Harish Damodaran

Articles By Harish Damodaran

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?

LPG, toilet, house: BJP built solid rural assets but income didn’t rise

“Incomes” not rising, due to low crop prices and stagnating wages, has more than offset any “asset” gains in the recent period, which also probably explains the party’s heavy losses in the three states it ruled, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

Explained: Why number of hungry is rising

After number fell from 2003 to 2014, UN data find trend reversed. Yet since 2014, global farm commodity prices have been falling. Here is why that has not stopped the rise in the number of hungry people

Simply Put: Madhya Pradesh, a farm story

Farmers issues will likely play a key role as Madhya Pradesh votes today. While the current narrative is of farm distress, Shivraj Singh Chouhan's tenure has mostly coincided with a remarkable transformation in the sector.

Explained: Why soyabean is key to Madhya Pradesh

The crop has often helped shape poll outcomes in Malwa, which accounts for more than half the state’s production. Once thriving, soyabean has suffered falling prices in the last few years.

For Madhya Pradesh farmers, ‘parivartan’ after note ban means return to cash

Jitendra Agarwal, secretary of the Anaj Tilhan Vyapari Sangh at Ujjain’s Chimanganj mandi, the country’s largest for soyabean with daily peak season arrivals of 25,000-35,000 bags of 90 kg each, concedes that the move away from cash has hit farmers hard.

MP chief Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s bait: Bonus scheme for farmer for new govt to bear

A flat Rs 500/quintal payment on soyabean and maize is the latest of the ruling BJP's many offerings to quell rural anger after Mandsaur.

Madhya Pradesh: Urea shortage becomes a poll issue

The Indian Express saw farmers desperately queuing up at fertiliser outlets in many places, including Harda, Dewas and Ujjain, to buy whatever little urea is available.

TDP-Congress Prajakutami: An alliance of a different kind

Why one should not discount the interests of the business community behind the TDP-Congress Prajakutami for the upcoming Telangana Assembly elections.

Mechanical solutions

Forcing machinery on farmers without giving a thought to the economics of their utilisation can prove counter-productive.