Briefing

Twelve Things to Know About Indian Horticulture

Kinoos in Abohar. Photo by Vivian Fernandes
  • Production of fruits and vegetables (F&V) in 2016-17 outstripped that of cereals for the fifth year in a row.
  • Horticultural output of 295 million tonnes was higher than that of 273 million tonnes of grain.
  • The area under F&V is just a fifth of the area under grain.
  • The government has had a small role to play; it is a private sector success story.
  • Horticulture does not get priority in government outlays: its share has varied between 3.9 and 4.6 percent of the sector outlay since the 9th Five Year Plan.
  • Price slumps in onions, tomatoes and potatoes have prevented farmers from even recovering production costs.
  • The government steps in through market intervention operations but these are not friction-less.
  • F&V are mainly produced by small and marginal farmers.
  • F&V accounts for a third of agri-GDP.
  • It is necessary for diversification out of agriculture.
  • The top 10 F&V states were slow to adopt the Green Revolution.
  • People are consuming more of F&V. It is the sector to be in.

(Top photo of kinoos in Abohar, Punjab, by Vivian Fernandes)

Email This Page

Leave a Comment


Hit Counter provided by technology news
Web Design MymensinghPremium WordPress ThemesWeb Development

I Do Not Understand Bt Cotton technology; I Know It Works

Kallanagouda PatilY Kallanagouda Patil, 46, of Uppinbetegeri village in Dharwad taluk  owns 52 acres jointly with his three brothers. He holds a diploma in agriculture from a school in Raichur. Patil grows cotton on ten acres, apart from sugarcane, potato, Bengal gram, jowar, tur,moong and vegetables. He uses groundwater to irrigate his fields. The water is drawn from a depth of 280 feet. Electricity is free so he flood irrigates the fields, except the one under banana  where he uses drip irrigation. He does not micro-irrigate cotton because it is closely planted and has to make way for another crop after eight months. This farmer has his cost all worked out. Making quick mental calculations, he estimates the cost of cotton crop at Rs 22,500 an acre and the realization from 17 quintals an acre at Rs 68,000. He had planted Bayer seed. ‘I do not understand technology, he says, all I know is if I use Bt seed there will be no

Pests Snack on Chilly But Not Cotton

RudagiF Basavaraj Rudagi, 48, did not grow cotton before 2008. This farmer from Saundhi village in Dharwad district’s Kundogol taluk made a partial switch to Bt cotton as chilly was susceptible to pest attack and yield was declining. From five acres in 2009, Rudagi had fifteen of a forty acre joint farm under cotton this year, when smartindianagriculture  caught up with him in February. He tried out Bayer in a change from Mahyco and Raasi seed. Rudagi says he got 11.5 quintals (100 kg) an acre from his rain-fed crop and at Rs 4,050 a quintal, his realization was a little over Rs 46,000. The cost, he says, is Rs 26,000 an acre, excluding rental earnings had he leased out the land. This does not mesh with the profit he claims he makes, but then he admits to not keeping crop-wise accounts. Rudagi also grows peanuts, coriander, gram, safflower and jowar. There is safety in diversity. And yes he plants pigeon pea or tur around the cotton crop for bollworms to feed on so they are not forced by the survival instinct to develop resistance to Bt protein.  In this sense he is quite a cut apart. Low cotton prices are worrying but what is the alternative?