Friday 18 November 2011

Food shortage, Food Stamps, Hunger! America is fighting

    Few months ago, there had been media reports that millions of people had encountered the hunger, famine and drought in Somalia. The drought which was one of the most engraving in the last 60th years had ravaged the country Somalia. No rain, no crops, fields dried up, peoples’ misery and suffering due to onslaught of harsh nature.     Thousands had to flee from their place of birth for safer places for what? It was for Food, shelter and water.
    In the 21st century, can it be imaginable? But, it is happening, it has really happened. Memories are still fresh, how miserably people of Somalia suffered. There was an incident “A mother lost her children on the long journey for search of safer place”.
   Such was the magnitude of famine that affected in Somalia due drought. World was at Somalia, U.N, FAO and many guardians (I say so) countries came out openly to help the hapless famine ravaged people of Somalia. The country is still to cope up from the harsh natural climate that the Mother Nature had brought in Somalia, the African country.
    Now-a-days starving, food shortage are the news that has constantly been aired around the world, statistics showing which country, how many people and children are affected etc. Our all buzzes, bustling cities, luxurious life, everything seems to be a show, drama and artificial. It is simply because; we are fluttering very high without bothering to see the underneath that is the house of play cards.
     On November 9, 2011 at 9.10 PM, Yahoo has presented one of the sorry states of condition of America and her people.
   I have never been to America or more accurately, did not ever have that privileged moments to visit America. What I know about America is very little and superficial. I could only see and feel the beautiful city, sky scrapers, and beautiful people with highly fashionable dress through television. What more I know are; it is developed country with intelligent people, people of exploration, NASA, Space shuttle etc.
    But, Yahoo has really bemused me a lot! Reason, the country like America is marking the November 23, 2011 as beginning of Hunger and Homelessness awareness week across country. The country like America is creating awareness for Hunger across the country is really a matter of introspection that how our primary sector is performing or is it pushed back to sideline? What I feel is; in some way or other agriculture sector is in stress and if this is the case then it is simply the result of flawed approach in our primary sector that we have to suffer now.
    Yahoo in its article titled “Yahoo! search trends: Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week” has presented that the searches for word “Food Bank” on Yahoo! is ten times higher than that of 2010. Of this total searches (since August), thirty six percentage are said to be coming from kids under the age group of 18 years.
   States like Florida, Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, Illinois and New Jersey have reported maximum searches for “food stamps” according to Yahoo! What does it indicate? It is the sign of suffering.
     Now, if America, a formidable name in the world fighting for hunger is something contrary as far as my expectation is concerned. Where did America fail? Of course, many things are pointed out or presumed that it was due to post recession economic instability and sky rocketing food and commodity prices that created a set back so is the present condition.
     But, how do you co-relate all these with present situation? Whether it was the shortage of food availability in the locality or people have less purchasing power that is making this problem? Whether country is heavily dependant on imported food staff? But, what I know is; Americans are always known to be one step ahead in up-grading themselves so that should not be the case.
     What I suspect is; in the name of science and technological advancement, we tend to forget the basic thing that is our primary sector. It is the general trends that technology implies and it is more suited to micro chips, semi conductor and people tend to relate with those highly sophisticated things only.
     Agriculture! It is so simple and ordinary thing, nothing special. This is the general tendency and if this tendency and mind set remains, there would be a time and situation of uncountable problems that we have to face in our life times.

  So first build the basic then go for classic.

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Present Scenario of Rice cultivation: Just for food not for profit

    Now the crop fields of Tripura are covered with golden sheets because! Rice crop is in harvesting stage, early adopter have already reaped the good harvest by this time.
Farming activities is in full swing for two reasons one for harvesting of Rice and second for growing of winter vegetables.
    Let us see the profit a rice farmer gets from a hectare of land. In Tripura production of rice in a unit area is very erratic and inconsistent. In a fertile land like, in the river bank it is 6250 kilograms per hectare whereas in rain fed condition it is merely 5200 kilograms or even less.
   Let us consider the case of fortunate farmer of fertile land; Rice yield is 6250 kilograms now, if the farmer sales his produce what he gets is rupees 46875 from a hectare of rice crop that is at the rate of rupees 7.50 per kilogram of rice.
     Now, if we see the investment aspect of farmer, what he has to incur for rice cultivation are rupees 150.00 per man day as labor wages and rupees 260.00 per hour for power tiller for tilling of land. In addition, expenditure in connection application of chemical fertilizers like Nitrogen, Potash, and Phosphorus and also organic manures which makes significant parts of expenditure for rice cultivation. Of course there are many more that come in the way of whole rice cropping periods.
     When investment and income is compared, the differential amount will hardly be exceeding rupees 15000 per hectare of rice crop.
     Now, the question is; whether the profit is worth for consideration? It is absolutely impossible with such meager income for surviving and leading a meaningful life.
    This is the general trends, I could see as far as the rice crop of Tripura is concerned.
In Tripura, rice is the main crop but with every passing day the main food crop becoming un-viable and un-rewarding. Many farmers simply go for rice cultivation because there is no choice of option.

    Therefore, it can be presumed that rice cultivation no longer entails for profit rather it is for our daily requirement of food.

Monday 14 November 2011

Food Grain Production: Good Condition Prevails

   During middle of the October2011, there was sudden and untimely rain that created spine cooling feel to the farmers of the state due to the fact that it was crucial time for harvest of standing rice crops of Tripura.
  However, the Almighty God has finally responded to the prayers of the farming communities by diverting the untimely rain now, absolutely there is no dark cloud which we could construe as danger for farming communities, sky is very clear, day length with sufficient light all these prevailing conditions, would definitely help farmers to harvest all sorts of crops they have sown during this monsoon.
     If rain would have continued for certain periods then it would have created myriad misery to the farming community effect for which had reached to the Government and policy makers of the country to deal with the situation but fortunately it did not happen.
   I have taken sigh relief for the fact that I know how much pain it was to loose or subjected to loose the crops which are ripe to be to be harvested.
    In Tripura for that matter in all over India farming is depending on the monsoonal rainfall and monsoonal rainfall is acting as the deciding factor for agriculture farming so is growth of the agriculture sector of the country.
   Farmers had utilized the valuable monsoonal rain and survived their crops but in this position if any thing happens as natural calamities by untimely rain would demoralize the farming communities. Of course, as of now, everything is ok and fine.
    In other parts of the country also no such news of natural calamities has so far been reported. In India, especially the farming communities have to be little cautious because farming in India is mostly in rain fed area depending on the climatic factor any variation would result negatively in farming sectors.
     During the year 2011 there were lots of suspicion and doubts due to erratic monsoonal rainfall. There were reports that many states had suffered from rainfall deficit and others suffered due to heavy down pour.
    However in later part of the monsoon it had partly been compensated by late rainfall and most of the rain fed farmers of the country could able to sow and sustain their crops in the field.
   This is really good sign for the country pursuing for growth in agriculture sector. Media reports indicate that agriculture growth in India is not up to the satisfactory level which may affect the vast population depending on the sector.
    Hopefully during this year there would be bumper harvest especially the cereal crops or otherwise food grain crops of India. States like Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh the grain bowl of the country would reap good food grain harvest during this favorable season.
    In addition, there would be good innings of the cotton and onion farmers of the country. This season brings good sign for the onion farmers of Nashik and cotton farmers of the southern and south central states of India.
    During the year2011, food grain production has been projected to be approximately 245.00 million tons, I am very optimistic that if everything goes smoothly that is to say that if the same climatic conditions prevails the targeted food grain production would be achieved.
    However, few points which need to be addressed at this particular juncture are storage of food grain by the Government.
    Since last few years there have been media reports that food grain and other agricultural produce worth thousands of crores had been wasted due to in adequate storage structure and lack of post harvest technology.
   This is the aspects which need serious consideration especially in the context of the Indian condition and it is for the fact that in India although some achievements have been made but some of the worlds negative indices still haunts the people of India.
   In India there are reports that thousands of people or may be above are malnourished and suffer from hunger. While in other parts food grain is wasted but on the opposite thousands suffers from hunger is one of the contrasting factors that should be dealt.

    Good moments for the farmers as well as the Government, at least the primary sector seem to be in the right track.