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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Monsoon failure: Sowing lagging so far behind raising spectre of hyper food inflation, negative agriculture & GDP growth

The above table gives the area sown with various crops between June 1 and July 10, in million hectares.  The normal sowing window for Kharif crops is June 15 to July 15. Only a limited number of crops such as pulses, maize and some fodder crops can be sown in the period between July 15 and July 30.

So even if the monsoon gets its act together in a very late revival, it is obvious that even if late and early maturing seeds are extensively used this year, the sowing gap is too large to be bridged. India is facing prospects of hyper food inflation in addition to inflated food import bill this year! 

According to an ASSOCHAM study, with every one per cent deficit in rains, the country's gross domestic product (GDP) falls by 0.35 per cent. In monetary terms, a 10% deficiency shaves off Rs 360,000 crores from the country's GDP hurting lakhs of jobs, mostly in the unskilled sector. So, a good agricultural performance is a must for India to raise demand for services and industrial products, it said. A rise in farm sector is estimated to raise demand for industrial goods and services, it added. The study mentioned that about 30 per cent of the manufacturing sector is agriculture-based and a bumper crop ensures the supply of raw material for industry at relatively lower prices.

To understand how big impact this season’s monsoon failure is on the economy, just look at these scary statistics:      
Rainfall Deficiency for June: 43%.
Rainfall Deficiency July 1-9:  53%                                                                             
Applying the Assocham formula, the adverse impact of rainfall deficiency is summarized in the table below: 

Hence agriculture could act as a big drag on the overall economy this year by registering even upto a double digit negative growth rate, dragging down the GDP also into the red. 

Despite this dismal scenario, Arun Jaitley, India’s Finance Minister in his budget presented yesterday targeted an unbelievable 4% growth for agriculture and GDP of over 5% for 2014-2015 fiscal!!! Is this a height of optimism or ignorance? Take your pick..


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

“Sowing window available till early Aug” Just who is Modi Sarkar fooling??

It is not enough that the BJP after seeking votes claiming that they had a magic wand now have done a complete about turn denying possessing  any such wand. Apparently now they claim that they have a magic wand with agriculture as well. Doubt there would be any takers for such puerile prankish statements by Modi sarkar.

(PTI) Delay in onset of monsoon and its slow progress have led to late sowing of paddy, pulses, oilseeds and cotton, but the sowing window is available till early August and its coverage is expected to improve with progress of rains, the government told the Lok Sabha today.
Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said the government has taken several measures to address "any situation" arising due to deficiency in rainfall.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Truant Monsoon: Kharif sowing just 57% of last year

(PTI) Paddy acreage has declined 25 per cent so far during this Kharif sowing season to 45.12 lakh hectares due to deficient monsoon rains.

Area under coverage for paddy, the main kharif crop (summer-sown), stood at 60.28 lakh hectares in the year-ago period.

Sowing area of pulses has declined by 66 per cent to 7.5 lakh hectares as on July 4 as against 21.84 lakh hectares in the corresponding period of last year.

Oilseeds acreage has fallen sharply by 77 per cent to 14.49 lakh hectares, while coarse cereals sowing is down by 58 per cent to 27.93 lakh hectares in the period under review.

Monsoon rainfall for the country as a whole during June 2014 was below normal by 43 per cent, according to the Met Department.

Sugarcane has been planted in 43.92 lakh hectares so far this year compared with 45.20 lakh hectares in the year ago period.

Area under coverage for cotton fell to 35.42 lakh hectares so far compared with 55.77 lakh hectares in the corresponding period of last year.
"As per the latest reports of sowing of kharif crops, kharif sowing area has crossed 182.40 lakh hectare," an official statement said.
Total Kharif sowing in the year-ago period stood at 318.90 lakh hectares in the year-ago period.

Area under coverage for cotton fell to 35.42 lakh hectares so far compared with 55.77 lakh hectares in the corresponding period of last year.
"As per the latest reports of sowing of kharif crops, kharif sowing area has crossed 182.40 lakh hectare," an official statement said.
Total Kharif sowing in the year-ago period stood at 318.90 lakh hectares in the year-ago period.

AgustaWestland scam probe instead of implicating UPA leads to NDA-I doorstep!!!


(TimesofIndia)  Is the AgustaWestland scam probe spreading to the previous NDA regime? Two former governors -M K Narayanan and B V Wanchoo -recently claimed during their questioning that the decision to reduce the service ceiling of VVIP helicopters was taken in-principle in 2003 when NDA was in power. Highly placed sources said the CBI may probe the claims.

During the recording of his statement, Wanchoo told CBI about a meeting held by top officials of the government in 2003 in which it was decided in-principle to have a “realistic operational requirement“ after consulting the elite Special Protection Group guarding the prime minister, official sources said.

Sources said this was followed by a letter to air headquarters and defence ministry in November and December 2003 for having a relook at the purchase of VVIP helicopters and encourage competition. For the first time, the CBI examined the governors when they were in office.

They were part of a March 1, 2005, meeting in which a decision was taken to reduce “service ceiling“ (the altitude at which a helicopter can fly) from 6,000 metres to 4,500 metres. While 63-yearold Wanchoo, who was chief of SPG from 2004, put in his papers on July 4, 80year-old Narayanan, who was national security adviser till 2010, demitted office on June 30.

During the questioning, Wanchoo explained the rationale behind the decision and also said the national security adviser in the former NDA government, Brajesh Mishra, had favoured lowering of service ceiling in 2003, sources said.

The former SPG chief said the same decision was reiterated at the March 2005 meeting, sources added.

He told CBI that the previous regime had taken the decision in-principle, keeping in mind the need to encourage competition as well as to change the rules framed for purchasing VVIP choppers in 1970s, sources said.

CBI has registered a case against former IAF chief S P Tyagi and 13 others, including his cousins and European middlemen, in the case. The allegation against the former IAF chief is that he reduced the flying ceiling of the helicopter so that AgustaWestland was included in the bids. Tyagi has refuted the allegations against him.

However, this decision was stated to have been taken in consultation with officials of SPG and the Prime Minister’s Office, including Narayanan and Wanchoo. The reduction of the service ceiling — the maximum height at which a helicopter can perform normally — allowed the firm to get into the fray as, otherwise, its helicopters did not even qualify for the submission of bids.

CBI claims that the parameters regarding the height at which the helicopter can fly as well as the flight evaluation were changed in a manner that enabled AgustaWestland to clinch the deal ahead of its competitor, Sikorsky.

Large U.S. Military Base in the Direct Path of Super Typhoon Neoguri. Super Typhoon to cause mass destruction

With gust speeds expected to reach up to 290 kmh and storm surges up and beyond 15 feet, the storm should completely flatten Okinawa, Japan including the large US base on the island. The Super Typoon is expected to make landfall later tonight..

For full coverage of the Typhoon: Rajan’s Take: Climate Change 

(Cody Matz, FoxNews) The largest and strongest super typhoon of the year is now heading toward a major U.S. strong hold. The island of Okinawa, Japan is directly in the path of a HUGE super typhoon which could hit category 5 status before it makes landfall sometime Monday night.

Current sustained winds are at 140mph with gusts to 170mph. It is forecast to continue to strengthen to 155mph as it spins by the island on Monday. The storm is so big and continuing to close on the island that a complete miss is next to impossible. Even if the storm were to deviate from its current course, the island can still expected copious amounts of rain, storm surge, and hurricane force winds. While these are all quite common in this part of the world, with the area getting hit by some sort of tropical system every year, very few structures on the planet can with stand 150 mph winds.

Current forecast cone puts the island in the direct path of the strongest winds and highest storm surge which could top 15 feet. Thankfully, just like mainland Japan, the island is very mountainous so only spots within a few hundred yards of the beach will be susceptible to storm surge, but it does make many areas more prone to wind damage, especially with winds in excess of 150 mph. Not to mention, mountainous terrain and a foot or more of expected rainfall could make mudslides one of many major problems. Current U.S. operations are widespread across the island