Economy
Farmed land, food per person declined over 25 years

Key problems with agriculture in India are related to low yields and production. Accordingly, Foodgrain availability also declined from 471.8 grams per capita to 453.6 grams per capita over the last four decades

 

The land available for farming in India, already under decline, is feared to drop further with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government trying to push through a controversial bill that is being criticised in the present format by a host of opposition parties, led by the Congress.
 
The most controversial change proposed is the exemption of five categories of projects - industrial corridors, public-private partnership projects, rural infrastructure, public housing and defence projects - from getting the consent of 70 percent farmers of the area.
 
This is worrisome since cultivated land on India’s farms declined 15 percent over the past 25 years, according to government data analysed by IndiaSpend, reducing foodgrain production and portending new pressures as more land is set to be acquired for industries.
 
While the net sown area includes orchards and crops, the cultivated area covers only crops. Land sown with crops declined from nearly 87 percent in 1987-88 to 72 percent in 2011-12.
 
IndiaSpend’s recent reports have been focusing on the farm crisis in India with case studies of Bundelkhand farmers. It has also reported on the decline in farmers across India.
 
Reasons for the decline in cultivated land include a drop in households owning land in rural India and a decline in the proportion of households dependent on manual labour and farming, says a study by the Foundation for Agrarian Studies, using data from the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
 
To analyse how the drop in cultivated area has affected India’s food sufficiency, availability of foodgrains (cereals and pulses) was matched with the decrease in cultivated land. The decline is clear.
 
Key problems with agriculture in India are related to low yields and production. Accordingly, Foodgrain availability also declined from 471.8 grams per capita to 453.6 grams per capita over the last four decades.
 
But there is a saving grace: Yield. This has been improving over the decades - from 1,023 in kg per hectare in 1980-81 to 2,101 in kg/ha in 2013-14 for food grains, as per data published in the official Economic Survey.
 
For oil seeds it was from 532 kh/ha to 1,153 kg/ha and for cotton from 152 kg/ha to 532 kg/ha. 
 
So, foodgrain yield has almost doubled between 1980-81 and 2013-14, while oilseeds and cotton have also witnessed an increase of 116 percent and 250 percent in yields respectively.
 
Despite its fluctuating farm fortunes, India is among the world’s top producers of food crops, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. But it its yields across the spectrum of agricultural products are low.
 
In cereals, for example, it is the third largest producer in the world, and in terms of the yields of top five producers, though, the country ranks fifth. For coarse grains, the ranking is fourth and ifth, respectively. 
 

User

COMMENTS

B. Yerram Raju

2 years ago

Thank the farmer who is producing twice the quantum in the midst of regulations from twelve ministries in the Union and at least six in the State strangulating him!!
The Bill should restrict the exemptions only to Defence and classified industrial corridors and this classification should be specified by a gazette notification from States as priorities differ from state to state.

Mumbai plotter Headley joined LeT 'full time' after 9/11
David Coleman Headley makes the disclosure in a draft memoir made available to the makers of an 'American Terrorist', a TV documentary telecast Tuesday night
 
A Pakistani-American key plotter of the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks has revealed that he decided to join Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) "full time" following the 9/11 attacks in the US.
 
Born Daood Gilani in the US to an American mother and a Pakistani father, David Coleman Headley makes the disclosure in a draft memoir made available to the makers of an "American Terrorist", a TV documentary telecast Tuesday night.
 
Working with LeT, Headley, former drug smuggler turned informant for the US Drug Enforcement Administration, used his US passport to travel to India, scout locations for the plot, film them and even find a landing site for the plot's attackers.
 
Writing about his first encounter with Lashkar militants, Headley, who is serving 35 years for his role in the Mumbai attack, describes how he was "very impressed with their dedication to the cause of the liberation of Kashmir from Indian occupation."
 
Headley's memoir offers a unique window into his turn toward extremism, his training with LeT and his preparations for an abortive attack on a Danish newspaper for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, according to report by ProPublica and Frontline.
 
In one passage, Headley, who frequently visited Pakistan, writes: "On one of my trips, October 2000, I made my first contact with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), quite by accident. I attended their annual convection in November.
 
Marking his decision to join Lashkar "full time" following the 9/11 attacks, Headley says that by 2002 the group asked him to take "the Daura Aamma, the basic military training course offered by LeT."
 
It was one of several training programmes he writes about, the report says noting "by 2005, Lashkar's plans for Headley are coming into focus."
 
"He is trained in explosives, but perhaps most importantly, Lashkar asks him to change the name given to him at birth by his Pakistani father and American mother - Daood Gilani."
 
"He chooses David, which is English for Daood; Coleman, which was his grandfather's name; and Headley, which was his mother's maiden name," the report said.
 
It was a bureaucratic act, but intelligence officials cited by the report say the change made Headley that much more difficult to track.
 
"Finally, in June, my immediate superior, Sajid Mir, instructed me to return to the United States, change my Muslim name to a Christian sounding name and get a new US passport under that name," he writes.
 
"He now informed me I would be going to India, since I looked nothing like a Pakistani in appearance and spoke fluent Hindi and Urdu it would give me a distinct advantage in India," Headley added.
 
Around the same time, Headley was conducting regular reconnaissance of targets in Mumbai.
 
On one trip, he checked into the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, which would later be the epicentre of the Mumbai attack, with his new wife for a "honeymoon."
 
The plan was to capture an Indian fishing vessel, which constantly strayed into Pakistani waters, and commandeer it all the way to Mumbai.
 
"The hope was that the Indian Coast Guard would not notice an Indian vessel. The boys would carry a GPS device which would guide them directly to the landing site, I had selected earlier," he writes.
 
After the attack, Headley says he was told to "lay low." Instead, he travelled to Denmark to scout the Jyllands-Posten newspaper for a possible strike.
 
But western intelligence soon learn of the plot, and close in on Headley. He was arrested on October 3 2009 at O'Hare Airport,Chicago on his way back to Pakistan.
 

User

As mercury rises, it's desi coolers in Lucknow to beat the heat
Like in the past, while colas and other fizzy drinks are the toast from some, the preferred drinks remain the traditional lassi, bel badaam ka sherbet and the like, while others sip milk shakes, whose variety has been going up every year at some big shops serving them
 
As the mercury inches to newer highs this season, like elsewhere, this city of nawabs is parched and scurrying for cover from the extreme heat. And to quench their thirst denizens in the city and also the state are looking to a bevy of 'desi coolers' to help them keep their cool this summer.
 
Like in the past, while colas and other fizzy drinks are the toast from some, the preferred drinks remain the traditional lassi, bel badaam ka sherbet and the like, while others sip milk shakes, whose variety has been going up every year at some big shops serving them.
 
Topping the charts of desi coolers is the lassi - curd mixed with crushed ice and sugar with a dash of kesar. At many places, the lassi is served with malai (cream) and kewda or gulaab jal (rose water) added to it for flavour. Lassi connoisseurs still vouch for it, but with the prices of milk going up, the concoction has also become expensive. 
 
Eighty-six-year-old Sharad Mishra chuckles while talking of lassi and says that despite his age now, he makes it a point to at least go twice a month to Narahi to have his favourite desi cooler. For the diabetics, the famous Shree lassi in Chowk has come up with sugar free lassi that comes for Rs.40 a glass. And a glass is quite a 'Patiala' (large) one!
 
The shop has been serving lassi for the last 30 years and owner Nitin Gupta says except for changing the serving dishes - from the earthen kulgad to the more hygenic disposable glasses - nothing has changed with the product. "We still use the fresh and purest of all milk available and do not mix anything else like khoya," Gupta told IANS. 
 
His clients generally savour piping hot chola-bhatura's along with chilled lassi at his eatery.
 
The famous Raja Thandai shop in old Lucknow also does brisk business during summer. The 150-year old shop, whose clients include former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former MP and minister Lalji Tandon and veteran Bollywood actor Dilip Kumar, serves thandai added with a dash of rose flavour. 
 
Owner Ashish Tripathi told IANS they have never used artificial flavours or essence in their products and the rose flavoured is made of the original.
 
Also on top of the minds of Lucknowites is the rich variety of milk shakes available at many places in the state capital. 
 
The must-stop point for several in the city has been the 'Chedi Lal' milk shake point in Hazratganj, the most popular market in the city. One of the oldest shops in Ganj, the number of shakes served here has gone up from two to over a dozen now. It offers flavours like litchi, strawberry, cold coffee, mango and many others which simply are loved by those seeking relief from the blistering sun above. 
 
Owner Amit Vaishya told IANS that the milk and the flavours are all supervised by him and there is nothing artificial as he tries to give the best to his customers.
 
Several 'matha' (buttermilk) shops have also come up in the city. Rehan Mallik, running one such shop in Indiranagar, said that the demand goes up big time in summer. 
 
"While there are people who love lassi as well, the demand for buttermilk has gone up considerably largely because it is healthy and non-fattening," Mallik told IANS.
 
The famous Prakash Kulfi has also had a makeover of taste with time. Manager Ishank Arora said with time, people now demand more and they have added a few more flavours to the traditional 'kesar pista'. 
 
"We now offer coconut, strawberry and chocolate flavours as well," Arora told IANS, adding that sugar free kulfis are also available at the shop, which has been attracting hundreds every day and has made a name for itself.
 
Happy sipping!
 

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)