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Women sort onions in Chikmagalur, Karnataka | PTI

This is how India can make sure onions are available throughout the year and at good price

India produces about 22.43 million tonnes of onion a year, but consumes only about 15.5 million tonnes. Hence, steady exports are necessary to maintain prices, writes Indian horticulture commissioner.
Workers sort onions at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee wholesale market in Lasalgaon, Maharashtra | Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

Modi govt must treat farmers as businessmen & introduce ease of doing agri-business index

If Narendra Modi wants to double farmers’ incomes, then the Centre has to create a system that can rank states according to agricultural performance.
Representational image | Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg

Not Hindu-Muslim, this issue can become the polarising factor in 2019 elections

In electoral politics, heated discussion over a specific issue is always desirable at the local level to fire up the voters.
Farmer

In 100 years, we may not need soil to grow our food

We may not need to rely on soil to achieve adequate & quality food for as many as 20 billion people in the future.
A cow shelter where urine is processed in Uttar Pradesh | Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg

Niti Aayog pushes for cow dung & urine farming technique, experts cast doubts on method 

Experts, including those at Niti Aayog, say ZBNF method doesn’t provide vital nutrients, may not stand up to pest attack.
Farmers plant paddy saplings in a field in Kolkata | PTI Photo

In this Budget, ignore science at farmers’ peril

The lasting legacy of this government will be that it oversaw the lowest average growth rate of agriculture in almost three decades. As the Narendra Modi-led government readies to present its fifth and final full-year budget, many are hoping that the government’s focus will finally fall on filling the farmers’ empty plate. In the last four years, the government has been a mute spectator to the stress building up in the rural heartlands. Prices of all major agriculture produce have been under pressure while cost of farming has increased. The surplus in farm exports has steadily eroded from $28.2 billion in 2013-14 to just $8.7 billion in 2016-17. Imports of agriculture produce have increased by 66 per cent in the same period to $25.09 billion while exports have dropped from $43.2 billion to $33.8 billion. The outstanding farm loans have swollen to about Rs.14.3 lakh crores. The situation in some states...
A graphic showing a farmer in a field

इतने बड़े स्तर पर कीमतों के नियंत्रण से अफ़सरशाही में होगा इजाफा, बढ़ेगा भ्रष्टाचार

क्या न्यूनतम समर्थन मूल्य पर स्वामिनाथन कमेटी के सुझाव किसानों की समस्या का व्यावहारिक हल हैं?

TALK POINT: Is it time to revisit the culture of farm loan waivers, minimum support prices and take on this “moral hazard”?

As UP and Maharashtra write off farmers’ loans and MP, Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab struggle to tackle fresh demands for debt relief, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley says the Central government will not help foot the bill. And RBI Governor Urjit Patel calls loan waivers a “moral hazard”. Is it time to revisit this culture of farm loan waivers? We ask experts.

Maharashtra’s Rs 30,500 cr loan waiver is the latest ‘moral hazard’ in the name of farmers

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has finally cleared a Rs 30,500 crore debt waiver for farmers, but has been told by the Union finance minister to figure out how to fund it. Uttar Pradesh has also handed one out. Madhya Pradesh has ruled one out. And there are demands for it in multiple states. Here's a quick round-up of where each of the states stands on the issue of debt waivers:   But then farm debt waivers are hardly new to India, here's a look back at some of the loan waivers granted over the years. What economists have had to say about it Economists have been criticising such broad debt waivers for some time now. In response to the debt waiver announced by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, RBI Governor Urijit Patel said in April that such waivers were a "moral hazard" to society. "Crowding out of private borrowers as the government borrows most of...

On Camera

Economist, Soros: Has Hindu nationalism increased global criticism of India or bad economy?

The Economist criticised the Modi govt in its latest cover story titled ‘Intolerant India’ while billionaire George Soros said Modi was creating a 'Hindu nationalist state' at Davos.

Defence

Mi-17 V5 chopper | Wikimedia commons

Pilots of IAF chopper shot down in friendly fire in Budgam awarded gallantry medals

Four other IAF personnel on board the chopper have been awarded ‘Mention-in-Despatches’ posthumously by the President.

The world has a message for Modi: Brand India is severely damaged

India’s image — and by extension Modi’s — has been damaged by a combination of identity politics and economic decline. But the world isn’t writing us off, not yet.