articles by Vivian Fernandes

Business

Allocation for agriculture must signal change in favour of science, tech, private investments

The restrictions on agricultural marketing and the difficulty of doing business have had a chilling effect on corporate investments in agriculture

India

India's population growing but not exploding; Narendra Modi's new found concern can be used to communalise issue

India’s population grew by 17.64 percent between 2001 and 2011 to 1,210.9 million. This is faster than China’s 5.43 percent population growth during the same period. But, the last decade was also the first time after 1911-21 when India added fewer numbers than the previous decade.

Business

Farmers plant unapproved GM cotton seeds against govt apathy over technology approval; what is the way out?

The protesting farmers are demanding access to technology that will save them the cost of manual weeding and achieve control over bollworms which have developed resistance to pesticides

Business

Union Budget 2019-20: Govt needs to allocate more fund to bring Green Revolution to eastern India

Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India (BGREI) was initiated by Pranab Mukherjee as finance minister. He provided Rs 400 crore for it in 2010-11 budget

Business

Haryana’s Bt brinjal row: Govt must allow farmers to have access to technologies in agriculture to dissuade illegal use of seeds

Believing that with a change of government and of environment minister Bt brinjal could be approved, the activists who are vehemently opposed to GM crops for ideological reasons, have stirred into action.

India

Stray cattle menace Part 3: With cattle trade seized up, will the 'cow belt' soon become 'buffalo country'?

The population of cattle ─ cow and its progeny – although higher than that of buffaloes, is declining. It had fallen from a peak of 205 million in 1997 to 191 million in 2012

India

Stray cattle menace: MP farmers lose sleep over threat to crops from bovines; govt looks for answers in gaushalas

The slaughter of cattle, whether male calves or cows past their utility, is banned in Madhya Pradesh. But traders would take them to West Bengal where their slaughter is allowed, or smuggle them to Bangladesh

Business

Govt reduces Bt Cotton seed prices: Industry sulks at agri ministry’s order; agbiotech companies feel the heat

The Rs 10 reduction in BG-II cottonseed's maximum selling price to Rs 730 per pack will benefit cotton farmers by about Rs 40 crore

Business

Rash of loan write-offs: YV Reddy proposes agri-risk fund as alternative with Kerala’s Debt Relief Commission as model

Agri risk funds will not deter election-facing ruling parties from ‘bribing’ voters with devices like the income transfer scheme announced in this year’s budget.

Business

Railways escapes glare of slippages in interim Budget 2019; capex falls short while total spend overshoots estimates

It is more than a decade since the Railways embarked on accounting reforms. The official website says the opening and closing balance sheets of all the divisions will be done in the new format by April this year. That seems unlikely.

Business

Budget 2019: Narendra Modi govt has gone back to Congress' 'Garibi Hatao' in same tax-and-spend way

Filling in for Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is ailing and under medical treatment in the United States, Piyush Goyal said he was presenting an interim Budget but tabled a full-fledged on

Business

Govt unlikely to get into a twist over budget propriety by replacing fertiliser subsidy with cash transfers

This year’s budgeted fertiliser subsidy is Rs 70,079 crore. So there will be a change in the form of expenditure, but not of substance.

Business

Vibrant Gujarat Summits have not helped state improve FDI ranking; focus should be on dynamic Gujarati society

Gujarat along with Maharashtra was the top destination for investments even before Narendra Modi as chief minister organised the first Vibrant Gujarat Summit in 2003

Business

BJP’s politics of polarisation paves way for Uttar Pradesh’s stray cattle menace, economically cripples a huge population

Farmers, who are reeling under low prices for their produce, have had to fence their fields at considerable expense. They have to maintain vigil at night to protect crops from stray cattle.

science

CSE's Study on GM food is flawed and needlessly alarmist, states expert

Currently, 96 percent of India’s cotton area is under Bt cotton.

Business

MSP hike: Revised purchase price alone won't sustain higher farm incomes; yields have to improve and costs must fall

A mere hike in MSP will not result in higher incomes for farmers. Of the 23 crops for which govt announces floor prices, there is a proper procurement system only for rice, wheat and sugarcane

Business

Too little, too late? 3 years after Monsanto’s Bt gene went off patent, govt wakes up

The government has suggested to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) that the gene be incorporated in re-sowable straight line varieties and supplied cheaper to farmers than Bt cotton hybrids

Business

The future of Indian coconut farming depends on what's grown between palms

Coconut farming in India is less profitable given the excess of supply over demand. But if the land in between trees is used for other crops, including cocoa, the money can be lucrative.