Harish Damodaran

Articles By Harish Damodaran

MSP politics: The Price of Rice

The Congress government’s paddy populism in Chhattisgarh could hit a hurdle in New Delhi.

Grain populism: As polls near, states embark on aggressive paddy procurement

Chhattisgarh, Bengal and UP emerge frontrunners in extending MSP-plus support to farmers

Not a small price to pay ahead of elections

Food inflation has ruled below general inflation now for 29 months running, which has economic and political implications

Explained: What impact will the thundershowers, hailstorm have on rabi crop?

For farmers, the worst case scenario is a repeat of March 2015. That month – the wettest March in 48 years – saw unseasonal rains, accompanied by hailstorms and gusty winds, lash large swathes of north, west and central India.

Agri trade policy: A belated move from pro-consumer to pro-producer

Farmers’ woes in recent times has been partly global prices-driven, but also government-induced.

Budget 2019: 0.1% fiscal slip in handout year, Govt keeps fist tight

Last year, the Government blinked on this uncompromising stance, fiscal deficit deepened from the targeted 3.2% to 3.5% of GDP. And the interim Budget put the fiscal deficit target for 2018-19 at 3.4% of GDP, marginally higher than the budgeted 3.3%.

Budget 2019: Farmer payout Rs 6,000 won’t cost much but won’t mean much either

Under the Pradhan Mantri — Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme, all farmers cultivating up to two hectares (5 acres) will get direct income support of Rs 6,000 annually, payable in three equal instalments of Rs 2,000 each.

This 76-year-old organic farmer-scientist from Tamil Nadu has an inspiring story to tell

From growing 17 ratoon cane crops to selling branded jaggery and flattened rice flakes, V Antony Samy shows what farming for the future can be

Two pro-farmer things the Budget can do — sans fiscal implications

A single statement in the Budget — farmers would have the right to be paid up to Rs 2 lakh a day in cash for any sale backed by a bhugtan patra (payment slip) — will help bring back liquidity in produce markets.

From the farms and fields

An important treatise on the predicament of Indian farmers and how to contextualise their distress

Farmers bear the burden of deflation

Demonetisation, coupled with daily limits on cash transactions and fear of being tracked by revenue authorities post the Goods and Services Tax regime, have made traders less inclined to purchasing and stocking up produce during the harvest season.

A quota for farmers

It would have made more sense — economically, legally, politically, morally, constitutionally — to have limited 10 per cent EWS reservation to those with farming or rural backgrounds

MSP intervention: A different surplus

The unprecedented procurement of pulses and oilseeds in the last couple of years has created problems — and opportunities.

Cane arrears up to Rs 11,000 cr, set to mount before polls

In Uttar Pradesh, mills are blaming low sugar prices for the inability to pay SAP to farmers. At ex-factory rates of Rs 3,100-3,150 and average recovery of 10.9 per cent, mills can realise Rs 338-343 from every quintal of cane that is crushed.

Uttar Pradesh’s animal farm: The cow count

For the farmer, the cow today is purely a milch animal, valued only so long as it gives milk. Maintaining an unproductive animal is something he cannot afford and will seek to dispose of at any price.

Simply Put: Lessons from Bangladesh elections

As PM Hasina storms back to power, her country stands on the cusp of transformative social and economic change — anticipated by interventions by state and society, already seen in development indicators.

Ahead of polls, government’s trade policy swings from pro-consumer to pro-producer

In both onion and pulses, the NDA government’s trade policy has seen a distinct shift over the last year – from pro-consumer to pro-producer, which is also clearly linked to growing agrarian unrest and steep fall in crop realisations.

In election year, farmer on centrestage

The new year could witness the first national elections being fought on farmers’ issues. And it could test both the ruling BJP pushed to the defensive, particularly in the larger sugar-producing states, and the Congress under pressure to deliver loan waivers

Politics over economics of farm loans: my waiver vs your waiver

Congress’ MP, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan to waive nearly Rs 60,000 crore; BJP-ruled UP, Maharashtra took Rs 70,000-crore hit; Niti says it’s not long-term solution.

How food prices lost their bite

Food inflation has been low for an extended period. What can it mean, economically and politically?