reuters India - Mumbai,India
This year it is more than 10 per cent," Gurdial Singh, joint director of agriculture, told Reuters. Officials say India is set to buy record quantities of ...

. Folks at NRC develop new hybrid seed for mustard -
India develops hybrid mustard seed, better yield expected - Bangkok,Bangkok,Thailand
NRC is an affiliate of India’s premier farm research body, the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR). The Delhi-headquartered ICAR under the ...

ASEAN concludes free trade deal with India: ministers
SINGAPORE (AFP) — Southeast Asian nations have concluded a deal for free trade in goods with India, ministers said Thursday, in a development hailed as a ...

Cotton output, Corn futures and organic farming

1. Cotton output seen good this year because if good rains and better seeds. But will the farmers benefit?
India Cotton Output May Top Estimate as Rains Improve (Update3)
Bloomberg - USA
India starts cotton planting in June and the harvest begins in October. China is forecast by the US Department of Agriculture to produce 35.5 million bales ...

2. Corn futures rise
India corn futures rise on lower acreage, exports
Reuters India - Mumbai,India
"We think despite lower acreage, yield will be higher this year," said a senior official with state department of agriculture of Andhra Pradesh, ...

South Asian Farmers Discuss Organic Farming
Indian Catholic - New Delhi,India
South Asian farmers visited a Garo tribal woman to learn how she practices organic farming and conserves 64 varieties of indigenous rice.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Today's Links

1. The revival in agricultural growth
Hindu Business Line - Chennai,India
At a time when there are signs of a slowdown in industry, much is being made of an agricultural revival that is helping to stabilise India’s high growth rate. But C. P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh argue that, despite somewhat high growth rates of agriculture in recent years, a longer term perspective suggests that all is still not well in a sector that has been damaged in India’s post-reform growth trajectory.

Biofuel: Algae takes lead over jatropha
Chandigarh Tribune - India
As algae do not need agriculture land, it can be grown using non-potable or sea water. “Algae farming for oil can be great opportunity for India, ...

Surinder Sud: Reaping what you sow
Business Standard - Mumbai,Maharashtra,India
India's productivity in agriculture is directly related to the low sums it invests in R&D. For agricultural growth to be knowledge-based and ...

By erleargonza
Millions of farmers in remote rural areas of India struggle to feed themselves and their families, while the resources on which they depend are deteriorating daily. This book shows how sustainable agriculture can help India’s farmers ...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Today's Links

1. Global pulses prices climb on Indian imports
Reuters India - Mumbai,India
By Rajendra Jadhav MUMBAI, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Large tenders for pulses imports floated by India to augment supply in the festival season have pushed up ...

India firm over sectoral tariffs
Business Standard - Mumbai,Maharashtra,India
The strategy of developing countries, including India, is to first get their concerns on protection of their agriculture sectors addressed, after which they ...

Left behind: Debt relief brings little respite for India’s farmer
Financial Times - London,England,UK
The mathematics behind the crisis in India’s agricultural sector are simple. Agriculture’s contribution to GDP fell from 42 per cent in 1970 to half that by ...

Organic Farming
By rajkumar
Arresting the decline of soil organic matter is the most potent weapon in fighting against unabated soil degradation and imperilled sustainability of agriculture in tropical regions of India, particularly those under the influence of ...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Today's Links

Nothing much over the weekend. Here's one link:

India's edible oil import estimate to go up by 8 pc
Hindu - Chennai,India
The report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has revised upwards its estimates of edible oil imports by India to 5.4 million tons in ...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Today's Links

1. SANASA Development Bank conducts Micro Finance Study Tour and ...
Daily Mirror - Colombo,Western,Sri Lanka
By Gayani Perera The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in India is mandated to provide need based quality training for capacity ...

How agriculture is blooming in Singapore
Commodity Online - Kochi,Kerala,India
And companies in Asia based in Singapore are looking to countries like China and India and launching agri-funds to tap the Asian potential,” says the ...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Today's Links

1. Vertical Farms for Food & Restoration - Huntington Station,NY,USA
Over the past three years, he's focused on the effects of agriculture on the environment. He gave the class a project: pretend you're a community of 50000 ...

Sure, everyone has to eat, but 'dot-corns' may be peaking
Globe and Mail - Canada
The "dot-corn" bubble may be about to burst as farmland prices spike and agriculture stocks rise even faster than Internet shares did in the late 1990s, ...

India - Promises to keep
By sri(sri)
"the strategy for revitalising agriculture has yet to show visible outcomes. The record food production this year needs to be balanced with a modest projected 2 per cent growth in agriculture by the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council. Agricultural productivity needs to substantially rise since the average yield of rice in India between 2003 and 2005 according to the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) was 3,034 kg a hectare compared to 6,233 kg a hectare in China, while for wheat the figures were 2,688 kg a hectare for India compared to 4,155 kg a hectare for China, while for rapeseed and mustard India averaged 909 kg/hectare compared to China’s 1,778 kg/hectare. Similarly the divergence between India and China in horticulture has also increased sharply in recent years with China producing 450 million tonnes of fruits and vegetables compared to our 135 million tonnes. The EAC report also believes “that old tired excuses of substandard agricultural performance are not valid because Indian agriculture is placed favourably when compared to China in terms of quantity of arable land (161 million hectares vs. 130 million hectares), irrigated land (55.8 million hectares vs. 54.5 million hectares), average farm size (1.4 hectares vs. 0.4 hectares).”
Improving productivity involves a quantum change in application of improved technology with water economical cropping pattern, innovating drought-resistant seed strains, improving marketing outlets, reducing wastage arising from absence of cold chains, deeper penetration of formal credit to farmers and improved coordination between the Centre and the States particularly in harnessing the comparative strengths of various regional and climatic zones. No action has been taken on the recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee on revamping of agricultural research. The rural roads programme is running behind target. Cold Storage and Cold Chains remain inadmissible for priority sector lending. Our approach remains excessively anchored to multiple subsidies instead of altering the context enabling infrastructure. "

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Today's Links

1. India was ready to soften on industry for agri deal in WTO
Business Standard - Mumbai,Maharashtra,India
... IST India was willing to accept the proposals on tariff reduction for industrial goods as a trade-off for protection of its interests in agriculture at ...

Global Food Crisis May Be Ending as Plantings Gain, India Says
Bloomberg - USA
Monkombu Sambasivan Swaminathan, the 83-year-old agriculture scientist who spearheaded India's first ``green revolution'' in the 1960s that made the country ...

Farmers protest scarcity of fertilisers
The Statesman - Kolkata,India
But government of India has so far supplied only 6. 91 lakh MT and that too not in time, agriculture office sources said. At the same time corrupt dealers ...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Today's Links

1. Organic food not healthier, study finds
CNN International - USA
... Agriculture Organization estimates that organic farming now accounts for around 4.1 million hectares in Asian countries like India, China and Russia. ...

India - More bad news for cotton
YarnsandFibers (subscription) - Mumbai,India
The US Department of Agriculture, in a recent report, said planted acreage has declined from 10.8 million acres in 2007 to 9.2 million this year. ...

How research in agriculture has helped India to develop
IPPmedia - Dar es Salaam,United Republic of Tanzania
The growth of agriculture on scientific lines in real terms, started in India only after independence. The first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru ...

India's Kharif crop acreage falls except rice, soya
Commodity Online - Kochi,Kerala,India
According to Ministry of Agriculture total area covered under coarse cereals so far this year at 171.1 lakh hectares (lh), which is below last year’s ...

World Bank suggests limits on disputed WTO farm safeguard
"President Lula of Brazil has called on the parties not to let the WTO negotiations fail because of differences over a special safeguard for agriculture. ...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Today's Links

India may outpace Brazil in sugar production
Commodity Online - Kochi,Kerala,India
The Union Agriculture Ministry sources said, the sugar production has been fairly good. Even in 2007, the country produced 275 lakh tonnes of sugar while ...

Wastewater often used in urban agriculture: study
The practice was being used on 20 million hectares (almost 50 million acres) of land, especially in Asian countries like China, India and Vietnam, ...

Leaving WTO would leave India without support: Pawar
MorungExpress - Dimapur,Assam,India
New Delhi, August 15 (Agencies): Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has rejected a suggestion that India should step out of the World Trade Organisation ...

Indian Agriculture business or service????
By mkalyan6484
India is 2nd largest agriculture producer but still we don't have sufficient amount to feed our people. Why??? Because everything is exported, without giving a thought for people of our country. Is profit is only important goal for all ...

India oilseeds rise tracking weak rupee, CBOT
Reuters India - Mumbai,India
India is import-dependent for edible oils and imports palm oil and soyoil derived from soybean. A weak rupee makes imports expensive. ...

`Farmers worse off than lowest-paid babus`
Reuters India - Mumbai,India

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Old article on rediff

5 steps to boost Indian agriculture

The industry body has also scripted a five-point agri-reforms agenda to boost Indian agriculture and attract private investment in to the sector. ...


1. India may lose up to 17% of its farming income due to climate change
Economic Times - Gurgaon,Haryana,India
... added that the difference between the countries is most likely due to India's agriculture being less sensitive to climate-dependent changes in rainfall. ...

2. Food, fuel subsidies will continue: PM
Business Standard - Mumbai,Maharashtra,India
This had led, after almost a decade of stagnation in agriculture, to a revival, causing record production of foodgrains, cotton and sugar in 2007-08. ...


1. A New Brand of Agriculture? Farmer-Owned Brands Reward Innovation ...
A New Brand of Agriculture? Farmer-Owned Brands Reward Innovation*. Dermot Hayes By Dermot J. Hayes, Professor of Economics

India's sugar export soars
Hindu - Chennai,India
New Delhi (PTI): India's sugar exports have reached about 43 lakh tons till first week of August in the current 2007-08 season, which is more than double ...

Bt cotton pushes India’s farm biotech revenue up by 30%
Export revenue from agriculture biotechnology has grown by 12% to $13 mn during 2007-08 fiscal from $11.6 mn in a year-ago period, the USDA said.