ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By David Zilberman

Hybrid Mustard and Biotechnology

The government’s decision to move ahead on the much-delayed genetically modified mustard developed by the University of Delhi signifies a turnaround and bodes well for the country’s food system. Numerous tests over the last 20 years prove its safety for food, feed, and the environment in the Indian context. The resultant hybrid DMH-11 gives a yield advantage of 37% with the same level of inputs. Our analysis shows that the farming community will get 99% of the additional monetary gains, leaving only 1% to the seed companies. Establishing a hybrid seed production system through this approval is a breakthrough, and several new hybrids with higher yields and desirable characteristics might follow in the next few years that can lead to a turnaround in mustard production.

COVID-19’s Disruption of India’s Transformed Food Supply Chains

COVID-19 has created high transaction costs and uncertainty in India’s transformed food supply chains, putting food security at risk as 92% of food consumption in India is purchased, predominantly from the private sector. Government faces the challenge of marshalling resources between mitigating the impending food crisis and containing the contagion as the risk of sociopolitical tensions looms large. It is recommended that the government concentrate on sustaining the food supply chains towards eventual rebound, recognising that government food distribution cannot replace even a tenth of the market.