ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

P K JoshiSubscribe to RSS - P K Joshi

Where to Invest to Accelerate Agricultural Growth and Poverty Reduction

This study aims to understand the drivers that helped India achieve the challenging targets of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing poverty before 2015. Have increased public investments or farm subsidies contributed to reducing rural poverty, directly through various public spending schemes or indirectly through increased agricultural land productivity? Utilising a structural equation to answer this question for the period 1981–82 to 2013–14, it was found that education and agricultural research and development produced the highest marginal returns for promoting agricultural income, while investments in rural infrastructure development and health provisions are the most effective in reducing rural poverty.

Making Pulses Affordable Again

While outlining strategies to increase availability of pulses at affordable prices, it is argued that increasing domestic production of pulses is the only option. Access to one or two protective irrigation sources during the growing season can lead to sizeable increases in pulse production. The har khet ko paani initiative should give priority to pulse-producing areas. The minimum support price, without procurement, helps traders more than farmers because it acts as a focal point for tacit collusion among traders. Including subsidised pulses in the public distribution system has only a small effect on consumption of pulses. We suggest investing in research and extension, aggregating into farmer producer organisations, and paying growers or growing areas for the ecosystem services offered by pulses.

Projected Effect of Droughts on Supply, Demand, and Prices of Crops in India

This paper assesses the effect of monsoon droughts on the production, demand, and prices of seven major agricultural commodities - rice, sorghum, pearl millet, maize, pigeon pea, groundnut and cotton. A partial generalised equilibrium model is developed to simulate the effects of deficit rainfall on acreage, yield, production, demand, and prices of different agricultural commodities in India. It is used to project the effect of rain deficits on supply, demand, and prices of monsoon session crops.

A Nutrition Secure India

India continues to suffer from under-nutrition among large sections of its population. The country is unlikely to realise the first millennium development goal by 2015. How can agriculture be used to improve nutritional status?

Revitalising Higher Agricultural Education in India

Agricultural education and R&D in India have grown overwhelmingly over the years but funding levels have not kept pace with growth in the number of programmes, institutions, colleges and universities. Restricted funding and vacant faculty positions are not allowing institutions to modernise the programmes and infrastructure to catch up with the changing needs of agriculture and agro-processing. This article proposes a comprehensive programme to revitalise higher agricultural education.

Sustainable Development of Biofuels: Prospects and Challenges

In the context of shrinking crude oil reserves, rising demand and the resultant rise in prices of petroleum, as well as the concerns about global climate change and energy security, bioenergy is becoming increasingly relevant as a possible and potential alternative to fossil fuels. However, with many developed countries pursuing aggressive policies for encouraging the production and use of biofuels, there are strong apprehensions that as more and more land is brought under biofuel crops, food prices would increase substantially affecting poor consumers, particularly those from low-income net food importing countries. Keeping in view these facts, this paper presents a brief overview of the current state of affairs of biofuels at the global level, with a special emphasis on the ongoing efforts of biofuel expansion in India. It throws light on the various policies at the national and regional levels and also on the implications of biofuels for changes in land utilisation, food security, social welfare and the environment.

Diversification towards High Value Agriculture

During the last several years diversification of agriculture in India towards high value commodities, i e, fruits, vegetables and livestock products, has been proceeding at a fast pace and is reflected in the high share of HVCs in agricultural production in a number of districts. This paper builds on the hypothesis that access to markets, defined in terms of demand for HVCs and the factors facilitating their transport from production sites to consumption centres, is critical to their growth. The analysis thus brings out regional variations in HVCs across the country that have implications for regional agricultural planning and consequently for public and private sector investment strategies.

Agriculture Diversification in South Asia

South Asian countries are gradually diversifying with some inter-country variation in favour of high value commodities, namely, fruits, vegetables, livestock and fisheries. Agricultural diversification is strongly influenced by price policy, infrastructure development (especially markets and roads), urbanisation and technological improvements. Rainfed areas have benefited more as a result of agricultural diversification in favour of high value crops by substituting inferior coarse cereals. Agricultural diversification is also contributing to employment opportunities in agriculture and increasing exports. The need is to suitably integrate production and marketing of high value commodities through appropriate institutions. Market reforms in developing and strengthening desired institutions through required legal changes would go a long way in boosting agricultural growth, augmenting income of small farm holders and promoting exports.

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