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

A decade ago, McKinsey report mentioned that a third of fruits and vegetables produced in India are wasted through lack of attention to handling these. The report stated that this wastage is equivalent to the total consumption of such products in the UK. Involved with the Agriculture Consultancy Ma-

nagement Foundation (ACMF) promoted by IE to improve productivity of agriculture, I have watched with dismay that such wastages continue to abound in the farms; in transporting the produce from farm gates to the wholesaler; from the mandis to the retailer and finally to the consumer. Cold chains, much bandied about, are a far cry in a country where power shortages are rampant, pervasive and frequent. There is also the consequent high tariff for power, which makes cold storages so much more expensive and unaffordable by the average farmer. One solution is the quick adoption of techniques followed in developed countries. China has done this effectively, inviting large multinationals to extend technology for achieving quantum jumps in productivity of crops like potato; more importantly, in establishing a highly sophisticated system of handling the produce.

The liberalisation of retail trade is expected to attend to this. But the familiar paralysis of governance in Delhi has not enthused large retail chains to set up shop in India with any sense of urgency. Several regional leaders including Arvind Kejriwal are against liberalisation of retail trade. Hopefully, a new government at the Centre by mid 2014 would have sufficient power to focus on such vital issues.

Even while I express concern over this issue, I noticed more callous wastage in that haven for efficiency, the USA. I visited an apple orchard near Boston. There are several of these large private orchards spread over vast areas. They raise a large variety of apples. Adopting scientific practices, they produce in profuse quantities. Of course, they suffer from the problem of high cost of labour to manage these. Mechanisation, which is pervasive in most other aspects of US industry and  agriculture, has not been possible for plucking such fruits.

Private orchards resort to making money through tourism offering the opportunity for visitors spend time at the orchards and pluck the fruits.  For an entrance fee of $ 14, the visitor is provided a bag. He/she can pluck and fill these with apples and pears.  Tractor-trailer rides with hay seats take the visitors (for an additional fee) through different parts of the orchards raising several varieties of the fruits. Instructions are also given on the method of plucking the fruits.

All this is exciting. But, sadly, I noticed humongous wastage by amateurish plucking. On a rough estimate, I found more than half the produce was wasted.

There are well-organised orchards in India where attention is paid to reducing such wastage. Reliance Industries offers an excellent example. In Jamnagar, along side its two world-class refineries, the company has set up a sprawling mango orchard. Thousands of mango trees are raised on scientific basis under the direction of expert scientists and managers. The trees are pruned to a height of less than 10 feet in beautiful canopy shape. A lot of research inputs are made to extend the season as also expand variety and improve quality. The normal wastages seen in traditional orchards of tall trees suffering bird and squirrel bites are avoided. In quick time, the company established a flourishing export market for mangoes.

The lesson is clear: as in other aspects of the economy, agriculture needs science, technology and management. That is possible only by agglomeration of thousands of small land holdings. Punjab and Rajasthan have amended land acts permitting lease of land for 15 years and more. It’s time other states follow this.

 

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