articles by Vivian Fernandes

Business

Union Budget 2021: Business-as-usual for agriculture when a change in orientation was much-needed

The finance minister was at pains to emphasise that the Narendra Modi government had doubled the spending on wheat procurement and nearly tripled that on rice procurement since it assumed office in 2014

Business

Union Budget 2021: Govt should focus on R and D in agriculture, raise outlay, help farmers to diversify crops

The Centre’s outlay for agricultural research and education last year was a little over $1 billion or Rs 8,000 cr compared to the $2.8 billion R and D investment of Bayer Crop Science.

Business

Budget 2020: Unless Centre gets states to enact model laws, farm investment and incomes cannot rise

Next year’s budgeted outlay for agriculture is 32 percent higher than the revised estimates but just three percent more than the Budget estimate of this year.

Business

Onion prices will stay high for some time; restrain or abstain like Sheikh Hasina, Nirmala Sitharaman

The delayed arrival of monsoon in the onion-growing regions affected the early Kharif crop.

Business

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman wants 10,000 FPOs to be set up, but this might not be a prudent policy

FPOs will also have to get over the development or welfarist mindset of the NGOs that promote them.

Business

Is the Green Revolution broken to go back to Zero Budget farming? Nirmala Sitharaman should have waited for official panel's study reports

The Green Revolution in Palekar’s view is a disaster. His website says the land has been laid waste wherever it has been practised.

Business

NITI Aayog to sound out chief ministers on keeping essential commodities act in abeyance, says member Ramesh Chand

No state has adopted the model APMC Act in its entirety except Arunachal Pradesh. The others have inserted riders, says Ramesh Chand

Business

Gujarat govt offers to play the umpire; suggests PepsiCo India make it a party to contracts with potato farmers

Realising it was losing the battle of perceptions, PepsiCo accepted the face-saver of a negotiated settlement which the Gujarat government offered.

Business

PepsiCo sues potato farmers: US firm is right in enforcing its IPR, but slapping Rs 1 cr law suit is bad optics

The private dispute between the company and farmers became a political issue after 192 organisations publicly urged PepsiCo to withdraw its suit

Business

Agricultural crisis: Why BJP's poll promise of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 is a lofty ambition

Doubling farmers’ inflation-adjusted income from the current levels, say in six years, will be possible if the government acts in mission mode.

Business

DGCA bars A320 Neo planes to Port Blair: Aviation regulator should pay attention to skyrocketing prices of food, beverages at airports, too

Passengers must have a choice of affordable food, especially when they are required to fly at odd hours or spend time at airports to catch connecting flights.

Business

Farm distress: Govt must restructure subsidy regime, invest more in rural infrastructure and agricultural research

Speeding up overall economic growth will absorb the slack in the agricultural sector and push up farm wages.

Business

Panicky government rains sops on sugarcane farmers, risks turning industry diabetic

Political meddling in the pricing of sugarcane has made the sugar economy unsteady.

Business

Agriculture's big hope: Farmer producer companies learn to tame middlemen

The rise of farmer producer companies where cultivation is pooled for deriving benefits of scale from fragmented land holdings has helped reduce the middleman's power on pricing. Can these companies now learn to market as well?

Business

Why, despite high prices, a revolution in pulses production is still far away

Despite high market prices, and many improved seeds, pulses yields are far from optimum.

Business

Agriculture can be highly profitable, but the gains are not easy to sustain

India's farmers are good at production. Their Achilles' Heels are marketing and nature's waywardness. If the government could be more proactive, farming can be viable for many, though not all, farmers

Business

Punjab, land of the tractor and green revolution, is unlearning its bad farm practices

Zero tillage cultivation is graining traction in Punjab, the land where heavy tilling of the land has been a religion so far. It is lowering farm costs, offering better protection in bad years, and creating greener agriculture

Business

It's not all gloom and doom in agriculture: Innovation is leading the way for these farmers

Talk of only gloom and doom helps those who see farmers as supplicants ever in need of state crutches

Business

As workers leave the fields, mechanised cotton sowers and pickers are driving in

Agricultural operations in India are headed for greater mechanisation as farmers everywhere complain that labour is not available when required