Harish Damodaran


How technology can deliver freedom from male calf
Wed, Aug 16, 2017

Sexed semen technology is about preselecting the sex of offspring by sorting or separating the X-sperms from Y-sperms. The aim is to deliver freedom from male calves, by ensuring that cows are inseminated by semen containing only X-chromosome-bearing sperms.

Weak govt finger on the pulse: Dal pinches for farmers
Thu, Aug 10, 2017

The woes of pulses farmers and traders like Kagi can be put down to all-time-high imports of 6.6 mt (valued at Rs 28,524.05 crore) on top of a record domestic production of 22.4 mt in 2016-17 — made worse by the weak, behind-the-curve policy response whether to do with trade or stockholding restrictions.

B R Barwale, 1931 – 2017: The engine oil dealer who fathered India’s seed industry
Thu, Aug 03, 2017

Today, the estimated annual turnover of the Indian private seed industry is around Rs 13,000 crore, coming mainly from cotton (Rs 4,000 crore), vegetables (Rs 3,000 crore) and maize (Rs 1,500).

Seeing red: why is tomato on fire?
Fri, Jul 28, 2017

In just over a month, retail prices of tomato have gone from about Rs 20 per kg to Rs 70 per kg (all-India modal average as per Department of Consumer Affairs data), after staying at Rs 10-12/kg through May and early June. Why has this happened?

Crop Insurance: A flagship scheme that may flatter to deceive
Thu, Jul 27, 2017

For farmers, a uniform 2 per cent premium rate on sum insured (SI) for all kharif or monsoon season foodgrains and oilseeds, while 1.5 per cent for rabi winter crops and 5 per cent for annual commercial and horticultural crops, is the lowest they can hope for.

Losing the middle
Sat, Jul 22, 2017

Modi’s BJP may be alienating the vyapari as it courts Big Capital and the underclass

Drought shadow looms over deep south
Thu, Jul 20, 2017

In 2016, south interior Karnataka recorded 22 per cent deficit rainfall during the southwest monsoon season (June-September). Reservoir levels in the Cauvery basin have fallen lower with back-to-back monsoon failure and Karnataka is headed to Assembly elections in barely eight months.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu’s turn to be singed by drought
Thu, Jul 20, 2017

The consecutive monsoon failures have led to an almost continuous decline in both sugarcane crushed and sugar produced by Tamil Nadu mills. Between 2011-12 and 2016-17, the quantity of cane crushed has plunged with sugar output also more than halving.

Nutrient Facts: Crash in global fertiliser prices bring little gains to Indian farmers
Thu, Jul 13, 2017

MRP paid by farmers in India for DAP (exclusive of taxes) has remained practically flat at Rs 20,000 per tonne. It actually rose as high as Rs 26,500 per tonne in 2012-13 and hovered around Rs 24,000-25,000 in the next three years, before settling at current Rs 20,500 levels.

Goods and Service Tax: A bad deal, say fertiliser makers
Thu, Jul 13, 2017

Phosphoric acid and ammonia — which are the sources of phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N), respectively, for manufacture of DAP and NP/NPK complexes — attract 18 per cent duty under the GST rate schedule.

Govt rethinks norms to check adulteration of neem oil
Thu, Jul 06, 2017

Speaking to The Indian Express, a top government official admitted, “It is a sensitive issue, more so when the decision (to go for 100 per cent neem-coating for domestically produced and imported urea) came right from the top.”

New system for fertiliser subsidy payments: Govt presses pause button
Thu, Jul 06, 2017

Subsidy release linked to actual sales through PoS machines to farmers not to be implemented this kharif; roll-out possible in the coming rabi season

Empowering through Nimboli: The story of a mini-rural entrepreneur Laxmiben
Thu, Jul 06, 2017

The story of how a company has turned neem fruit sourcing for coating of urea into a women-centered social enterprise

GST question mark over Rs 9,500-crore fertiliser stock
Tue, Jun 27, 2017

July is the peak month for fertiliser sales, with the south-west monsoon covering the country, and kharif planting in full swing — July, August and September together register 115-120 lt of sales.

The Cost+50% Swaminathan formula mirage
Thu, Jun 22, 2017

The M S Swaminathan committee’s widely disseminated recommendation, to fix MSP at levels “at least 50 per cent more than the weighted average cost of production”, remains a holy grail or partial reality at best.

Acreage shifts: King Cotton’s comeback
Thu, Jun 22, 2017

The fibre crop, along with maize, seems the most attractive planting option for farmers this kharif

Price Woes: Bean Prices below MSP even ahead of sowing
Thu, Jun 15, 2017

According to Davish Jain, chairman of the Indore-based Soyabean Processors Association of India, the industry is in no position to pay higher prices today.

Maharashtra dairies cry foul over Karnataka subsidy
Thu, Jun 15, 2017

Allege that Siddaramaiah government’s Rs 5/litre incentive to farmers causing ‘dumping’ of surplus milk in neighbouring states

The crops of wrath
Mon, Jun 12, 2017

Demonetisation may not have hit agriculture production but it is the cause for the current unrest

After Maharashtra, farmer unrest rocks MP: 6 killed in firing, govt ready for talks
Wed, Jun 07, 2017

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a compensation of Rs 1 crore and a job to the next of kin of each dead and Rs five lakh and free treatment to those injured in MP.

In Fact: After GDP data shock, action now shifts to Mint Street
Mon, Jun 05, 2017

Sub-par growth and overachievement in meeting inflation targets may put the Reserve Bank under pressure to deliver a more than normal repo rate cut

Reversal Of Fortunes: From net farm exporter to net importer
Thu, Jun 01, 2017

Between 2013-14 and 2016-17, India’s exports of agricultural commodities have dipped from $43.2 billion to $33.8 billion, even as imports have climbed from $15.5 billion to $25.6 billion

Us & Them, the farmers
Thu, Jun 01, 2017

GM mustard exposes our double standards when it comes to technology for farmers

Ban on cattle sale for slaughter: How rules hit industry, turn market upside down
Sat, May 27, 2017

It restricts the scope of “animal markets” only to trading of cattle “bought for agricultural purposes and not for slaughter”.

GST: Zero duty will help farmers but blow hole in state coffers
Sat, May 20, 2017

The total state levies on the basic grain purchase price — not counting the 2.5 per cent fee payable to commission agents (arhtiyas) — thus comes to 12 per cent.

GST: Please tax us, say tractor makers
Thu, May 18, 2017

The case of an industry that wants no duty exemption on its product under the Goods and Services Tax regime.

Livestock husbandry: Salvaging the male
Thu, May 11, 2017

Rearing male buffalo calves for meat could be the way forward for sustaining India’s Pink Revolution — and also correcting the ‘reverse gender bias’ in bovines.

The journey of a 400 kg buffalo
Sun, May 07, 2017

The Indian Express travels down the meat value chain in Uttar Pradesh to find a seamless system that’s now under strain.

What it might cost to save gauvansh countrywide
Mon, Apr 24, 2017

If the 10 million or so cattle that possibly end up at the abattoir every year are not culled, farmers will simply stop caring for them and let them loose in towns and cities.

Uttar Pradesh sugar output hits all-time record
Thu, Apr 20, 2017

Achievement, a result of the spread of a high-yielding, early-maturing wonder cane variety

How gau rakshaks can derail India’s White Revolution
Mon, Apr 10, 2017

Rising cow vigilantism will impact not just the meat trade. These could even hurt the dairy industry.

Agriculture and climate change: Breeding for the Ides of March
Thu, Apr 06, 2017

A new wheat variety that could address the threat to India’s second largest crop from rising temperatures during critical grain-filling stage

March heat may dampen govt’s hopes of record wheat crop
Mon, Apr 03, 2017

THE SUDDEN spike in temperatures since early last week is stoking concerns over the standing wheat crop, even as the Centre has projected a record production of 96.64 million tonnes (mt) and recently levied a 10 per cent import duty on the grain. “It was looking good till around March 20. Even on March 25, […]

Sustainable Agriculture: Punjab’s search for a less water-guzzling, yet high-yielding paddy
Thu, Mar 30, 2017

A new 125-day rice variety promises to provide some respite to Punjab farmers, depleting aquifers.

The politics of pashu-dhan and pratibandh
Fri, Mar 24, 2017

Numbers don’t back claims of UP’s declining livestock wealth, crackdown on meat processing plants raises questions.

Direct transfer, 2 lakh sale points: Big fertiliser subsidy reform rollout in June
Thu, Mar 23, 2017

Under the proposed system, payment of subsidy is to be based on weekly settlement of claims from actual sales data captured on POS machines.