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

S S RajuSubscribe to S S Raju

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.

Dealing with Effects of Monsoon Failures

The deficiency and uneven distribution of rainfall during the 2009 monsoon has brought several issues to the fore: rising water demand from various sectors, regional effects of a drought and the failure of the India Meteorological Department to provide credible forecasts at the disaggregate level. A multi-pronged strategy to permanently deal with monsoon deficiency requires exploring newer drought tolerant and climate-conducive crop varieties, enhancing employment opportunities to non-poor households, and developing a new model that improves the efficacy of the IMD forecast.

Growth Crisis in Agriculture

The sharp deceleration in the growth of the agricultural sector against the background of an impressive growth of the larger economy is widening disparities between the incomes of workers in non-agricultural and agricultural activities. It also adversely affects the welfare of the majority of the population, which is dependent on agriculture. This paper examines the trend in agricultural growth and factors underlying the slowdown and explores ways and means to bring about an acceleration.

Progress and Problems in Agricultural Insurance

This article discusses the insurance schemes in place for agriculture and examines problems that prevent them from being implemented on a larger scale.
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