Ad Here  
March
April
May
June
July
August
 
 
Welcome GST Revving up the manufacturing sector The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities The why of tax incentives Quality silica from Neyveli Modi storms Silicon Valley Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Noble nonagenarians... A think tank for Chennai Modi and the lady Computation of GDP – conundrums continue SoA @ 80 More tributes to GR Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Five star activism stalls development activity Kudos to NDTV... Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Auto components surge… Engineering seats go abegging Towards speedy justice Tatas moving out of urea production... Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel WTO Meet: resolved to meet again When Ratan Tata visited SRM Marketing expert Balagopal is no more L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Why this malaise in medical education? Fortune 500 review Gas is the way forward Moily’s bold thrust Delhi Chalo... Cement prices continue to rise… Rahman at CIC S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal EEC at the National Media Centre Tribute – M V Murugappan Tatas moving out of urea production... Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Delhi returns to BJP Contrarian cousins Breaththrough in malaria control Of course, Gujarat is vibrant PC’s preference for professionals R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital The star of Spencers is no more TIAM turns a full cycle When online building permits work…. Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet China invests in India Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Polls and promises GNS - 100: our first subscriber When the President was rendered homeless… Paytm karo... A glass full of corruption Mu Sigma – is no more CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. CII projects higher growth… Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL The power-full Hindujas The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Streamlining mandatory third party cover Delhi is distant Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Where a state respects its litterateurs… Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Shipping woes of Chennai companies He saved millions from starvation... Kinetic Karnataka This scant respect for Law Boy, can you beat these? Valli, they are more marginalised A professional at the helm of IRDA... Adharma of opposition politics Strengthen the base... Multi-faceted Venkat Parliament in paralysis... London, London Narayan Tough task taking states together Making ‘my Amaravati’... Sweet news for TN sugar mills Readers' Mail Protest masters... More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... The rise and rise of KCP For whom the bell tolls? GM Technology at last! L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Pharma – overdose of copying Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Intellectual of rare qualities Solar, solar everywhere … There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Why land prices zoom in TN? Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Demise of a media baron... CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... An enemy’s enemy is a friend Don’t seem to feel the pulse… An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... The rise and fall of Annamalai University Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked The few handicaps... Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! How Air-India loses customs... Build close rapport with business leaders No engine for this car The balancing act A welcome initiative by the judiciary A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Shanti and Sadhana through Music Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad More heat than light Put expensive assets created to use... The nuclear option TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership B H Kothari - a tribute IPL - no surprise this scam MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways When small is no larger beautiful.. Muffled voices for merit… Which side are you, Montek? West Bengal: mindless malignancy Fortune for Indian Airlines Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Gay abandon in pricing Funding the un-funded Building loyalty through the stomach Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Fuel for thought EVM is tamper-proof He continues the focus on social amelioration IPL type auction for VCs? Nuclear power at the nucleus Discoms deserve better… IAS invades NDDB... TELANGANA at last…BUT New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Editor's Notes Shale gas and its shallow future Editor's Says Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Airlines in India: cost and space No Maha Koottani in TN... Wise Presidents A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Quality education through the PPP mode A friendly business group Waning interest in public discussions… Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Come elections, come advertisements... Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Delhi is distant… The Jan Dhan bonanza Telangana in top gear… A yen for wastage… TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Plummeting profits of PSBs Align crops to agro climate endowments… Wanted: a second airport for Chennai A proud Madrasi Tax agriculture Revive development banks... Make standards certification mandatory... The Swadeshi Trump TGS- The king storyteller Things happen by accident and not by design... Sri Lanka votes for change An inexplicable neglect S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Return to king coal for urea... Vibrant Gujarat Preserving for the future Haul over the coal Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Music happens Robber barons everywhere F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector The Gulf aviation boom Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Welcome focus on core competence Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Medical costs hit the roof... A more liberated TN… Poor quality of university VCs Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Tribute More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Silver Years of Madras Musings Road development slows down Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Small units prefers to remain small... Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! The brown list of Venkitaramanan ONGC at KG Basin Sweeter prospects for sugar …and of a popular trade leader Cutting the nose to spite the face The sea- saw battle continues... Maximising the micro pricing … Convulsions in The Hindu Russi Mody – a tribute When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Where is Rajaji? A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Roaring Ro-Ro facility The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Another Indian music maestro at the UN to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines Solar thermal shines… Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Mersal magnified Should we change the official year? Secularism and anti-Hinduism When nations steal growth from one another… Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Kulandai was a giant Banning booze...
 
Align crops to agro climate endowments…

The six states in mid-west USA are large producers of corn and soybean. Over time these states have expanded production (that touched a peak 361 million tonnes in 2015), taking massive recourse to technology. Universities in this region like Wisconsin-Madison help achieve constant improvements in yields that average around 10,000 kg per acre (in India the average is around 800 kg).  For decades the region has been accounting for massive exports of corn (around 40 million tonnes last year) and corn products. In recent years a sizeable portion of production of corn is used for producing ethanol for powering automobiles. In several states a blend with ethanol has been made mandatory.

In the mid-western states I noticed no great dams, irrigation systems and canals. Seasonal rains of the region are largely found adequate to irrigate the crop. Water has been used so effectively! Combined with precision farming techniques taking liberal recourse to technology, rich harvests have been realised.

The main lesson is the selection of crop that is so perfectly aligned to the agro-climatic conditions. I noticed such an approach in Florida focusing on oranges and in California with its desert-like conditions (just 10 inches of rain a year) flourishing in the production of almonds, grapes and tomatoes (against 38 inches for Tamil Nadu).

For three decades I have been suggesting such a practice for India. Historically, different regions have been raising crops to individual preferences. The desire to be self-sufficient, family-wise and village-wise, resulted in raising crops unmindful of their suitability or economics. Every region producing rice illustrates this. Such an approach was understandable in the era of little cross-country trading in food-grains or little surplus in production over demand. The concept of self-sufficiency at the state level had lost its meaning over four decades ago when the country moved from shortage to surplus in most agricultural products.

In this background one is appalled at the lack of attention to the selection of crops most suited to the agro-climatic endowments of a particular region. The recent widespread drought experienced by several states point to the absurdity of persisting with the cultivation of water-intensive crops in such regions subjected to visitations of drought. Marathwada region in Maharashtra is among the worst hit by drought but it persists with raising the water-intensive sugarcane.

Sugarcane is raised over two lakh hectares in the eight districts of this region. Such a practice is also witnessed in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu that have not been well-endowed with water resources. The practice is sustained by frequent and huge increase in the state-advised price for sugarcane and free power for agriculture in Tamil Nadu. Over the last four decades the price for sugarcane in Tamil Nadu had shot up from Rs 78 per tonne to around Rs 2600 per tonne. With elections around and with an eye on the votes of sugarcane farmers, political parties breezily promise even Rs 4000 per tonne.

For decades a licence for sugar mill is part of political patronage. This is quite evident from the large number of sugar co-operatives led by politicians of different hues in Maharashtra. In Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister M G Ramachandran gifted sugar mill licences to his close friends like G Varadaraj, Palani G Periasamy and S Viswanathan of Seshasayee Group.

Sugarcane is a water guzzler. The country should focus on producing sugar as it did historically in water surplus states like Bihar and UP.

Few states have bothered to tackle effectively the seasonal character of sugar production. Despite the sustained success of utilising bagasse for the production of paper by Tamil Nadu, other states are content to focus on sugar and alcohol. Lack of policy backup by the Centre over four decades has resulted in the neglect of newsprint production in large scale or in utilising molasses for the production of ethanol for powering automobiles.

It is so easy for courts to ban IPL matches in drought – struck Maharashtra; but don’t we need more attention to water use by crops? Like the US? Like Gujarat, states should select crops most suited to their agro-climatic endowments.

 

Author :
Reported On :
Sector :
Shoulder :
RELATED NEWS
ABOUT IE
IE, the business magazine from south was launched in 1968 and pioneered business journalism in south. Through the 45 years IE has been focusing on well-presented and well-researched articles. When giants in the industry stumbled to keep pace with the digital revolution, IE stayed affixed embracing technology.
Read more
 
PRIVACY POLICY
Economist Communications Ltd is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.
Read more
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
You agree that your use of this Website and the purchase of the magazine will be governed by these terms and conditions.
Read more
 
CONTACT US
S-15, Industrial Estate,
Guindy,
Chennai - 600 032.
PHONE: +91 44 22501236
EMAIL: indecom1968@gmail.com