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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Ashok Gulati


The writer is chair professor for agriculture at ICRIER. Views are personal

Standing up to China will require not only matching its military might but also economic prowess
Mon, Aug 03, 2020

Major rationalisation and pruning of subsidies can go a long way in financing a development plan for eastern India as well as the new demands for reinforcing defence in the wake of Chinese aggression.

In agri-inputs, govt should free private sector from unnecessary controls and regulation
Mon, Jul 20, 2020

The private sector is our strength. The only thing the government has to do is to unshackle them from the chains of controls and webs of unnecessary regulations. They will make an Atmanirbhar Bharat.

Aatmanirbhar in agriculture will require incentives for export of high-value agri-produce
Mon, Jul 06, 2020

On the agri-imports front, the biggest item is edible oils — worth about $10 billion (more than 15 mt). This is where there is a need to create “aatma nirbharta”, not by levying high import duties, but by creating a competitive advantage through augmenting productivity and increasing the recovery ratio of oil from oilseeds.

Offloading excess foodgrain stocks through open market operations will generate much-needed resources for govt
Mon, Jun 22, 2020

Let the Modi government listen to its own chief economic advisor, what his team had to say in The Economic Survey: Reduce the coverage under PDS; link issue price to at least half of the procurement price; and move gradually towards cash transfers.

It could help government to get closer to doubling farmers’ incomes by 2023
Mon, Jun 08, 2020

My humble suggestion is that if the PM can convert food and fertiliser subsidies into direct cash transfers, he will come closer to doubling farmers’ real incomes by 2022-23.

Time has come to merge income support schemes with MGNREGA
Mon, May 25, 2020

The legal framework of the MGNREGA scheme does allow this on farms owned by people of SC/ST communities, and on the lands of marginal farmers.

From Plate to Plough: A 1991 moment for agriculture
Mon, May 18, 2020

Proposed reforms in agri-marketing laws address longstanding needs of farmers. They could build efficient supply chains, ensure better products for consumers.

There is an opportunity to put India’s agri-marketing and PDS system on a more efficient path
Mon, May 11, 2020

Despite initial disruptions in supply lines, India has somehow managed to feed its large population of 1.37 billion. There have been no large-scale food riots and no major flaring up of food prices for consumers.

East India will require heavy investment to tide over post-COVID loss of livelihoods
Mon, Apr 27, 2020

The all India relief package of Rs 1.7 lakh crore announced by the central government earlier, which is about 0.8 per cent of the country’s GDP, is too small to reboot the economy.

Use the COVID crisis to transform the agri- marketing system
Mon, Apr 13, 2020

India must ask for fundamental reforms in the UN System, including the WHO, making it more transparent, competent, and accountable.

Rope in civil society to ease supply of food
Mon, Mar 30, 2020

Retail distribution lines need to be seamlessly linked to wholesale supply lines.

Growth and the farmer: Consumer bias in food policy reduces incentives for farmers
Mon, Mar 16, 2020

Montek Singh Ahluwalia’s book helps frame the problem: Tilt in favour of consumer in food policy reduces incentives for farmers, makes it difficult to unlock resources for growth.

To ensure good health by 2023, focus on agriculture, sanitation, women education
Mon, Mar 02, 2020

Global experience shows that with the right public policies focusing on agriculture, improved sanitation, and women’s education, one can have much better health and well-being for its citizens, especially children.

Union budget missed opportunity to undertake reforms in grain management system and food security act
Mon, Feb 17, 2020

If there is one thing that bewilders a reader of the Union budget for 2020-21 in the agri-food space, it is the massive reduction in food subsidy.

Examining the FM’s plan to double farmers’ income in two years
Sun, Feb 02, 2020

The FM’s other ideas for agriculture, especially on Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF), which she repeated this year, need to be tested before it becomes a national policy.

Move to cash transfers will lead to savings, put agriculture on sustainable growth path
Mon, Jan 20, 2020

All such investments will go a long way to augment farmers’ incomes in a sustainable manner. Else, I am afraid, much of the talk in the Union budget for agri-reforms will remain mere rhetoric.

Reform of grain management system could free up resources for infra investment
Mon, Jan 06, 2020

The massive accumulation of grain stocks is the result of a very inefficient strategy for food management wherein the procurement for wheat and rice (paddy) remains open-ended, but the disbursal of those stocks remains largely restricted to PDS.

Storage facilities for rabi onions must be created on a massive scale
Mon, Dec 23, 2019

It is time to wake up from the onion nightmare and work towards more sustainable solutions, rather than knee-jerk measures.

Under Sharad Pawar, Maharashtra can frame an agricultural policy that serves as a lighthouse for other states
Mon, Dec 09, 2019

Maharashtra’s farmers need a new deal. A task force must be set up under the NCP chief

All crop loans should be routed through Kisan Credit Cards to ensure farmers don’t use loans for non-agricultural purposes
Mon, Nov 25, 2019

Streamlining the agri-credit system to facilitate higher crop loans to farmer-producer organisations against commodity stocks can be a win-win model to spur agriculture growth.

Cash incentives must be given to paddy growers to shift to corn
Mon, Nov 11, 2019

Paddy stubble burning in states neighbouring Delhi, especially Punjab, is being seen as one of the reasons for the smog in the national capital. Change to a less water-guzzling crop will help address stubble burning.

Market incentives, direct income support for farmers are far more effective in increasing agricultural productivity
Thu, Oct 31, 2019

India can learn three lessons from China — investing more in agri-R&D and innovations, improving incentives for farmers by carrying out agri-marketing reforms, and collapsing input subsidies into direct income support on per hectare basis.

Govt needs to find sustainable solution for price stabilisation of Tomatoes-onions-potatoes
Mon, Oct 14, 2019

Tomatoes-onions-potatoes (TOP) are the three basic vegetables that face extreme price volatility and the government often finds itself on the edge in fulfilling its dual objectives of ensuring remunerative prices for farmers and affordable prices for consumers.

From Plate to Plough: Wipe away the onion tears
Mon, Sep 30, 2019

The government's concern over spike in onion prices is justified. But the policy instruments it is using won't solve the problem.

From Plate to Plough: The right to choose
Mon, Sep 16, 2019

Government could give fertiliser subsidy directly to farmers and let them decide if they want to practise zero budget natural farming or use chemical-fertilisers.