Harish Damodaran


With 20% of agriculture output value, milk overtakes foodgrains
Mon, Oct 23, 2017

Today, not only does the White Revolution’s contribution to farm incomes surpass that of the Green Revolution, but every fifth rupee generated in the farm sector — which includes the total output value of crops livestock produce and fisheries  — comes from milk.

Plant protection: Meeting pesticide residue challenge in basmati – by breeding for resistance
Thu, Oct 19, 2017

The most recent example is of Tricyclazole. A single 120-gram spray of this common fungicide, against leaf and neck blast disease in paddy, hardly costs Rs 150-170 per acre.

Beyond The News: What rising imports at a time of declining manufacturing indicate
Mon, Oct 16, 2017

Data sets read together suggest demonetisation broke domestic supply chains, and disruption caused by GST compounded problems; meanwhile, with remonetisation, demand rose, and was met by imports.

A brief history of money
Tue, Oct 17, 2017

Diwali is an ode to happiness, hope and homecoming, but it’s also a prayer for wealth and well-being. In this special issue, we look at the centrality of finance in our lives. But, first, a brief history of money.

A normal but good-in-parts monsoon
Thu, Oct 05, 2017

The focus of worry has, instead, now shifted to Madhya Pradesh. Both west and east MP had received good first-half monsoon rainfall — 4.3 per cent above LPA for the former and only 2 per cent below for the latter.

Sharp spike in buffalo meat export via south ports raises beef question
Sun, Oct 01, 2017

The current rules mandate every meat export consignment to be subjected to microbiological tests, with a health certificate issued by a veterinary doctor from the concerned state animal husbandry department.

Grey Market: When nearly a million Indian farmers plant ‘unapproved’ GM cotton
Thu, Sep 28, 2017

Seed companies have sold an estimated 35 lakh packets of illegal herbicide-tolerant hybrid seed worth Rs 450 crore this kharif season.

Ice-cream industry demand lowering of 18 per cent GST rate
Mon, Sep 25, 2017

Ice-cream previously attracted 2 per cent Central excise without Cenvat credit and 14.5 per cent value-added tax in most states, adding up to 16.5 per cent.

Unlike 2008-09, govt’s ‘stimulus’ plan may face FPI hurdle this time
Mon, Sep 25, 2017

Any deviation from fiscal and monetary prudence not likely to go down well with investors

Back to controls: Going against the grain of liberalisation
Thu, Sep 21, 2017

The central bank’s inflation targeting has aggravated an already existing anti-farmer policy bias.

NDA vs NDA: Three paradoxes in the economy today
Mon, Sep 18, 2017

Some remarkable similarities exist between the current economic situation and the one that prevailed in the years when the first NDA government under Vajpayee was in power. What stand out more today, however, are the seeming paradoxes in market and investor behaviours, and in trends of slowing growth and the strengthening rupee. How are they to be explained?

Patchy monsoon clouds prospects for bumper harvest repeat this year
Thu, Sep 14, 2017

Although the country as a whole received four per cent and 1.7 per cent above-average rainfall in June and July, respectively, the Deep South belt — covering much of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala — experienced a dry spell, coming on top of last year’s drought/near-drought conditions.

Distress in farms: GDP data confirms deflation is here
Sat, Sep 02, 2017

Agriculture growth lower in ‘nominal’ than ‘real’ terms during Apr-June quarter

Cane dues at Rs 2K crore-plus even after 5 months of Yogi Adityanath govt
Thu, Aug 24, 2017

Significantly, 19 mills belonging to the UP Cooperative Sugar Factories Federation — effectively controlled by the state government — also have outstanding cane dues of Rs 398.98 crore.

A tough balancing act: The new bitter North-South divide in India’s sugar industry
Thu, Aug 24, 2017

Cane-starved southern mills want duty-free raw sugar imports, which the industry particularly in UP is bound to resist

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