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Contents SPECIAL ARTICLE........16

HERBAL PROCESSING.........33

Malaysian development model!

Bhoomi Natural Products and Exports

What lessons for Indian development?

Specialises in the processing and exports of herbs/essential oils of spices and herbs. Located in Cochin

There are many lessons to be learnt for Indians How to build infrastructure. There are also lessons to be avoided from Malaysian Islamisation, the bhumiputra politics!

AGRI-BUSINESS COURSE....34

TEA.....................................37

Vaikunth Mehta National Institute of Cooperative Management

Aroma Tea International Specialises in Assam Tea. Located in Jorhat, Assam

Conducts a nine months diploma programme for the officers working in the co-operative sector

INSIDE

COMMODITY TRADING...........40

M A R K E T

Welingkar Institute Offers a diploma in commodity trading. Duration of the course is three and half months. The course is held on weekends only

COIR..............................41

Techno Exports

BUY AGRI PRODUCTS ON INTERNET .......................................................4 SELL AGRI PRODUCTS ON INTERNET ....................................................5 PUBLISHERS NOTE........................7 EDITORIALS.................................8 * Mood of the Nation Opinion Poll, January 2012 * AIR India and our civil aviation sector! * Tata’s, Birla’s, Reliance, and Airtel all tried their hands! NEWS..........................................10 PERSONAL VIEW.........................19

Engaged in the export of curled coir and coir fibre. Located at Pattanakkad, in Alleppey district, Kerala ECO-TOURISM....................42

Manayath Heritage Residence Engaged in eco-tourism. “We had bought a very old dismantled traditional Kerala house. The pieces of this house had been kept in our premise, in a shed for a long time. In 2005, I decided to restore it and offer it as a guest house.” Says Tomichen M Thomas

P L A C E

SPECIAL COVERAGE....................20 * Indian Banks / * Foreign Banks INTERESTING FARMERS/ ENTREPRENEURS........................31 * Aloeve ra Farming - Sudhakar Thiramsett * Vansun Technologies * Ritu Pathak * Ankur Nursery HORTICULTURE...........................32 Hari Agro Products COLD STORAGE...........................38 Therm Chem Preservations AGRI MACHINERY........................44

Page No.46 .46 .46 

VIEW FROM THE VILLAGE.............45 CropCam

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Buy & Sell  Wanted Distributer for Natural Juices The demand of natural juices is increasing day by day. We have introduced five new varieties of natural juices in context to upper and middle level market. Interested parties/firms/ distributors are invited for the distributorship. Ganesh Prajapat, Jaipur +91-9509888669, 7597920642 executivedirectoraci@gmail.com  Wanted Solar Power Consultant We have 50 Acres land in Tamil Nadu. We are looking for solar power plant consultation. Consultants offering this service may contact us at Swami, Chennai +91 044 22334455 agrireturns@yahoo.com  Wanted Seedless Grapes We require regular supplies of Seedless Grapes. Interested grapes farmers please send your grape variety details along with selling price at – Sumit Sharma, Delhi 011 - 43011339 sumit21@live.com  Wanted Neem Oil We are looking for a potential supplier of Neem Oil. This shall be long-term contract. Interested sellers can contact us with the details on price and quantity at Nagesh Iyer, Singapore p_nagesh01@yahoo.com  Wanted Aloe Vera Leaves We need Aloe Vera leaves on a regular basis as we have started Aloe Vera juice and gel extraction plant recently. Kindly contact with details like price and your location etc. Ratnesh Verma, Kota 9414188882 ratnesh71180@gmail.com

 Wanted Green Millet (Bajra) I want to buy Bajra of superior quality, green colour, big and bold size on regular basis for export purpose. Shachi Agrawal, Pune 9371233074 shachiagrawal4@gmail.com

 Wanted Rhode Island Red Chicks I am from Karnataka, looking for Rhode Island Red chickens. Srinu Reddy, Hunasagi 9945927626 Ecsrinu@gmail.com

 Wanted Tender Coconuts I am looking for regular supplier of tender coconuts. Quantity needed is 10,000. I am expecting best price of Rs 6-7. Interested supplier can contact Parama Sivam, Tirpur 919344893141 sivam6@gmail.com

 Wanted Fresh Vegetables We are Hyderabad based company into supplying of Vegetables to various Hotels/Institutions in Hyderabad. We are looking to buy vegetables directly from Farmers. Govardhana Ramana, Hyderabad 9966232332 govardhanaramana@gmail.com

 Wanted Bamboo Seeds I am in need of Seeds of Mosa Bamboo, and all variety bamboo. Need heirloom seeds of Indian Vegetables, Moringa Seeds, Herbal Tulsi and Medicinal Herbs Seeds. SPice Seeds also needed. Interested parties contact Manikandan M, Srivilliputtur 9894791619 moneykandan@gmail.com

 Wanted Colored Capsicum I am looking for colored capsicum. This shall be a year contract. The specifications of the Colored Capsicum are as follows: [1] Color: Red, Yellow [2] Size: Large [3] Packaging: 20 Kgs in each cotton box. Kiran, Bangalore 9945554571 kiran.kiran@gmail.com

 Wanted Sandalwood Saplings I am in need of sandalwood saplings for my farm. Also looking for an efficient sandalwood consultant. Sellers outside from tamilnadu are excused,only sellers in tamilnadu are expected. Interested parties can contact at Chandrasekaran, namakkal 9443359966, 9952633996

 Wanted Silver Oak Wood I'm looking out to buy Silver Oak wood in large numbers in Bangalore. Shylesh Madhava, Bangalore 9980588449 shylesh01@gmail.com

 Wanted Black Pepper Seeds We are in need of black pepper seeds for cultivation. We would currently need 10kgs of seeds for the trial of the same whether it is suitable in our land or not. Once through this trial phase we would require bulk purchase of the same. Contact details – Dharmesh Manek, Okha Port 02892 226674 dammanek@aol.com

 Wanted Insulin Plants We are in need of Insulin Plants. Interested sellers can reach me at Shouab Khan, Mysore 09980158667 shouab.khan@yahoo.com  Wanted Pomegranate Seedlings Need Bagwa pomegranate seedlings for an acre. Also need the cultivation guidance from seedlings to harvest. Please contact at Ravichandran Muthusamy, Coimbatore 9150887250 cmravi66@gmail.com

To buy and sell agriculture products call 080-41698240 (Kavitha) or email : kavitha@vmg.net 4 - Vol. 22, Issue 2 - 2012 - Agriculture

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Buy & Sell  Insulin Plants for Sale ''A LEAF A DAY KEEP DIABETES AWAY'' We are looking for hole sale and retail buyers of insulin plants in India, we also undertake orders for nursery interested in cultivation for the same, whosoever is interested please contact at Pramod Kumar, Jagadhri +91 9047643526 info@ayuraherbs.com  Oil for Sale We offer all edible oil variants for sale. We offer free samples but you are to pay for freight / shipment to your doorstep. Contact David Peter, Lagos, Nigeria 2348100794262 agipoilmills@hotmail.com  Mushroom for Sale We have good quality mushroom in one acre ready to sale for more detail contact us at – Amandeep Singh, Delhi 9212645242 food_aman@yahoo.com  Milking Machine for Sale We are the manufacture of the milking machine which operates without the power and which is operated though manual and which has also been approved by the Govt. It can also be movable to any place. Rangaraj KJ, Coimbatore 9344044665 rangs1000@yahoo.com  Lettuce for Sale We have 2000 lettuce head Iceberg variety and 500 head Red Lettuce variety for sale in and around Delhi and Chandigarh. If anyone interested in buying then please contact us at – Anne, Chandigarh 9820443526 info@tarafarms.com

 Onion for Sale I have 10,000 kg fresh onion ready for sale. Interested buyers contactSunil Kasar, Gulbarga 9731801077 sunnykasar@gmail.com  Ginger for Sale We can supply Ginger in any form FRESH and DRY. Fresh Ginger packed in 50 kgs gunny bag direct from farm land. To get more details contact us at Gaffoor Panakkat, Kannur 0497-2760886 infofairborn@yahoo.com  Organic Fertilizer for Sale We are the manufacturers and sellers of Pelrich Plus, pre-processed for immediate bio-availability and hence will give faster result from the plants. To know more on this organic fertilizer reach us at – Anoop M, Cochin 09744255513 anoopkcc@gmail.com  Wild Rhododendron Flower (Burans) Health Drink for Sale This health drink is highly beneficial for heart and liver. Wild Rhododendron Arbutem Flowers are selectively handpicked and cleaned for the product. For sales enquiry or other details please contact us at– Shaleen V Sahajpal, Dehradun +91 95 368 19255 himalayanaturals@gmail.com  Powdered Spices for Sale We offer Pure Powdered Spices for sale namely chili, turmeric, coriander, cumin, black pepper and cumin & coriander powders. We can pack Powdered Spices in packing of 50/100/200 gms and 5/10/20 kgs or according to the customer’s requirements. Admark Ventures, Mumbai 8898124878 admarkventures@gmail.com

 Mustard Honey for Sale We are offering raw unprocessed mustard honey available for sale. Quantity available is 13 Tons. Pankaj Battu, Jalandhar 9988916528 pankajbattu123@gmail.com Dairy Farming Software for Sale We design customized software for dairy management. Feel free to contact us for more information – Abhishek Chandra Jamnagar 02882556612 oxygen_virus@yahoo.com Flowering Orchids for Sale We are offering the flowering orchids for sale. These are sold in quantities of 50 and above and also available in different colors and varieties. Interested buyers can contact Jose Cherian, Ernakulam 9288189707 jcherian72@yahoo.com  Red Sandalwood for Sale I have bulk of red Sandalwood for sale. Interested buyers can call at Pooja Patel , Bhavnagar 9033603028 poojapatel2007@yahoo.com  Asparagus for Sale I am harvesting Asparagus racemosus in huge quantity and available for sell. Contact me at – Tarun Maurya, Bareilly 9654446686 tarunmyr@gmail.com  Air Pumping Windmill for Sale We are a company looking to set up dealerships for our air pumping windmills have a seven year proven track record if interested contact – Reuben Lantz, Pennsylvania 717-450-3953 rllantz@hotmail.com

To buy and sell agriculture products call 080-41698240 (Kavitha) or email : kavitha@vmg.net 5 - Vol. 22, Issue 2 - 2012 - Agriculture

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MARKET PLACE Company & Product Profiles To advertise your products here call: (Bangalore) 080-41698240 (Kavitha)

11th WORLD SPICE CONGRESS Sustainability & Food Safety - Global initiatives Pune, India. From February 9th to 11th, 2012

Organised jointly by the Spices Board India and the All India Spices Exporters Forum. Email: spicesboardpub@gmail.com, aisef@vsnl.com 6 - Vol. 22, Issue 2 - 2012 - Agriculture

& Industry Survey


MARKET PLACE To advertise your products here call: 080-41698240 (Kavitha)

Company & Product Profiles

Agriplast Tech India Pvt. Ltd. Ginegar

Plastic Products Ltd.

Polysack Plastic Industries Ltd. Israel.

Only Manufacturer of 5 Layered Green House Films in the World

www.ginegar.com Super strong, UV Stabilized, 5 Layered, Anti-dust, Co-extruded Green House Coverings  UVA Fog Block  UVA Drip Block diffused  IR 504 Suncover/AV/Diffused

Other imported shade nets in

 UVA 205N SSEL-Clear 7.5 Sunsaver/AV/Diffused  UVA Diffused

Tailor made sizes (against order) Cut to length supply from ready stock in India. Available widths in ready stock : 4.5M, 5.5M, 7M, 9M Mulching Solutions  Vegetable Mulch : *Black Embossed *Yellow/SLT *AL-Or Embossed *Silver/Black Embossed *Black/White Embossed *Red/SLT  Orchard Mulch : *Black/White *Black/Silver *Papaya Mulch *Rose Mulch Sizes available for mulch film : 25 Microns -- 1.2m x 100m and 1m x 1000m 50 Microns embossed : 1.2m x 500m -- 100 Microns orchard : 1.5m x 200m & 2m x 200m

Seedling T Trrays  First company to introduce root trainer trays for seedlings/nursery in India.  Works on the principle to keep downward growth of the root system  No root coiling as against traditional seedling trays  Healthier root zone hence healthier plants  Better establishments and performance of seedlings in fields, resultng in higher yield

ALUMINET various shade factors and * Saves energy colors in tape and * Increases yield monofilament type * Protects against frost available with * Better temperature control 5 years * Guaranteed for 5 Years * Double side IR reflection guarantee * Light diffusion at entry

level

CHROMATINET price. * Higher yield in plants with better quality * Good result in seedling nursery * Excellent root development in banana tissue culture hardening

Green House Accessories One stop shop for best Green House Accessories

     

Aluminium Profiles Imported Coated Springs Imported Self Drilling Screw Imported Clip for Greehouse Roll Up Curtains Roll Up Unit for Ventilation Greenhouse air circulation fan

Head Office : Survey No.426/3B-1B, Nallur Village Opp, Nallur Government High School, Hosur Panchayat Union & Taluk, Krishnagiri Dist - 635 103 Telefax No. 04344-301125 , Mobile -09341286047 (Rajeeb Roy) Email : info@agriplast.co.in Web : www.agriplast.co.in Skype : ranjanarajeeb

7 - Vol. 22, Issue 2 - 2012 - Agriculture

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MARKET PLACE To advertise your products here call: 080-41698240 (Kavitha)

Company & Product Profiles

ENER GY PLANT ATION – BEEMA B AMBOO ENERGY PLANTA BAMBOO High density plantation - break through for power project and co-generation plant in sugar industries.

Good Captive Energy Plantation

Biomass at Rs 800 /ton

Income from 2nd year

Income Rs 80,000 /ac/year

High quality biomass with 4000 kcal

GROWMORE BIOTECH LTD. HOSUR (T.N.) 04344 260564 www.growmorebiotech.com growmore@vsnl.com

8 - Vol. 22, Issue 2 - 2012 - Agriculture

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MARKET PLACE To advertise your products here call: 080-41698240 (Kavitha)

Company & Product Profiles

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MARKET PLACE To advertise your products here call: 080-41698240 (Kavitha)

Company & Product Profiles

10 - Vol. 22, Issue 2 - 2012 - Agriculture

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11 - Vol. 22, Issue 2 - 2012 - Agriculture

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Interesting Farmers/Entrepreneurs Aloe Vera Farming – SudhakarThiramsetti

Vansun Technologies

Mr. Sudhakar Thiramsetti is into aloe vera farming. He owns 7 acres of land in Chebrolu village of East Godavri district. The land is irrigated by borewell. He cultivates aloe vera as an intercrop as well as main crop. Mr.Sudhakar is a bachelor of pharmacy. Mr. Sudhakar took up aloe vera farming due to high demand in the markets for its medicinal value and commercial utilization. Mr. Sudhakar also maintains that aloe vera does not require too much investment and gives more returns on investment compared to other medicinal plants. The only problem he faces is with weed management. He needs to do weeding twice every month to control weed. He is looking at getting into buy back arrangementto sell his product. He is also planning to take up the manual juice extraction training programme in Ananthpur district conducted by the Andhra Pradesh Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Board. Mr. Sudhakar is expecting a yield of 40 to 50 tons of leaves per acre. He plans to sell aloe vera juice in future, but right now does not have the required equipment or funds to set up juice extraction plant. In future he plans to further increase his production and establish a juice extraction plant. “Herbal industry is the fastest growing sector. So it is the right time to establish agro business particularly medicinal plant cultivation,”avers Mr. Sudhakar. Our Correspondent For more information contact : T.Sudhakar, Dr no.: 2-2-45, Kothapeta, Chebrolu, Gollaprolu Mandal, East godavari district, Andhra pradesh-533437 Phone number: 09666322202 Email - sudhakar_thiramsetti@uhc.com

Vansun Technologies manufactures and supplies milking machines and equipment. The company was set up by Mr. Sandeep Raina in 1999. Mr. Raina is a B. Tech in dairy technology. He has 20 years of work experience. The company is headquartered in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The company offers fixed type bucket milking machines, mobile milking machine, milking parlors, swingover, herringbone, rapid exit and rotary parlor, Digital Milk Meter, Heat Detection, Herd Management Software, fogging system and other farm equipment. Mr. Raina maintains there is market potential for the machines. “There will be increasing demand for these machines as there will be shortage of skilled manpower and increase in milk productivity per cow. Furthermore milk demand will be more than the production capacity and this will lead to increased size of the farm and furthermore making it absolutely necessary to have a milking machine at the farm,” says Mr. Raina. The challenges faced by the company was promoting the concept and making the farmers understand the benefits of milking machine to the animal as well as the farmer. The company markets its products directly, through exhibitions and other media. All the machines are manufactured in-house. Vasun has wellequipped infrastructure. “They are designed and developed with highly sturdy material. Our team conducts all essential tests for fine-finished products before delivering them to customers,” maintains Mr. Raina. The company has 53 staff members. Our Correspondent For more information visit : www.vansuntechnologies.com

Ankur Nursery

Ritu Pathak Ritu Pathak is the managing director of Hapamuni Agrotech, Hapamuni Herbal & Pharmaceutical Pvt. Ltd. Ms. Ritu Pathak has done MCA from BIT, Mesra and Enterprise Management from IIT Delhi. HapamuniAgrotech, and Hapamuni Herbals and Pharmaceutiacal Pvt. Ltd. were established in 2005. The company is headquartered in Ranchi, Jharkhand. The production and manufacturing plantsare located 100km away in Hapamuni, Jharkhand. The company started with 10 acres of land and now has expanded to 850 acres of leased land for cultivation. Hapamuni Agrotech grows medicinal and aromatic plants like lemongrass, citronella, palmarosa, basil, stevia, coleus, aswagandha, ajwain, and satavari. They sell leaves, stalks and essential oils to exporters. Hapamuni is engaged in oil seeds and oil production. They also grow pulses. The other products the company offers are dairy products and by- products. They also manufacture vermicompost from cow dung and plant residue. The essential oils the company manufactures are lemongrass oil, palmarosa oil, khus oil, eucalyptus oil. Lemongrass t-cut size is used in tea and curries; the stalks are used in soup; and the essential oils are segmented and used in cosmetic industry, pharmaceutical, flavoring and in spas. In future Ms.Pathak plans to enter the retail market and sell products like herbal tea, perfumes, cleaners, incense sticks, candles, essential oils, reed diffuser, potpourri and oil burner under the company’s brand name. Our Correspondent For more information contact : Name :Ritu Pathak, Hapamuni Agrotech, Head Offc: Sneh Vatika,Samlong, P.O. namkum, Ranchi -834010 ( Jharkhand) Ph. 0651-2260525, 7631095367

Ankur Nursery was set up by Mr. Ananthamurthy Javali in 2002.The nursery is located at Ripponpete, 40kms away from Shimoga city in Karnataka. It is spread over 13 acres of land. The nursery specializes in appe midi, a pickle mango variety. This variety, known for its strong and distinct aroma, grows mainly in Western Ghats. Increased demand, deforestation and over exploitation has made these species endangered. In 2011 the Karnataka government has obtained GI (geographical index registry) and has also formed appe midi growers union to encourage cultivation of this variety on farmlands. The nursery has cultivated 400 grafted mother trees of appe midi, out of which 200 trees have commenced yielding. “We prepare grafted plants true to the type of these mother trees,” says Mr. Javali. Ankur Nursery also grows jackfruit. The nursery has 70 yielding mother trees of jack, of the reputed varieties. Jackfruit trees start bearing fruits 5 years after planting and continue to yield for centuries. Jackfruits are eaten as fruits, used in ice cream, jam, jelly, wine, cake, candy and several types of sweets. The green raw fruit can be used for pickles and eaten as vegetable. The investment required to establishing any nursery depends on the scale of operation and type of plants involved. Mr. Javali maintains that to start even on a small scale at least Rs10 lakhs of investment is required. Some of the challenges faced by the nursery are shortage of farm labor and exploitation of farmers. Mr. Javali voices his displeasure strongly about exploitation by government agencies. Mr. Javali has a degree in electrical engineering with 30 years of work experience as an engineer and 10 years in the field of nursery. Our Correspondent For more information contact : Mr.Ananthamurthy Javali, Ankur Nursery, PO Ripponpete, Shimoga District, Karnataka - 577 426 Phone 08185 242685 / 94485 54514

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13 - Vol. 22, Issue 2 - 2012 - Agriculture

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SPECIAL COVERAGE - BANKS - Indian Banks

Bank of India Unlikely to meet its priority sector lending targets

B

ank of India is unlikely to meet its priority sector lending targets, as result of the declassification of farm credit by the Reserve Bank of India back in July 2011. "There is pressure on meeting priority sector targets and we have informed the regulators about this." said N Seshadri, executive director at the bank, to the reporters during the quarterly results announcement. The bank's credit exposure to agriculture grew only by about 1.17% on a year on year basis. "The growth number has to be seen in the light of the fact that RBI de classified loans given to co-operatives as non-priority, where we had substantial exposure. We had given loans to sugar cooperatives, which will not be a part of priority sector lending now. Going by the earlier norms, our exposure to agriculture is about 18-20%." said a senior official from the bank. Banks are mandated to lend about 20% of

the total credit to the priority sectors like agriculture and small and medium enterprises. According to a report released by Standard Chartered Securities, authored by Mahrukh Adajania, "Large banks have an exposure of Rs20-30 billion to accounts which the RBI no longer allows to be classified as farm loans. For Bank of India, adjusted growth in farm credit would be 17% year-on-year for 9M FY12 against the reported 1%. For Bank of Baroda, it would be 23% yoy against the reported 12.2% for 9M FY12." Source : ET Bureau

Govt may introduce micro-finance bill in budget session

T

he government is likely to introduce a Bill that seeks to make it manda tory for all micro-finance institutions to be registered with the Reserve Bank of India in the Budget Session of Parliament. The Finance Ministry has sent the draft Bill to the Law Ministry for approval and will subsequently seek Cabinet's nod, official sources said. The ministry hopes to table the Bill in the upcoming Budget Session of Parliament, sources said. The Budget Session is expected to commence in mid-March. The draft Micro Financial Sector (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2011, circulated for public comments in July last year had proposed that the RBI will be regulator for the sector. In an earlier Bill, it was proposed that the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) would be the regulator of the sector. The government introduced the Micro Financial Sector Bill in the Lok Sabha in March, 2007. However, the Bill lapsed when the term of the 14th Lok Sabha expired in 2009. The latest draft Bill proposes to make it mandatory for micro-finance institutions to be registered with the Reserve Bank and have

minimum net-owned funds of Rs 5 lakh. In addition, a Micro-Finance Development Council will be set up to advise the government on formulation of policies, schemes and other measures required in the interest of orderly growth and development of the sector and micro-finance institutions with a view to promote financial inclusion. The council will comprise members not below the rank of Executive Director from NABARD, National Housing Bank, the RBI and SIDBI. In addition, joint secretaries from the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Rural Development will also be its mem-

bers. The draft Bill also proposes that any micro-finance institution which is not a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956, and which becomes a systemically important micro-finance institution shall convert its institution into a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956, with or without a licence, under Section 25 of the Act. This should happen within six months from the date of the balance sheet that shows the MFI has become a systematically important micro-finance institution in terms of the rules prescribed by the central government, the draft Bill said. The RBI may pass an order directing a micro-finance institution to cease and desist from carrying out micro-finance activities if it is found acting in manner prejudicial to the interest of its clients or depositors. The Reserve Bank will cancel the certificate of registration granted to a micro-finance institution if it fails to comply with the directives or conditions, the draft Bill states.

Buyers, Sellers & Experts in agriculture

available at www.agricultureinformation.com

India’s leading agriculture portal! 16 - Vol. 22, Issue 2 - 2012 - Agriculture

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COMPLETED 100 YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE NATION & FARMING COMMUNITY WITH INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS/ SCHEMES Cent Kisan Gold Card (CKGCa) All in one credit facility covering all farm and non-farm activities like housing and consumption needs

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15 - Vol. 22, Issue 2 - 2012 - Agriculture

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SPECIAL COVERAGE - BANKS - Indian Banks

State Bank of Hyderabad To sharpen focus on farm sector

S

tate Bank of Hyderabad (SBH) is planning to expand its agricultural portfolio to augment its business. “There is good business potential in agricultural sector. We are looking at important sub-segments like dairy,” Mr M. Bhagavantha Rao, Managing Director, State Bank of Hyderabad, told. The focus on agricultural sector is not because of priority sector compulsions. For the third consecutive year, SBH had completed mandatory priority sector for the year in the third quarter itself, he added. The agricultural portfolio has grown 17.3 per cent up to November 2011 at Rs 12,300 crore. “We are in talks with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development for extending finance for agricultural godowns for which there is huge demand,” he said. Besides farm credit, the bank plans increased focus on the retail segment, the official said. The housing and personal loan segments have been growing. In the corporate segment, SBH will continue to support a range of traditional industries, he added. “The medium segment in the corporate sector has been growing in terms of increased demand for loans in the bracket of Rs 10 cr to Rs 25 crore,” he said. On hiking interest rates on savings bank accounts following the recent deregulation of rates by the RBI, he said there ‘was no great impact' even if the rates were not increased.

SBH plans to increase lending in agriculture space Leading public sector lender, State Bank of Hyderabad is looking to further explore in the agriculture domain. The bank, for the third consecutive occasion has attained the task of mandatory priority sector lending. The Managing Director of State Bank of Hyderabad, Mr. M. Bhagavantha Rao said, "There is good business potential in agricultural sector. We are looking at important subsegments like dairy." He also said, "We are in talks with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development for extending finance for agricultural godowns for which there is huge demand."

“Actually, we see growth to the tune of Rs 300 crore since deregulation had taken place,” he said. SBH has a ‘comfortable' net interest margin at 3.24 per cent at the moment. “The reduction in cash reserve ratio by RBI last week could add some basis points to this. We are looking at about 3.4 per cent net interest margin for the current financial year,” he said. About 60 more branches would be added to the existing network of 1,413 branches before March. Of these, 35 would be opened in areas where financial inclusion is needed. The 900th branch, to be opened shortly, will be located in Ananthapur, AP. On the proposed merger of SBH with its parent bank, SBI, Mr Bhagavantha Rao said

T

he was not expecting any important development to happen immediately in this regard. Source : BusinessLine

SBH inks deal with Tirumala Milk Products Ltd.

o provide financial assistance to the farmers for dairy activities, State Bank of Hyderabad has signed an agreement with Tirumala Milk Products Ltd. The consortium will disburse loan for dairy purposes to the farmers recognized by the latter. The Managing Director of State Bank of Hyderabad, Mr. M. Bhagavantha said, "This will help increase income levels of farmers and also create employment." A subsidy of 25% will be extended on loans below 5 lakh from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development.

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& Industry Survey


SPECIAL COVERAGE - BANKS - Indian Banks

NABARD Wipro sign agreement to computerise 4 co-operative banks

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ational Agriculture Bank for Rural Development (NABARD) has signed an agreement with Wipro to help in the computerisation of co-operative banks. According to officials, an agreement for the implementation of core banking project by the co-operative banks was signed at NABARD regional office between Wipro and four central co-operative banks. Four of the co-operative banks, which will benefit with the computerisation programme are Latur, Buldana and Nagpur central cop-operative banks. Signed in the presence of M V Ashok, chief general manager, NABARD, the authorised signatories of these co-operative banks signed the agreement on behalf of these banks while K S Natarajan, regional finance manager, signed the agreement on behalf of Wipro. K S Raghupathi, DGM, repositioning department, NABARD, said the national agriculture bank will help the central co-operative banks to usher in modernisation in their branches and computerisation of the banks will help them deliver more on performance. According to NABARD officials, with the help of core banking soloutions (CBS) the banks will facilitate the optimal technology use in rural financial sector. “While implementing the core banking solutions (CBS), NABARD will facilitate the optimal technology use in rural financial sector and undertake in bringing together about 140 banks, both state cooperative banks and central cooperative banks and administrative offices under one common technology and make the credit delivery system faster and easier as also to incubate financial inclusion initiatives,” said NABARD officials. Wipro will provide the total solution to implement CBS in the banks including providing the required database, middleware, network, project implementation and project management. The agreement between NABARD and Wipro will be for five years and remain effective till 31 December 2017. “It is expected that the work relating to the transfer of data to CBS model will start very

soon and all these four banks with about 500 branches in Maharashtra are expected to be on CBS platform within a period of one year,” said NABARD officials. Source : Indian Express

Nabard Sanctions Rs 42.5 cr for building warehouses in Gujarat

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he National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has sanctioned a loan of Rs 42.46 crore under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund XVII to the Gujarat Government for construction of warehouses. These warehouses will have a storage capacity of 87,600 tonnes and will be located at 52 locations in 16 districts, Nabard Chief General Manager, Mr H.R. Dave, said. The project will be implemented through Gujarat State Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd and is aimed at creating scientific storage capacity for agricultural produce. Besides, the project is expected to provide assured foodgrains, cereals, etc., to 35 lakh below poverty line (BPL) cardholders under the Targeted Public Distribution System, reduce spoilage and wastage of foodgrains and avoid distress sale by farmers. With this, the cumulative sanction of loan to the State Government by Nabard under RIDF has gone up to Rs 10,453.90 crore, involving 50,176 projects.

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To invest Rs 200 cr to create 6 lt storage space

he National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has drawn up a plan to invest about Rs 200 crore to create around six lakh tonnes of storage space in Karnataka. Addressing a Nabard-convened workshop, Mr S.N.A. Jinnah, Chief General Manager-Karnataka, said “Keeping in view the need for precluding the distress sale by farmers and in view of the impending Food Security Act, the bank has allocated an exclusive amount of Rs 2,000 crore to towards creation of storage space in the entire country under the Nabard Warehousing Scheme 2011-12.” “Of which, the Nabard is ready to invest approx Rs 200 crore in creating about 6 lakh tonnes of storage space in areas in the State where there is inadequate storage facilities,” he added. At the workshop, participants were apprised of the features of the scheme viz., 100 per cent refinance on bank loan, interest at the rate of eight per cent on refinance, interest rebate at the rate of 1.5 per cent to farmers for prompt repayment, scope for banks for pledge loans by farmers, etc. Mr H. Bharat Kumar, General Manager, reiterated the objectives of the Nabard Warehousing Scheme 2011-12. The meeting was attended by senior officials from commercial banks, regional rural banks, Karnataka State Co-operative Apex Bank Ltd and Karnataka State Co-operative Agriculture and Rural Development Bank. 18 - Vol. 22, Issue 2 - 2012 - Agriculture

& Industry Survey


SPECIAL COVERAGE - BANKS - Indian Banks

National Bank Handling Corporation / Yes Bank

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Signs MoU for strategic collaboration

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ational Bulk Handling Corporation (NBHC), a Financial Technologies Group Enterprise, announced on the Jan.16, 2012, the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Yes Bank, India`s fourth largest private sector bank, to work together in the area of collateral management. The agreement was signed by Saurabh Bhat, Yes Bank and Anil Choudhary, NBHC. NBHC is associated with 36 leading banks for collateral management. Through this network it has facilitated funding and benefitted over 100,000 small and medium farmers through warehouse receipt financing (WRF). Till date, over Rs 21,000 crore funding has been disbursed through NBHC`s collateral management support to borrowers across the ecosystem. Anil K. Choudhary, managing director & CEO of NBHC said, ``We are pleased to sign this MOU with Yes Bank, India`s fourth largest private sector Bank. We are confident that this tie-up will further augment warehouse receipt based funding of agri-commodities in the post-harvest segment of Indian agriculture. NBHC`s network of over 900 locations across 19 states that are under collateral management and professional warehousing and Yes Bank`s network of over 325 branches and 2 National Operating Centers

AGRICULTURE Industry Survey Agriculture is serious business! Without a strong agriculture base, industrial infrastructure, rural development, rural

in Mumbai and Gurgaon will be highly beneficial to customers in this segment. Saurabh Bhat, president & managing director, development and sustainable banking, Yes Bank, (Q,N,C,F)* said, ``It is our privilege to partner such a leading agri-infrastructure company, and I am confident that this alliance will further deliver value to all our stakeholders. As part of our knowledge driven approach, we are committed to the cause of bridging the gaps that exist in the agribusiness sector. This partnership will also suggest ways and means to overcome the structural and other limitations faced by India`s agriculture sector, and will enable us to mitigate credit risk for our commodity finance product offerings. Shares of the company gained Rs 3.5, or 1.25%, to settle at Rs 284.35. The total volume of shares traded was 209,209 at the BSE. Source: IRIS

market etc, won’t thrive! So, agriculture is a national priority! Articulate Agriculture Policy calls for critical study and discussion among all stakeholders, policymakers, farmers, industrialists, entrepreneurs, bankers and administrators! This is what Agriculture & Industry Survey magazine is doing all these years. We are pioneers in agriculture media, print and online. Our

agriculture

website

www.agricultureinformation.com

UCO Bank

is drawing steady stream of visitors everyday.

Ties up with NCMSL for farm lending

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CO Bank has entered into a strate gic partnership with National Col lateral Management Services, a major agriculture-infrastructure provider for collateral management and warehousing services. The objective of these services will be to assist industries, traders and farmers in financing their capital requirements at all stages of the supply chain, ranging from preharvesting to the marketing and export stages, said an NCMSL press release on Thursday. UCO Bank will also avail of their premium services such as working capital financing in commodity-based industries, especially agro-based industries. Mr Arun Kaul, Chairman and Managing

Director, UCO Bank, said the partnership will help the bank mitigate credit risk on commodity finance product offerings. The bank has consistently highlighted the need to create agri-infrastructure to achieve food security and minimise food wastages by promoting public-private partnership, he said. Mr Sanjay Kaul, Managing Director and CEO, NCMSL, said the arrangement will result in substantial new business across India, and especially in West Bengal. “This new arrangement with UCO Bank will provide an opportunity to field functionaries to extend finance against warehouse receipts. Our warehouses, spread across the country, issue credible and reli-

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19 - Vol. 22, Issue 2 - 2012 - Agriculture

& Industry Survey


SPECIAL COVERAGE - BANKS - Foreign Banks Australia

National Australia Bank opens first Indian branch in Mumbai National Australia Bank Ltd., the nation’s biggest lender to companies, opened its first Indian branch in Mumbai this month. It will concentrate on lending in the agriculture, energy, resources and health sectors, and also offer advisory services

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ational Australia Bank Ltd., the nation’s biggest lender to compa nies, opened its first Indian branch in Mumbai this month to tap demand for financial services in the world’s second-fastest growing major economy. The bank will focus on financing companies for trade and investment flows between Australia, New Zealand and India, said Rob Wright, chief executive officer of National Australia’s Asian unit. National Australia’s operations in India will pit it against overseas banks including Citigroup Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc and Standard Chartered Plc. The Melbourne-based lender, which in November also opened its first Chinese outlet, joins local rivals including Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in seeking to increase earnings from Asia. “We have had demand from our clients to do more in India,” said Wright. The bank has more than doubled its staff in Asia since 2008 to about 450 people currently, and increased profit tenfold, he said, without giving specific figures. National Australia employs 17 people in India, he said. National Australia will actively look at opportunities for acquisitions to build its existing operations and to hire teams of people in Asia, he said, without naming any specific targets or saying how much the lender may spend. “We are attracting some very good people who are looking for more stability for securing their future,” said Wright. The bank doesn’t plan to make a large acquisition in Asia, he said. National Australia opened its first Chinese branch in Shanghai in November, according to a Nov. 21 statement. In September, the bank said it received a license to establish a representative office in Jakarta.

ANZ Bank will have acquisition opportunities in Asia as new regulatory rules put pressure on European and U.S. banks to sell assets, Chief Executive Officer Mike Smith said in November. The Melbourne-based lender aims to double the proportion of earnings it generates in Asia by

2017. There were 37 foreign banks operating in India as of June 30, according to a statement by the Indian central bank. Overseas banks led by Citigroup and HSBC had a combined market share of 5.1 percent of total bank credit in the nation at the time, the data showed.

Nepal

Promote agriculture as a major productive sector “We need to promote agriculture as a major productive sector for it is not dependent on energy,” says Nepal’s Prime Minister

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n order to revolutionise the agricul ture, Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai has expressed that the financial institutions need to divert minimum of fifteen per cent of their loan portfolio to the agro-sector. “In the absence of investment in agriculture, the nation will be deprived from its chance on prosperity,” he said, addressing 45th anniversary of Agriculture Development Bank Ltd (ADBL). “If we fail to invest in agriculture Nepal will also fail in achieving the development goals since agriculture development translates as creation of more employment opportunities in turn reducing poverty,” he said. “We can not depend on the remittance to forever take care of our economy,” he pointed out, urging ADBL to utilise its outreach in the rural nook and corners of Nepal to increase the access of rural agro finance. Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun also pointed out that the bank needs to focus more on its original clientele -the farmers. “ADBL that already has penetration in almost every district can promote agriculture and employment in the much deprived parts of the nation,” he said. Recognising the importance of financing agriculture, the central bank has asked the banks the commercial banks to float minimum 10 per cent of their total lending to agriculture and energy sectors. The central bank governor Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada appreciated the bank’s entry in

mobilising Youth and Small Entrepreneur Self-reliant Fund. The bank has signed an agreement with the fund worth Rs one billion which it will lend to the viable projects without collaterals. “The bank should not allow the contraction in loans floated to agro and small enterprises despite its entry into commercial banking,” he said. The restructuring of ADBL is not yet complete and the bank needs to focus on its corporate governance side along with reducing the amount of non performing assets, he added. ADBL has collected deposits worth Rs 34.39 billion by the fifth month of the current fiscal year and floated loans worth Rs 18.36 billion during the period. The bank with depositor base of 645,000 is offering its banking services from 184 branches. Its 152 branches are any branch banking service enabled and 158 branches are providing ADBL remit service. “The bank has been involved in mobilising the government’s youth self-reliance scheme, in distributing social security allowances along with providing crop and cattle insurance to the farmers along side its core banking functions,” said CEO of the bank Tej Bahadur Budhathoki. ADBL has floated loans equal to Rs 340.83 billion in last 45 years among which Rs 300.45 has been repaid. The bank also launched its recently introduced services letter of credit (LC) and foreign exchange services.

20 - Vol. 22, Issue 2 - 2012 - Agriculture

& Industry Survey


SPECIAL COVERAGE - BANKS - Foreign Banks

China

New AgBank chief eyes further reforms The newly-appointed chief of the Agricultural Bank of China (AgBank) has promised to strive for the sustainable development of rural financing through further reforms while supporting the real economy

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iang Chaoliang, who became board chairman of the country's fourth larg est lender earlier this month, said he is determined to bring more credit support to agricultural development and better serve the real economy. "More efforts will be poured into ensuring agricultural credit growth, especially those for irrigation and water conservation, as well as agricultural enterprises that help boost farmers' income," Jiang said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua. Having served the AgBank for 15 years as his first post in the industry, the 55-year-old banker knows that agriculturerelated business has always been the bank's top priority. But he also notes that more changes are needed in order to alleviate the agricultural development bottleneck and achieve increasing market value and better profits for shareholders of this state-owned bank that has listed in Shanghai and Hong Kong since 2010. "Rural financing is very special, with high service costs and risks," Jiang said, noting that the bank should find a development path that is both commercial and sustainable. "Risks are not only credit-related, but also come from natural disasters like flooding, drought and earthquakes," he said. The large number of rural clients, difficulties in data collection and unclear information also add to risks, said Jiang, who suggested that a possible solution would be to jointly set up a compensation system with local governments. This requires more support from fiscal and taxation polices, as well as other rural financial institutions, he said. Jiang has a reputa-

tion of being reform-minded, and has a master's degree in economics from Southwestern University of Finance and Economics. Jiang said the central bank has approved AgBank's move to lower the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for qualified departments of agriculture-related business. "The bank is striving to gain more experiences from its ongoing reforms to help bring more financial resources to rural areas," he said. Moreover, the AgBank is working to increase credit support for the country's small and micro-enterprises, according to Jiang. He also emphasized further enhanc-

ing risk management, as lending to these businesses could be highly risky. "It is unrealistic to pursue zero-risk management, but profits should always outweigh risks, even for funding the real economy," he said. By the end of 2011, AgBank had provided financing for 45,265 small and micro-enterprises, and outstanding loans for small and micro-enterprises stood at 575.2 billion yuan (about 92.92 billion U.S. dollars), up 25 percent from the previous year. Moreover, in the 2010-2011 period, AgBank saw overall credit growth of 13 percent. "We should bring support to industries that are truly in need while preventing systematic risks," said Jiang. The AgBank will give priority to industries in the circular economy, environmental protection and low-carbon economy, as well as the country's key projects, affordable housing projects, and strategically important emerging industries. Jiang had worked at AgBank for 15 years before moving to the People's Bank of China (PBOC), or China's central bank, in 1996. Having served top positions in both the Bank of Communications (BOCOM), China's fifth largest lender, between 2004 and 2008, and China Development Bank between 2008 and 2011, Jiang is considered to be experienced in the operations of both policy banks and commercial banks. The AgBank reported net profits of 100.78 billion yuan in the first three quarters of last year, up 43.59 percent year-on-year, and its capital adequacy ratio stood at 11.85 percent by the end of September 2011.

Venezuela

Chavez threatens to Nationalize Banks over agriculture loans to farmers

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enezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatened to take over the country’s banks if they don’t hand over 40 billion bolivars ($9.31 billion) for agriculture loans this year. Chavez, speaking on state television yesterday, cited Banesco Banco Universal, BBVA Banco Provincial and Mercantil Banco Universal for giving loans to industrial producers and not to small farmers. The government plans to create a fund called Ezequiel Zamora to assign the loans directly, while borrowers pay the banks, Chavez said. The president will use special legislative powers granted to him by the congress to create the fund, he said. “If you don’t comply with this, I’m willing to nationalize those private banks,” Chavez said during his weekly “Alo Presidente” program. Chavez’s government is financing housing and agriculture programs ahead of a presidential election in October and elections for governors in December. The country’s private banks last year handed over money for a government-controlled fund to finance housing construction. Chavez asked Vice President Elias Jaua to meet with the country’s bankers, including Banesco President Juan Carlos Escotet, this week. “Escotet, let me know if you can,” Chavez said. “If not, give me the bank.” Chavez last year threatened to nationalize Provincial, the local unit of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, for allegedly not cooperating with the government on financing housing projects. Venezuela’s central bank will give out 3 billion bolivars in agricultural loans this year, Chavez said. By Corina Rodriguez Pons and Jose Orozco , Bloomberg 21 - Vol. 22, Issue 2 - 2012 - Agriculture

& Industry Survey


SPECIAL COVERAGE - BANKS - Foreign Banks

Uganda

Rural women’s banks ease tough times For most Ugandan women, obtaining a commercial loan to start a business has been very difficult. Many do not have the required collateral of land title deeds and many cannot afford the interest rates charged by commercial banks.

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ix women-led rural banks have be gun changing the lives of women in rural Uganda, easing their access to credit and enabling them to start small businesses and improve their food security. About 20 kilometres from the Ugandan capital, Kampala, is Wakiso. Here the African Women Food Farmer Initiative, a cooperative savings and credit society, is one of the six rural banks run by women. It has over 1,600 savers and borrowers and is supported by the Hunger Project, an international organisation promoting sustainable end to hunger. "It is a unique bank because it is run by women and it supports women, especially those engaged in agriculture. We mobilise women and encourage them to fight hunger and poverty by saving as well as accessing small loans," said Rose Nanyonga, the bank manager. Nanyoga explained that unlike commercial banks, this village bank is owned by women who have a stake in its growth. "Our members buy shares in the bank. So they own it. And they get dividends at the end of every year," said Nanyonga. All seven of the bank’s board members are also women. The bank does not merely provide clients with access to credit. Outside the banking hall agricultural input, lanterns and even solar panels are available for sale to the bank’s clients. Joel Komakec, a project officer from

the Hunger Project, said that they want to ensure that the bank’s borrowers buy the right seed and equipment with the money loaned to them. "With the current energy crisis in the country everyone is rushing to buy solar panels. But the chances are that a borrower will access a loan only to buy a substandard one. So we make sure they get the right one," said Komakec. Daisy Owomugasho, the Hunger Project Director in Uganda, said that the village bank microfinance programme is part of a strategy being promoted in Uganda and eight other African countries. "So the credit they get in the form of microfinance is supposed to help communities either grow food, or access inputs, or improved seed or any other thing that they might need. We look at it as a holistic ap-

proach to ending people's hunger and poverty," said Owomugasho. Owomugasho said men were also free borrow from the bank. She said communities are trained how to effectively manage and use credit in order to escape poverty. "But we realised that to empower women they also have to be in charge of credit. They are taught book- keeping skills, banking skills and they are able to manage the rural banks themselves," said Owomugasho. She said all the six banks are not only making a profit, but have had a high rate of loan repayments because their members feel that they own the banks. Fourteen kilometres away from Wakiso is a blue metal kiosk that provides banking services to the rural areas around Kikandwa Parish and beyond. It is run by Aisha Nansuna, who collects the daily deposits and facilitates withdrawals from clients who cannot travel to the main branch. Nansuna told IPS that the location of the kiosk has helped instil a culture of savings among rural women in Wakiso. "You see women bringing even the smallest amount of money for saving because the bank is near," she said. Nansuna is also a beneficiary of the rural bank. Behind the kiosk is her well-stocked medicine shop. "I have benefited a lot from our bank," she said, "I started with a loan for poultry, then I later applied for 1,500 dollars, which I used to establish this drug shop." With the money she makes from her business she has been able to send one of her children to university. Dorothy Kabajungu, 50, is another beneficiary. She told IPS rural banks have lower interest rates compared to commercial banks. "We are now paying 20 percent interest and they give us a period of 10 months to repay that amount. But I’m told the other banks are charging over 30 percent for loans," she said. "This bank is very good because it is our own bank. We, the villagers, we like it very much because we are not put under too much pressure to repay loans," she said. Kabajubgu began with a 125-dollar loan, which she invested in poultry. Once it was repaid, she was given access to a larger loan of 500 dollars, which she has invested in poultry, but it also using to start a firewood business. "I have just taken on the firewood business because charcoal is very expensive and there is demand for firewood," she said explaining that through the skills training she was taught to identify and follow a need. Kabajungu told IPS that through the training she has learnt how to survive even amid hard economic times.

22 - Vol. 22, Issue 2 - 2012 - Agriculture

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SPECIAL COVERAGE - BANKS - Foreign Banks

Pakisthan

SBP to disburse Rs 1.60 billion agricultural credit in Hazara The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) will disburse agricultural loan to the tune of Rs 1.60 billion amongst 12,000 growers and land owners of Hazara Division through commercial banks and other financial institutions

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his was revealed in the meeting held in divisional headquarters of Hazara Division with Commissioner Hazara, Mohammad Khalid Khan Umerzai in the chair. The purpose of the meeting was to evolve strategy and procedure for the provision of agricultural loans to the growers at their doorstep recently. Speaking on the

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occasion, Commissioner Hazara said that for the facilitation of growers and speedy release of loans concerned officers of all departments will remain present for One Window Operation in districts Haripur, Abbottabad and Mansehra. The departments included revenue, concerned commercial banks, post office and

NBP tops in agriculture credit disbursement

ational Bank of Pakistan (NBP) tops in agriculture credit disbursement of Rs 42.4 billion among nearly 252,000 farmers, against a target of Rs 41 billion. Farooq Hasan, NBP Senior Vice President, expressed these views while addressing the media after gifting 10 computers to Lahore Press Club. NBP Vice President Syed Ibne Hassan and Lahore Press Club President Sarmad Bashir and Secretary Azam Chaudhry were also present on the occasion. Hasan said NBP is among the 'five big' banks of Pakistan; while it offers complete range of commercial banking services, on the key areas is lending to farmers. "For the financial year 2011-12 the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has fixed an indicate lending target of Rs 280 billion, out of this NBP has been assigned the maximum share. NBP takes pride in having disbursed even more than the target assigned last year and aims at offering even better services to the farmers due to its greater outreach.

This becomes possible only because NBP's 875 branches out of total 1271 domestic branches are involved in catering to the needs of farmers," he added. According to him, the other point distinguishing NBP is very competitive mark up rate, lower than the rate being charged by other financial institutions. The loans disbursed can be divided into two categories, production and development loans. Under the first category loans are disbursed mainly for the procurement of seeds, levelling land, pesticides and fertilisers, and the second category is for the purchase of agricultural tractors and implements and construction of modern storage, cattle form, poultry form etc facilities. Hasan said one of the key responsibilities of the government and the corporate sector is to empower people. "In this endeavour mass media plays a key role. In an attempt to facilitate the journalistic community of our country, NBP has been extending full support to improvise

department of agriculture (extension). The meeting reviewed arrangements for extending maximum facilitation to growers under One Window Operation and identified duties and responsibilities of the concerned authorities particularly of the department of revenue. The meeting in light of past experiments also reviewed difficulties and complications in the issuance of agricultural loans to small farmers and pinpointed departments responsible for such difficulties and took decisions for the success of the agricultural loans scheme and larger interest of the growers. The Commissioner, Hazara, Khalid Khan Umerzai stressed the State Bank of Pakistan for evolving unified policy for minimum ratio of mark-up to make the loans' scheme acceptable to the growers and implement similar ratio of mark-up on all commercial loans. Quoting the experiences of past, he said majority of growers hesitate to obtain loans on higher mark-up, which besides bearing negative impact on growers also affect national economy. He expressed concerned over the matter that commercial banks do nothing without influence for common man, however, he expressed the hope that one-window operation will benefit such growers and land owners. Commissiner, Hazara assured that under one-window operation the officials of the department of revenue will be present in any circumstances, otherwise, stern action will be taken against them. Agreeing with complaints regarding patwaris in the issuance of agricultural loans and said that on receiving such complaints some patwaris and other officials of the department have already been suspended. However, he expressed sorrow that political elements come into action to build pressure and foiled action initiated on substandard performance against officials. Earlier, Deputy Chief Manager, SBP, Rawalpindi highlighted details of Agricultural loans and said that an amount of Rs 1.60 billion will be disbursed among the growers and land owners of Hazara Division for crops, orchards, poultry, livestock, fisheries, tractors and agricultural machineries under soft terms and conditions. For this purpose, he said a target of 12,000 growers has been fixed in Hazara. He said that commercial banks are required that they will have to allocate a specific share in the loans obtained from central bank for provision to growers under head of agricultural loans. He said that taking participation in one-window operation has been made obligatory on all commercial banks. He said that the disbursement process of these loans will be formally monitored. Source : Brecorder

23 - Vol. 22, Issue 2 - 2012 - Agriculture

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SPECIAL COVERAGE - BANKS - Foreign Banks

Bruising year for commodities hedge funds The commodities hedge fund industry globally has suffered its worst year in more than a decade as the sector’s top managers recorded heavy losses amid volatile markets

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he average commodity hedge fund fell 1.7 per cent in 2011, according to a closely watched index compiled by Newedge, the first loss since the index was created in 2000 and down from a rise of 10.7 per cent in 2010. The drop came as multibillion-dollar commodities hedge funds such as Blenheim, Clive Capital, BlueGold and Merchant posted double-digit losses for the year. “For the overall industry 2011 was a bad year, both in terms of performance and of assets under management,” said Christoph Eibl, head of Tiberius, a commodities asset manager. The Reuters-Jefferies CRB index, a basket of commodities, fell 8.3 per cent during the year, weighed down by falling prices for metals and agricultural raw materials. Some of the industry’s best-known managers were hardest hit. Blenheim, which has $5bn in assets, posted a loss of about 17 per cent, according to three investors. The fund, founded in 1988 by trader Willem Kooyker, suffered its worst month since inception in September, weighed down by bets on corn and aluminium, an investor said. Clive Capital, the second-largest commodities fund, run by former Moore Capital trader Chris Levett, lost 10.6 per cent, investors said. Merchant, founded by ex-Cargill trader Michael Coleman, fared worse, with a 29.9

per cent loss. BlueGold, the hedge fund founded by former Vitol traders Pierre Andurand and Dennis Crema, fell 34 per cent. Yannix, the agricultural fund founded by exLouis Dreyfus trader Bruce Ritter, posted a drop of 5.6 per cent, investors said. BlackRiver, the asset manager owned by trading house Cargill, posted a 6.8 per cent drop for its main commodities fund, an investor said. Brevan Howard’s commodities hedge fund fell 2.9 per cent. The hedge funds suffered as commodities

prices were hit by external factors, particularly the eurozone debt crisis in September, industry executives said. Erik Serrano Berntsen, at Energy Alpha Strategies in London, said that most commodity funds had had “a tough year... with fundamentals not always in the driving seat”. But he added: “There have, however, been a few outperforming funds that have benefited from a specialised focus.” Metals and natural gas specialists both posted strong returns. Velite, a natural gas fund, gained 51 per cent, while Galena Metals, the fund owned by trading house Trafigura, posted a gain of 11 per cent and Red Kite, a competitor, profited from a bearish view on copper. Mark Rzepczynski, chief executive of the funds group at FourWinds Capital Management, whose investments include commodity hedge funds, said that sometimes the localised situation looked very attractive for some commodities, but the macro factors swamped those dynamics. “Traders who were specialists in a given commodity may have been hurt because they didn’t put enough weight on the riskoff trade. They were disadvantaged because they were looking at specific supply and demand factors,” he said. Industry executives said that investors withdrew money from several large hedge funds as losses mounted. The commodities sector as a whole saw the weakest net inflow of funds since 2002 last year, according to estimates by Barclays Capital. Net flows into commodities totalled $15bn in 2011, less than a quarter of the investment level in 2010, which saw inflows of $67bn, the bank estimates.

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& Industry Survey


Horticulture

Hari Agro Products Agro based manufacturing and distribution company based in Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu. “When I brought my first consignment to Chennai, it was an instant success. That motivated me to further to expand my business venture,” says Mr. Hariprasath Udayakumar, founder

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ari Agro Products is an agro based manufacturing and distribution company based in Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu. The range of products supplied by the company include mango fruits, mango pulp (alphonso, thothapuri, raspuri and other varieties), coconut oil (all types), tamarind, mixed fruit jam and panchagavya (organic plant growth promoter). “In 2009 when I was working in a leading IT firm, I developed an interest in farming

and agro based business. It was a time when the artificially ripened mangoes were dominating the markets. I decided to sell naturally ripened mango fruits, as a hobby. When I brought my first consignment to Chennai, it was an instant success. That motivated me to further to expand my business venture,” says Mr. Hariprasath Udayakumar, founder. Mango Pulp : In 1989, Mr. Hariprasath’s father set up a mango pulp manufacturing unit in Paiyur, Krishnagiri district. “Initially we were focusing on only supplying our mangoes to the outer pulp buyers. By 2007 we had two more mango pulp manufacturing units with modern technology running in our group of institutions. In order to explore the pulp industry, after 17 years, my dad and I decided to manufacture our own mango

pulp and market them in domestic and international markets. To play it safe we manufacture mango pulp only on orders. We had challenges like container scarcity, crop failure, and competition from cheap and low quality pulps,” avers Mr. Hariprasath. Challenges in Organic Farming Mr. Hariprasath points out the challenges faced by the company in organic farming: · Lack of organic crop education and awareness · Lack of effective organic pest repellents and its cost · Healthy organic seeds are expensive and tough to get · Sudden climatic changes leads to crop failures · Presence of spurious organic products in market make the customers lose their interest in organic products Speaking about the cost of organic certification, Mr. Hariprasath says, “The cost of organic certification is very high for small scale organic farmers. I gave up the idea of certifying my farm. My customers visit my farm occasionally and they are aware of our farming procedures. Hence I market my products only as naturally grown. Even officials and students from few agricultural universities have recently visited our farm for a live demo on mango cultivation. They have also taken our mango saplings from one of our very old trees. Our rice and greens are booked before the harvest. “ He adds, “Organic certification is necessary to retain the faith of the customer. If one is focusing on the larger scale of business, getting certified will definitely help. There are few authentic certifiers. It would be safe if the farmers make use of them.” Farm Maintenance & Farm Consulting : The company is focusing on farm maintenance and farm consulting programs too, which comprises plant treatment, manure application, pre- and post-harvest activities and marketing the harvest for the farm owner. “We run farm maintenance programs for busy people. We market the harvest of the farm maintenance programs and give the

Hariprasath Udayakumar returns back to the farm owners. We assess the soil fertility and the trees capability and cultivate the farm accordingly. We reduce the burden of the farm owners by indulging our staff in the farm maintenance activity,” says Mr. Hariprasath. Their target customers are industries owning farm lands, busy farm owners and farmers with less interest in certain crops. “Our clients are in Chennai, Palani and Hosur. We are studying on market demand of by-products of agricultural commodities such as tamarind, coconut and rice. In future we will launch the manufacturing units of these products one at a time,” he adds. Marketing : The company markets through advertising in the online media and also through its own website. “I handle a business based hobby system. For instance I practice the hobby of promoting and guiding organic terrace gardeners. This inturn helps me meet people from different profiles practicing the same hobby. By doing this my colleagues in this hobby are aware of my products and its advantages,” says Mr.Hariprasath. He adds, “Customers approach us for further business developments. The success of the terrace garden itself is a real time demo of the effects of our panchagavya and other organic manures. This is a big mode of promotion for me. Agricutureinformation.com has played a vital role in my product promotion. It is a strong mode of publicity for fresh business people.” Future Plans : Mr. Hariprasath is pursuing global MBA. After the completion of his MBA, he plans to gain experience by working in a global agriculture company. After 5 years he plans to join back his own company and launch new ventures based on farming. Mr. Hariprasath is BE in electronics and communications. Our Correspondent For more information, contact : Mr.Hariprasath U. Hari Agro Products

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Herbal Processing

Bhoomi Natural Products and Exports Specialises in the processing and exports of herbs/essential oils of spices and herbs. Located in Cochin

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Balakrishnan G.A

he company was set up in 2006 by Mr. Balakrishnan G.A. It is headquartered in Cochin, Kerala. Mr. Balakrishnan is a commerce graduate with post graduate diploma in management. “My first 24 years was with Spices Board of India in marketing (until 1998) and then for a period of 8 years in private sector before moving to start this company along with few of my friends,” he informs. Exports The company is a 100% EOU. “All our products are exported and we have very little role in the domestic market. We are only supplier of ingredients and our spices/ herbs/essential oils are more used in the food/pharma/personal care product sectors who are institutional users. We are not selling any product to the consumer directly either in India or abroad,” says Mr. Balakrishnan. When asked about online stores, he says, “We are institutional suppliers and hence at this point a plan for online stores does not really arise. However if we move into direct customer sales at any point of time, naturally online selling can be considered as one of the sales options. There is no definite time frame now fixed to move in this direction.” Products The company supplies a range of products including: · Essential Oil : Essential Oils are the aromatic, extremely concentrated, volatile extracts from flowers, leaves, bark, spices, fruits, woods and roots. They are mainly used in bath and beauty products. They are made by steam/hydro distillation method. · Floral Concretes & Absolutes : Floral Absolutes and Waxes are made by Solvent Extraction method from flowers. · Whole Spices : The company manufactures spices in various forms: fresh, ripe, dried, broken and powdered.

· Herbs : The company supplies a range of herbs that have a range of benefits like nutritional benefits, used as alternative medicine; effective in weight loss and also weight gain; healing wounds; and treating disorders, beside several other benefits. · Medicinal Herbal Extracts : Bhoomi offer herbal extracts that are extracted from roots, leaves and other parts of the herbal plant. “While processing we ensure that the medicinal properties of the herbs do not get destroyed. This is made certain by combining ancient methodology with the modern technology in the most efficient manner,” avers Mr. Balakrishnan. Some of the herbal extracts that Bhoomi processes and supplies are: • Ashwagandha • Amla • Guggal •Gymnema • Veleriana • Basil • G i n g e r • S e n n a • Garcinia · Nutraceuticals : The company supplies a range of nutraceutical extracts and isolates that are beneficial components of plant materials. They use non-chlorinated solvents that have minimal residues of extraction solvents, heavy metals, and microbials. Bhoomi specializes in curcumin powder, ginger exratacts, piperine, and capsaicin. Production The company is into contract farming and also buys essential oils from farmers/ distillers in the cultivation belt across the country. “The initial steam distillation of oil is done at the production centres and we buy the same which is in crude form. The crude oil is then filtered and blended in such a manner to obtain the exact specification of the buyer at our facility in Cochin. This is then exported,” says Mr. Balakrishnan, adding, “We have regular contact programme with our buyers and based on their input we get to know the quantities to be supplied in advance, which in turn becomes our estimation of production.” Further speaking about the challenges associated with production, he says,

“Quality consistency is a challenge. We have good network of farmers/distillers from whom we buy the essential oils. Here we check the quality before we buy and also educate the farmers in producing and supplying the right quality.” He maintains the shelf life of the product is 1 year under defined storage conditions. When asked about competition, Mr. Balakrishnan says, “We strive and give special focus to customer specification and requirements coupled with consistency in quality of products and service. This always gives us an edge in the market to win our race.” Future Plans Speaking about their future plans, Mr. Blakrishnan says, “The plan is to make the

company into a Rs.100 crores company in the next 5 years. We also wish to take up large scale contract farming for spices to be a “top class” supplier of spices to the international market. We want to venture into more partnership with actual users in international market to develop higher value addition on herbs in India.” He adds, “Dedicated service, high quality products, transparency in our activities and communication and special focused products to meet the expectation of the users in the market have all given us the platform to move forward.” Our Correspondent For more information, contact : G.A.Balakrishnan, Managing Director, Bhoomi Natural Products and Exports Pvt Ltd, 38/2455, Sahakarana Road, Elamkulam, Cochin - 682017 Kerala, India

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Agri-Business Course

Vaikunth Mehta National Institute of Cooperative Management Conducts a nine months diploma programme for the officers working in the co-operative sector

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aikunth Mehta National Institute of Cooperative M a n a g e m e n t (VAMNICOM) was started as a co-operative training college in 1947. It was set up with the objective of training senior personnel in the co-operative institutions/departments, conduct fundamental/applied research and provide consultancy services, organize courses in business management and train the youth on various facets of management. VAMNICOM is headquartered in Pune. “It is conceived as an intellectual nerve centre for the co-operative movement and has been functioning as the apex management training institute for over 50 years, catering to the management development, training, research and consultancy needs of various cooperative organizations, government departments and other national bodies,” says Dr. Dinesh, Director, VAMNICOM. Dr. Dinesh has M.Sc. and Ph.D degrees from Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi and MBA from Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi. He currently also holds the position of chief executive, National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI), New Delhi and director general, National Council for Cooperative Training, New Delhi. Main Activities VAMNICOM conducts a nine months diploma programme for the officers working in the co-operative sector. It is a flagship programme of VAMNICOM and has been

funded by Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. The programme has been running for the last 45 years and the 45th batch is in the current session. To cater to the needs of agri business sector of our economy, the Post Graduate Diploma in Management - Agri Business Management was started in 1993, which has been approved by the AICTE and Association of Indian Universities as equivalent to MBA degree. “Our Institute is one of the recognized research centres of Pune University and 27 scholars including few foreign nationals are pursuing their doctoral programme. The Institute has undertaken more than 30 scheme evaluation studies and research projects for NCDC and various state and central government departments. The Institute has given consultancy to more than 50 cooperative banks on their computerization. Currently, the Institute is organizing NABARD training programmes

Dr. Dinesh

for co-operative Banks in addition to regular management development programmes. Almost all of the faculty members have the international exposure,” says Dr. Dinesh. Agri Business Course “The PGDM – ABM programme has been structured to meet the needs of the agro based industries,” says Dr. Dinesh. The first year programme is focused on general management and the second year subjects are relating to the sectoral specialization. The subjects like agri input marketing, procurement and warehouse management, risk management and derivatives, agro processing management, export documentation, rural marketing, product and brand management and retailing management are offered in the Agri Business Management course. In addition to the compulsory papers, the optional courses like mergers and acquisitions, taxation, and advanced financial management are offered in sixth term. Students are required to prepare business plan as a part of their Entrepreneurship Management of agri projects subject. “The course curriculum is delivered in most effective manner and the students are exposed to the skill acquirement in all aspects of business for working as a professional/ entrepreneur,” maintains Dr. Dinesh. Dr. Dinesh believes that PGDM – ABM programme would make the students better managers, entrepreneur as well as leaders. “The students here learn to combine the use of technical and managerial skills with the understanding of the socio-cultural system to emerge as leaders in their fields and make significant contribution through management to all the sectors of the society,” he adds. Course Fee The fee for the two years is Rs.4,20,000 including hostel charges excluding boarding charges. The fee is required to be paid termwise. “Being a grantee institution of Department of Co-operation, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, the fee structure has been made very competitive as compared to the other similar institutions offering the programme,” says Dr. Dinesh. The NCUI, New Delhi offers fellowship of Rs. 30,000 each to 12 students on the basis of economic criteria and performance in the examination. Also the IFFCO New Delhi awards scholarship of Rs. 15,000 each to four SC and two ST candidates based on the performance of the students in the examination. The Institute receives grantin- aid from the Ministry of Agriculture, government of India.

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Agri-Business Course Campus Placement Dr. Dinesh maintains that the campus placement of the students has been 100% from the beginning. “Most of the students are placed before completing their programme. At present, our students are placed in reputed corporate entities in agri input, micro finance, banking and retail sectors. Some of the companies for campus placements during the past couple of years are Monsanto, Godrej Agrovet, Mahyco,, Sungro Seeds, ICICI Bank Aditya Birla Retails, Future Group Axis Bank and Yes Bank,” he informs. He says, “There is huge potential of employment in the agricultural business sector especially in corporate firms which are involved in production and distribution of seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, farm equipments, and in food processing sector like fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fishery, diary apiculture and sericulture and other booming sectors like organic farming, bio fertilizer, retail sectors, agri banking, and bio fuel sector.” Adding, “In addition to this, students may opt for career in academic field, agricultural consultancy, agriculture journalism and high-tech farming etc. They can also being self employed by converting their farming in to a profitable venture. Students Placement Committee works in consultation with the programme director and placement director. The committee works in close interface with industries and corporate sector. Students go for placement presentations all over India along with placement brochure during September before the commencement of campus recruitment. The agri based industry has appreciated the value of our programme. “Most of the organizations recruiting the students are our regular recruiters and they are keen to recruit our students. Industry acceptance is reflected in consistent placement record as well as B – School Ranking. The programme is rated one among the top five institutions offering ABM programme. Recently, the Institute has been honored with 19th BSA & Dewang Mehta B School Leadership Award – 2011,” avers Dr. Dinesh. “We are offering Risk Management and Derivatives subject with the academic support of Multi Commodities Exchange (MCX). In addition to all we are able to maintain consistent 100 per cent placement record,” he adds. Course Benefits When asked about benefits to the students, Dr. Dinesh says, “The students doing the PGDM- ABM programme get value for their money. The input we provide to the students

is updated and relevant course curriculum which fulfills the needs of the industry. This reflects in terms of better placement of the students through campus recruitment as well as the increase in the number of applicants for this programme. We also get feedback from the employers regarding their performance and career progression.” Internship

internship. International Collaboration VAMNICOM collaborates with various international agencies / organisations like the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), International Labour Organisation (ILO), Food & Agricultural Organisation, (FAO) and NICD Srilanka, Cooperative College of Malaysia. The Institute conducts

Students are required to undertake summer internship at the end of the first year and during the second year they are required to undertake project course focusing on the theory they had learned and apply in the practical side. In this regard they are required to collect the information from various organizations. Exchange Programme VAMNICOM has entered an MoU with National Institute of Co-operative Development, Sri Lanka for conducting collaborative management development programmes, research and students exchange programme. Under this agreement, in addition to the conduct of collaborative management education programmes, the Institute is deputing three to four students from its PGDM programme to Sri Lanka every year for undertaking summer

exchange programmes in collaboration with the Department of International Technical and Economic Co-operation (ITEC), Ministry of External Affairs and offers training programmes for senior executives from co-operatives in developing countries. The Institute has also been an active promoter in the establishment for the Centre for International Co-operation and Training in Agricultural Banking (CICTAB) which is engaged in imparting training in the field of agricultural / rural banking to professionals from SAARC countries. PGDCBM (Cooperative Management) VAMNICOM through its Centre for Cooperative Management conducts Post Graduate Diploma in Co-operative Business Management (PGDCBM) for the in-service personnel working with cooperative institutions / departments in order to ensure skill upgradation. Scholars from Asia and Africa also join this programme under various international schemes of training. PGDCBM is recognized by the government of India. The various organisations such as NCDC, NAFED, NCARDF, Sugar Federation and NCUI have instituted fellowships for the participants of PGDCBM programme. Services Offered The Institute provides the following services besides the long duration PGDCBM and

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Agri-Business Course

PGDM courses: 1. Training : · VAMNICOM’s Centre for Management Development Programmes conducts around hundred short duration executive / management development programmes for senior / top level officials / non-officials of the co-operative sector. · Orientation training programmes are also organized for sponsored officers from the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), the Indian Forest Services (IFS) and the chairman and managing directors of national level cooperative organisations like the National Co-operative Development Corporation (NCDC), Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited (IFFCO), Krishak Bharati Co-operative Limited (KRIBHCO) and apex level co-operative banks and other cooperative institutions and NGOs. · The Institute also conducts training programmes on request from user organisations to fulfill their training needs. It undertakes sponsored need based programmes and on the spot programmes either on its own or through collaborative arrangements. · Programmes in collaboration with International organizations (National Institute of Cooperative Development (NICD), Sri Lanka, Cooperative College of Malaysia (CCM), Malaysia etc.) are also organized. 2. Research : This Institute’s Centre for Research, Consultancy and Publication undertakes various research projects which serves as background material for policy level decisions. This is also a recognized centre for conducting research leading to the award of doctorate degrees of University of Pune in various disciplines of economics, management and commerce. Research projects are undertaken for Ministries & Departments of Central and State Governments in areas of: · Agri-Business Management

· Rural Cooperatives (credit, dairy, horticulture, sugar, spinning, handicrafts, handlooms, etc.), · Integrated Cooperative Development Project · Tribal Women · Gender Integration · Animal Husbandry Economics · Entrepreneurship · Self Help Groups · Micro-finance · Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) · Support to Training and Employment Programme (STEP) 3. Consultancy : The Institute provides consultancy in various areas of management to the user organizations through its Action Research Programme. The Department of Women & Child Development, Ministry of Human Resource Development, government of India has recognized the Institute as a Consultant for evaluating the Women Dairy Projects. The studies were conducted in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa, Bihar & Rajasthan. Extensive projects were undertaken for various other Ministries, Cooperative Institutions, State Governments, etc. · Computer Consultancy : Centre for Information Technology offers computer consultancy services to various cooperative organizations like Cooperative Banks

(Urban Cooperative Banks, State Cooperative Banks, District Central Cooperative Banks), Sugar Cooperatives and Milk Cooperatives, besides others more than a decade in the areas of: · Solutions for total computerization of Head Office and Units · Evaluation of existing computerization and guidelines for future computerization · Evaluation of Hardware, Software and upgradation to latest technology · Networking and Connectivity · Activity specific consultancy services are rendered for · Systems Audit · Total Bank Automation (TBA) implementation · Core Banking implementation · IT Security · Systems Audit · IT Policy · Human Resource Management Consultancy Consultancy assignments related to Human Resource Management in cooperatives (conducting recruitment exams for various levels of staff) are undertaken by the Institute Our Correspondent For more information, contact : Dr. Dinesh, Director, Vaikunth Mehta National Institute of Cooperative Management, Ganeshkhind Road, Near Pune University,Pune - 411 007

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Tea

Aroma Tea International Specialises in Assam Tea. Located in Jorhat, Assam

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roma Tea International was established in 1990. The company has its head office in Jorhat, Assam and is headed by Mr. Abidur Rahman, M.D. and Ms. Asma Rahman, director, looks after the branch office in Pune. The company supplies Assam tea, spices, aromatic oil, fruits and rice. Mr. Abidur is a graduate from Symbiosis Institute, Pune, and has 10 years of work experience. Ms. Asma Rahman too is a graduate from Symbiosis Institute, Pune and a PG in communication and media studies. She handles communication with clients and prospects and looks after local and overseas business development from Pune and Mumbai. The Pune office oversees the production, quality, the local and export market. “We have our own tea gardens in Assam situated in the tea belt of Assam. We also have spice cultivation in different parts of North East, where we have taken up land on lease,” avers Mr. Abidur. Assam Tea : Assam tea is the world’s most produced tea. It is an Indian black tea produced in the Assam region in Northern India. Most of the tea is grown along the Brahmaputra River. The Assam region is the world’s largest tea growing area. Assam tea is known for its malty, full-bodied, robust flavor and strong bright color. There is also a sweet fruity taste to the tea. Assam Tea has distinctive brown and gold leaves which appear orange when dried. Varieties of Assam Tea: There are three varieties of Assam tea, depending on when it is harvested.

• Assam tea that is picked from March to May is known as first flush. March is when the Assam tea bushes begin to grow. First flush Assam tea is known for its strong fresh flavor. • First flush Assam tea is the lightest of the varieties. • Second flush Assam tea is picked from June, with the main production taking place between July and September. Second flush Assam tea has a strong, creamy and malty taste and is a dark-red color. Some second flush Assam tea may also have a spicy tinge to its taste. Generally it is sweeter in taste than first flush Assam tea, and is preferred by importers in Europe and North America. Second-flush Assam tea is also the most abundant of the varieties as it is harvested during the monsoon season. “The first flush has a rich, hearty, fullbodied flavor and aroma. The second flush produces the famous “tippy” teas (black tea with golden tips). The golden tip lessens the astringent characteristics of the tea,” avers Mr. Abidur. • Assam tea harvested from October to early December is known as the winter harvest (despite the harvest time being in autumn) or end-season harvest. Assam tea may come as full leaf, broken leaf with golden tips. Range of Teas : The different varieties of teas offered by Aroma Tea include: • Black Tea (C.T.C): This tea is hand harvested, and crafted using the CTC method of production - a style of tea making that was invented in Assam, especially for Assamese teas. “The manufacturing process CTC (Crush, Tear & Curl) creates tea leaves that impart a stronger infusion; dark red color in the cup. Most tea bags of black tea contain the smaller grades of Assam CTC tea. Assam produces the best quality CTC tea in the world,” says Mr. Abidur. • Orthodox Tea: Most teas found in the west are Orthodox teas, which have the appearance of a leaf either whole or broken and are distinctly different from CTC teas which tend to be in the form of round globules. Orthodox processing is done either by machines or by hand. Hand processing is used for high quality teas.

While the methods employed in orthodox processing differ by tea type, this style of processing results in the high quality loose tea sought by many connoisseurs. • Assam Green Tea: Green Tea is believed to boost the immune system. It is said to possess antibacterial, antiviral and ant carcinogenic properties. Green Tea is also rich in fluoride and may reduce tooth decay and appears to have the capacity to reduce periodontitis and minimize bad breath. “We have both organic and inorganic cultivation,” says Mr. Abidur. “We use organic manure, especially vermicompost. The main requirement of growing healthy spice plants is timely use of vermicompost,” he adds. Processing : Aroma Tea deals in 2 types of processing: 1) Fermenting and non-Fermenting 2) Hand made “We process mainly C.T.C and orthodox tea in our factory by fermenting leaves from

Abidur Rahman own garden through organic / inorganic process,” informs Mr. Abidur. Black teas are processed in either of two ways, CTC (Crush, Tear, and Curl) or orthodox. The CTC method is used for lower quality leaves that end up in tea bags and are processed by machines. This method is efficient and effective for producing a better quality product from medium and lower quality leaves. Orthodox processing is done either by machines or by hand. Hand processing is used for high quality teas. “While the methods employed in orthodox processing differ by tea type. This style of processing results in the high quality loose tea sought by many connoisseurs,” avers Mr. Abidur. Orthodox and CTC are the two principal types of black teas. Processing technique of orthodox and CTC

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Cold Storage teas differ considerably. In orthodox process shoots are withered, rolled, oxidized and dried whereas in CTC process shoots are withered, rotor vane/CTC, oxidized and dried. In orthodox process of manufacture maceration or disruption of the leaf cell is carried in a rolling table. During rolling, the juice from the leaf comes out and the leaf is also twisted and broken into smaller particles. “We prepare green tea without machine. It’s a complete handmade process. Ours is a well-known handmade green tea from our own organic tea garden. We maintain strict measures to produce best quality tea, both in garden as well as factory,” says Abidur. Aromatic Oil : The company has got its own aromatic plantation from where they source the raw materials. “Generally the shelf life of our oil product varies from 6 months to 1 year. But normally our stock gets sold out within 60 days due to good market demand,” maintains Mr. Abidur. Fruits : For fruits too the company has its own as well as lease orchards spread over the Northeastern region. “We market our orchard products directly to the buyer in fresh form without using chemicals,” says Mr. Abidur. Exports : Aroma Tea exports its products to South East Asia, UK and parts of Europe, and Middle East. Future Plans : Speaking about their future plans, Mr. Abidur says, “We want to reach the untapped market both nationally and globally. Also we want to grow our national market through the local buyers and dealers. Eventually we would focus more on growing the exports share. At present we have 20 employees excluding the laborers who are hired on a contract basis.” Our Correspondent For more information, contact : Mr. Abidur Rahman, Managing Director, Aroma Tea International Co. C/O: Abidur Rahman Manufacture & Exporter Of Assam Tea, J.B Road, Jorhat, Assam - 785001, India Mobile: 095084 12837 Email: aromateaint@gmail.com

Therm Chem Preservations Engaged in setting up cold storages. Located in Chennai

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he company specializes in controlled atmospheric cold storages since 1997. The company is located in Chennai. Mr. G. Shivkumar is the director of the company. “We have made several installations using various cold storage technology to suit Indian conditions including: use of sandwich panels for normal cold storages, high rise multi floor; all steel rack supported cold stores; drive-in cold stores and controlled atmospheric cold stores,” says Mr. Shivakumar. “Some of the products successfully stored by us include: apples, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, tomato, acid lime, sweet lime, chrysanthemums, roses and mango,” he adds. Explaining the requirement for cold storages, Mr. Shivkumar says, “All fruits and vegetables breathe. They take in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide, produce ethylene and perish. Some of the products require only temperature reduction for retarding the breathing. But most products in a tropical county like ours are not storable with significant value addition unless the breathing of the produce is controlled by reducing the oxygen level. Whatever ethylene is produced in the storage cells are removed using catalytic converters. Some of the products successfully stored by us include: apples, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, tomato, acid lime, sweet lime, chrysanthemums, roses and mango.” Technology Specifications The specifications of a controlled atmospheric (CA) cold storage are vastly

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different from a normal cold storage. A controlled atmospheric cold storage needs: • Temperature reduction with minimal weight loss. The relative humidity inside st orage cells should be above 95%. • The storage cells should be hermetically tight • There should be gas control and monitoring systems in addition to temperature reduction. • The refrigeration system capacities are about 3 times higher than a normal cold store. The cost of setting up a 5000 M.T CA store as per norms is Rs. 16 crores and National Horticultural Board gives a credit linked back ended subsidy up to Rs. 6.40 crores, informs Mr. Shivkumar. Advantages of CA Cold Storages Speaking about the advantages of CA cold storage, Mr. Shivakumar says, “Most horticultural crops have a higher price during off-season. In fact during season the prices of produce like tomato are so low that the cost of growing and plucking is lower than the season’s selling price. CA helps to stagger the supply situation beyond the harvest season. The grower is able to get better returns due to sale of produce during off season.” When asked about the reason behind India lagging behind constructing cold storages, Mr. Shivakumar says, “There is awareness for this type of storage systems in India. But CA cold stores are highly capital intensive. The grower is not in a position to raise capital or get finance for the project. He is already struggling to get better price of the season for the toil; interest costs are higher; and bank norms for loans,

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Cold Storage

cumbersome license procedures, and clearances make it more difficult.” He adds, “On our part we induce corporate houses to invest in cold storages, since government of India has declared this as an infrastructure industry and create a cold chain which can help the small and marginal farmers.” Cold Storages in India In north India cold storages are predominantly used for storing potatoes. In South India, most of them store tamarind and red chillies. A few cold storages also exist for short term storage of fruits. “We have been conscientiously working to establish the protocol for Indian fruits and vegetables in the absence of established protocol so far in India. The results are successful and encouraging. We have on hand projects which we propose to implement in the next couple of years. Once results are known, more business minded investors will venture into the project,” says Mr. Shivakumar. Expenses Mr. Shivakumar says it is not expensive to use it. The major expense is power. “With power tariff going up also as well as diesel prices going up, the cost of storage per kg per month is around 15 to 20 paise per kg of produce stored. This is insignificant as compared to value addition between season and off-season. But, there is a need to look at lesser interest rate for such projects,” he adds. Technical Tie Up “We are a consulting firm with 10 employees with us,” avers Mr. Shivakumar. TCP has a technical tie up with Fruit Control Equipments, Italy for the CA equipment. “Fruit Control Equipments has over 1000 successful CA installations all over the world including more than 100 installations in China,” he maintains. Some of their projects in India include:

• 136 C.A rooms for apples for Adani Agri Fresh in India • 10 cells with low ethylene at Calcutta • 8 cells with low ethylene in Punjab • 44 ULO rooms for 17.200 tons of apples, all with single CO2 absorbers • 67 storage rooms for 25000 tons of apples in ULO-CA-LECA • Total capacity of 20,000 ton of which 6000 ton in refrigerated chambers and 2000 ton in ULO for pears. • 36 ULO rooms for 1100 tons of apples. • “Firenze 1000” stell cabinet for LECA applications • “Octapus 600”:special Swinghterm unit for 6 cabinets for LE applications • “Venezia 200” plastic cabinet for LECA applications “Italian fruit growers, mostly in cooperative sector, developed quickly in early

sixties, obtaining provincial, regional, state and later European financing for construction of new CA stores, updating them every 5-10 years. This is the main reason why the CA technology in Italy is in advanced stage. Experiments are being carried out in most research centers in Italy to perfect the new technologies that correspond to the needs of fresh vegetables,” says Mr. Shivakumar. He adds, “FCE together with Bonomi has been the first firm that introduced into the Italian market nitrogen generators using hollow fiber technology and single CO2 absorbers, solving many practical problems of the centralized units with high energy costs, vacuum problems, distribution and dysfunctions. FCE made a significant contribution by greatly simplifying the installations, gas regulations and air recirculation inside the rooms, thereby reducing technical service costs and energy consumption.” Storage of Cereals & Pulses

The latest technology adopted abroad for storage of rice, wheat, pulses, seed stock including maize, dried tobacco, legumes such as beans, soya, ground nuts , dried fruits like prunes, sultana & nuts, green coffee, cocoa, and dried products for herbals in under nitrogen atmosphere. This new process eliminates usage of toxic chemicals. “Nitrogen is now available as Agrogas at only a fraction of the cost of merchant nitrogen,” informs Mr. Shivakumar, adding, “We have a lot of data on storage protocol but, the same is being tested and checked and fine-tuned for Indian conditions. The storage is not limited to the CA unit but right from the farm level.” Future Plans Speaking about their future plans, Mr. Shivakumar says, “We have been conscientiously working to establish the protocol for Indian fruits and vegetables in the absence of established protocol so far in India. The results are successful and encouraging. We have on hand projects which we propose to implement in the next couple of years. Once results are known more and more business minded investors would venture into this project.” Adding, “The protocol for establishing storage for produce like drumstick and garlic is underway and will be completed by early 2012.” Mr. Shivakumar is an engineer by qualification. He has been in the field of controlled atmosphere cold storages since 1997. Our Correspondent For more information, contact : Mr. G. Shivkumar, Director THERM CHEM PRESERVATIONS P LTD, "DWARAKA FLATS " 77/5, Collector

Agriculture & Industry Suvey Copies available at : Patna : Mr.Ajay Dhubey Tel : 0-9470610429 Khanpur : Vidhi News Agency Tel : 0-9998361692 Ahmedabad : Mr.Pinesh Tel : 0-9727525414 Mumbai : Dasarath Patankar Tel : 0-22814789 Chattisgarh : Mukund News Agency, Tel : 0771-225851

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Commodity Trading

Welingkar Institute Offers a diploma in commodity trading. Duration of the course is three and half months. The course is held on weekends only

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rof. A. G. Mendhi, along with Group Director Prof. Dr. Uday Salunkhe, has been instrumental in introducing the course Diploma in Commodity Trading (DICM) in Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research. Prof. Mendhi is the Head of Department for courses on commodities market. Prof. Mendhi is an electronics and telecommunication engineer from V. R. C. E. (now VNIT) and M. M. S. from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai. He has 34 years work experience mainly in management consultancy. Prof. Mendhi has been with Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research as a core faculty for the last four years. Course Objective The institute conducted a limited study to explore the potential for such a course and came to the conclusion that the knowledge of derivatives trade in the country particularly in the context of commodities trade was limited. “It was felt that we should introduce not only a part time course but also an elective for our regular PGDM (MBA) students. As a result, we are now offering this subject as an elective for our full time PGDM students, who specialize in finance,” says Prof. Mendhi, adding, He adds, “Contents of the elective course were designed by me after studying the contents of similar courses in leading universities abroad (mainly in USA). We have also included commodity markets as a part of curriculum for our course in Agri Business Management course.” The main goal of introducing these courses was to create awareness among the students about the price discovery and risk management functions of commodity markets apart from the lucrative alternative that it offers for diversification of one’s investment to earn higher returns. Eligibility The eligibility for the course is graduation in any discipline. “We also give admission to diploma holders in exceptional cases if they have substantial experience in the field

of capital or commodity markets. Such admissions are however based on personal interviews,” informs Prof. Mendhi. He further says, “The students opting for DICM course come with diverse backgrounds. They include graduates of different disciplines; employees with substantial experience, who are already analysts or investors in stock market, who join to sharpen their existing skills; and employees with treasury departments of banks and financial institutions, besides others. A small number also have agriculture background.” He maintains the response for the DICM course has been overwhelming. Course Content The duration of the course is three and half months. The course is held on weekends only. It trains the students in various aspects of commodity trading. “Besides the basics of derivatives and their trading aspects, we train them for trading in other derivatives including options which are more popular instruments abroad and are also likely to be permitted in the country in near future. Strategies using futures and options are taught so that they could be used in practice for speculative gains as well as for hedging risks arising from

Prof. A. G. Mendhi

volatility in prices of commodities. Surveillance mechanism of the exchanges, their operating aspects and rules and regulations framed by the regulator FMC form a part of this course,” says Prof. Mendhi. He adds, “Sessions on technical analysis include demonstration of software packages for technical analysis. Fundamental analysis of selected commodities (two agro commodities and at least one each from three other classes viz., base metals, precious metals and energy products) is covered with emphasis on risk management. Practical aspects of online trading are demonstrated by mock trading sessions organized with the help of commodity exchanges. Case studies in the field of risk management and a bonus of two sessions on currency markets also form a part of the course. Totally about 10 to 12 sessions are conducted to cover these aspects of commodity futures trading: fundamental analysis - 5, case studies -3, mock trading and market operations - 3 and currency trading - 2.” Job Opportunities When asked about job opportunities on completion of the course, Prof. Mendhi says, “This is a part time course and most of the students joining the course are already working in various organizations. However, we form yahoo group of the students of various batches and keep them informed about the potential employers who are interested in recruiting. This obviously depends on the enquiries by potential employers with us.” Further speaking about future potential, he says, “I personally feel that India can emerge as one of the biggest hubs for

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Coir commodity derivatives trading in the world, especially in agro commodities, since it is one of the largest consumer or producer in case of many commodities. Despite the current restrictions and the fact that only futures are allowed to be traded in India, the trade on commodity exchanges in the country has witnessed spectacular growth.” Individual Traits When asked about prerequisites in an individual to be successful in commodity trading, Prof. Mendhi says, “They need clarity of goal whether they are you in the market for speculative gains or for hedging; analytical and disciplined mind and risk tolerating capacity for speculators.” He adds, “Risk management is one of the most important functions of trade in commodity derivatives. We teach specific strategies that can be used as hedging strategies when the volatility in prices is likely to have an adverse impact on the operations of a participant or corporate entity’s profits be it the producer, user or trader of commodities. These examples typically cite the cases of farmers, traders, producers and users of various commodities and how they could hedge their risks. These examples come very handy when students are actually exposed to real life situations.” Prof. Mendhi suggests the course to students of agriculture who are planning a career in agriculture and Individuals who wish to make a career in wealth or portfolio management, treasury departments of banks or in large corporate entities dealing with commodities as producers or users. Our Correspondent For more information, contact : Prof. Anil Mendhi D 802, Great Eastern Gardens, L. B. S. Marg, Kanjur Marg (West) MUMBAI - 400078. Email - agmendhi@yahoo.co.in

Agriculture & Industry Suvey

Copies available at : Cochin Pai & Company Tel : 0484-4030102/2382412

Techno Exports Engaged in the export of curled coir and coir fibre. Located at Pattanakkad, in Alleppey district, Kerala

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t is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company. The other products the company exports include coir mats, rubber moulded mats, PVC tufted mats, jute rugs, grow bags, coco pith briquettes, and centrifuged natural latex. “We are one of the pioneers of export of coconut fibre in machine twisted form to Russia, Germany for specific application in production of car seats,” maintains Mr. C.S. Suresh, managing partner. Manufacturing Unit : The manufacturing unit is located at Pattanakkad, in Alleppey district, Kerala. The company is also setting up another factory at Pollachi in Tamil Nadu for the production of curled coir and fibre. “In our units we produce about 50% of the goods marketed by us every year. We have 65 direct employees in the factories,” says Mr. Suresh. The company clocks an annual turnover of around Rs. 25 crores. Procurement of Raw Materials The company procures the raw materials from local market and from nearby states:

Alleppey S.P.Pai, Good House Tel : 0477-253909 Calicut Vijay Book Stall T el : 0495-2360783 Kottayam Devi Book Stall Tel : 0481-2822322 Thiruvananthapuram Sree Devi AgenciesTel : 0471-2330936

C.S. Suresh

Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. “We also purchase raw materials from Sri Lanka,” adds Mr. Suresh. Door Mats : The company exports door mats of various specifications and sizes made using coir, rubber, polypropelene. “We had developed special outdoor mats for winter and sold large quantities to chain store in USA,” maintains Mr. Suresh. The company does not sell the door mats in the domestic markets. Garden Products :The garden products that the company manufactures are grow bags, coco pith, coco pots, coco disk, plant climber, and coco tray. Coco Pith : Mr. Suresh informs the coco pith products manufactured by the company are mainly in briquette form of various sizes. It manufactures the following coco pith products: grow bags suitable for tomato, cucumber, roses and coco pith briquettes. Industrial Coir : The company markets a particular category of coir for industrial use. “For our achievements we got National Awards for the export of machine twisted coir fibre and rubberized coir,” maintains Mr. Suresh. Machine twisted coir is used in large quantity by the car seat manufactures in Russia, Germany and Portugal. “We are exporting our products to these markets since 1992. The same item is used by the mattress manufactures in India and abroad for making the rubberized coir. We sell industrial coir only to the overseas market.

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Eco-Tourism The technology of making car seats using coir fibre is still not developed in India,” avers Mr. Suresh. Bio Plates & Latex : Bio Plates are manufactured using palm shed leaf. Such plates are totally germ free, hygienic, ecofriendly and suitable for food use and can be easily disposed after use. Latex is an elastic material obtained from the latex sap of rubber plants having various applications. “We do not manufacture bio plates and latex but undertake only trading activities,” says Mr. Suresh. Target Customers : The company exports to Russia, Germany, USA, Czech Republic, China, Uruguay, Brazil, and Switzerland, beside others. Some of the prominent customers of Techno Exports are in USA, Russia and China that include Bacova in USA, Target in USA, Lada Car factory, Russia and Johnson Controls, Germany. Awards : Techno Exports has been selected for Award for Excellence for the export of Machine Twisted Coir Fibre in 1998-99, 1999-00, 2003-2004, 2004-2005, 2005-2006, 2008-2009, 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. In 2008-09, it also bagged National Award for the export of rubberized coir. “We also obtained National Award for best Export Performance among Small Scale Exporters in the year 2010-11,” says Mr. Suresh. Collaboration : Techno Exports has established a private limited company in collaboration with a Russian company Agri Modern for the manufacture of agro based products and its production units are at Pollachi, Tamil Nadu. “Our association with the Russian company will help us expand exporting activities of our various products in that country,” avers Mr. Suresh. Marketing Strategy : As part of its marketing strategy, Mr. Suresh says, “We take part in various exhibitions abroad and exhibit our products in the stalls. Every year the main marketing expenses consist of the foreign travel and space rent for the exhibitions. We also market through internet and having our sites done in Russian and Chinese languages. We have our representative’s office in Moscow and Shenzhen (China).” Future Plans : Speaking about their future plans, Mr. Suresh says, “During last year we entered into the market for supply of coco pith substrates used in green houses. A Russian company, Agri Modern expressed their interest to start a joint

production unit with Techno Exports for grow bags in India. Following are the plans for modernization in production and marketing of coco pith substrates: • A production unit for the manufacturing of one million grow-bags per year will be set up within a year • Coco pith grow bags, 650gm coco pith briquettes, 5 kg briquettes will be produced as per the buyers’ requirements • Set up greenhouses in Kerala to produce vegetables in soilless cultivation. Under the collaboration with Agri Modern, green house construction, supply of grow bags, nutrients for various plants will be the main areas to be

developed. • A new company will be formed in the construction and supply of greenhouses all over the country.” Mr. Suresh is a post graduate in mechanical engineering from Lumuba University, Moscow, Russia. Our Correspondent For more information, contact : Mr. C.S. Suresh, Managing Partner Techno Exports (Fiber Family) 567/PP-VI, Pattanakad P.O, Cherthala, Alappuzha (Dt.), Kerala – 688 531, India. Tel: 0478 2593160 / 0478 2595478 / 0478 2595560 Mob: 094470 36402 www.technoexports.com

Manayath Heritage Residence Engaged in eco-tourism. “We had bought a very old dismantled traditional Kerala house. The pieces of this house had been kept in our premise, in a shed for a long time. In 2005, I decided to restore it and offer it as a guest house.” Says Tomichen M Thomas

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anayath Heritage was established in 2000 by Mr. Tomichen M. Thomas. The farm is located in Chellarkovil, Kerala. It is a certified organic farm. They grow pepper, cardamom, coffee and turmeric as main crops; and clove, nutmeg, and ginger as inter crops. The property offers homestay facilities. “We started with a ‘spice garden tour programme’ in our farm of almost 15 acres. Our family name is Manayath and this is our ancestral property, hence we named our entrepreneurship Manayath Heritage,” says Mr. Thomas, adding, “We had bought a very old dismantled traditional Kerala house. The pieces of this house had been kept in our premise, in a shed for a long time. In 2005, I decided to restore it and offer it as a guest house.” Speaking about the challenges faced, Mr. Thomas says, “At present the farming activities are challenging, particularly in the

face of sharp drop of prices of our produce. I have started eco-tourism just to supplement our income.” Location of the Farm The Cumbum valley in Tamil Nadu forms the backdrop of the property. Opposite to the valley are rows of hills of the Western Ghats which borders the Periyar Tiger Reserve. The Mangala Devi hill is across the valley. There is also a seasonal waterfall close to the property. The Periyar Tiger Reserve and Thekkady is 15 kms from the farm. Occupancy The farm has had an average occupancy rate of an estimated 100 days in a year. “I have only 3 bed rooms; 2 bed rooms in my traditional Kerala house and another one in the nearby Honeymoon cottage. Our maximum bookings come from November to March, mostly from Europeans,” informs Mr. Thomas. Marketing Strategies The company mainly depends on worthof-mouth and its website for publicity.

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Eco-Tourism “One can find me through department of tourism, government of Kerala as an accredited home stay. We got good recommendations in the popular French Guide Book- Guide du Routard and in the Lonely Planet’s French version. The positive reviews in the travel portal Tripadvisor is also helping our guests in finding us,” maintains Mr. Thomas When asked about competition, Mr. Thomas says, “In our village, we don’t face imminent competition because many factors are favourable to us. If I sustain like this and add one more accommodation option in my premise, I shall be equipped to cope with competition in future.” Speaking about the advantages of homestay, he says, “Homestay offers personalized hospitality to international and domestic tourists who are weary of the usual hotel stay. This gives them a unique opportunity to experience the nature and culture.” Eco-Tourism Mr. Thomas maintains, Chellarkovil ecotourism project has been implemented according to the ecotourism concepts accepted worldwide. “It is nature based, ecologically sustainable, imparts education and benefits local people economically. It is managed by the forest department, government of Kerala under its ‘participatory forest management’ programme.” The project is aimed to benefit close to 1000 families in an area of 750 hectares in the village for afforestation, nature awareness and environment protection activities. The income generated through community eco-tourism programmes are utilized for the afforestation, environment protection and for the benefit of local farming community. The ecotourism activities are held at Chellarkovil Ecotourism Community. This land is vested with the forest department, government of Kerala. The facilities include a number of huts, a watch tower, path ways, a demo garden (herbarium of medicinal plants), a tourist amenity centre and an ecoshop. The demo garden has ayurvedic/ medicinal plants and herbs displayed with self-explanatory label placards. Almost 200 endemic plants species are showcased in the demo garden. Visitors can purchase local products either produced by the villagers or sourced from other eco development committees in the eco-shop. The products include forest honey; spices like pepper, cardamom, clove, nutmeg, vanilla, ginger, turmeric, aromatic turmeric

and vettiver; homemade products from women Self Help Groups(SHGs); local fruits; and fruit preserves like passion fruit squash/wine, papaya jam, and pineapple jam. “Chellarkovil eco-tourism has initiated another movement called carbon neutralisation program with the participation of the local farming community, facilitating people, especially our touring guests to participate in it by adopting a tree in the village,” avers Mr. Thomas. There are 10 people working in Manayath. “The homestay activities are managed by me, my wife and our two daughters who are students. Two people have been trained in the housekeeping activities,” avers Mr. Thomas Advising on eco-tourism, Mr. Thomas says, “The future of tourism will be ecotourism. In matters of development and operation, our first purpose has been to stay true to the environment, not to provide opulence and gadget-based luxuries. At Manayath Heritage home stay, we have created a variety of ways in which you can get involved. And as you do, we ask you to treat the environment with respect.” He adds, “I would like to promote the Chellarkovil ecotourism further. I want to see my village to sustain in agriculture and

make use of tourism to supplement their agricultural income. People will like to buy the produce of farmers right from its source.” Mr. Thomas further maintains that the scope of ecotourism is immense in future. He says, “In a small state like Kerala where land is very expensive, the scope for big industry is not feasible and viable. Being in the Western Ghats, the bio diversity is vast. With our invaluable natural resources we can thoughtfully work with it and promote tourism in a big way. People, especially our touring guests, would like to eat fresh, possibly from our homestead. So if we take little effort in organic farming we can provide them with good food. In this process our family too will join in ‘good eating’ practices without the contamination by toxins and pesticides.” Mr. Thomas is a Physics graduate. Our Correspondent For more information, contact : Mr.Tomichen M.Thomas,(proprietor) Manayath Heritage. Chellarkovil P.O. Kumily via, Idukki district. Kerala, S.India. Tel :+91 4868 282579 Cel :+91 9447614156 Email : manayathheritage@gmail.com manayathheritage@yahoo.co.in

Buyers, Sellers & Experts in agriculture

available at www.agricultureinformation.com India’s leading agriculture portal! 35 - Vol. 22, Issue 2 - 2012 - Agriculture

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Agri Machinery

CropCam Mini agriculture plane that helps manage crops, fields or any part of agricultural operations. Company based in Stony Mountain, Manitoba, Canada

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he CropCam is a mini agriculture plane that helps manage crops, fields or any part of agricultural operation by providing high resolution GPS based digital images for precision agriculture. The CropCam includes a miniature autopilot, camera, GPS and software to provide images on demand.It is an ISO 9001 certified company based in Stony Mountain, Manitoba, Canada. The CropCam offers images on demand and is a less expensive alternative to satellite or flying an airplane over a field. It can provide images for agriculture, forestry, oil & gas, surveys, mapping, land management drainage, environmental, and a multitude of other uses. The CropCam is a radio control (RC) glider plane equipped with a Pentax digital camera, controlled by an autopilot, along with pre-programmed ground control software. Available in electric, the CropCam will also work with a RC transmitter for manual control of the plane. It is priced at $7,000 USD. The CropCam utilizes an autopilot for navigation and control of the camera. The rest of the RC parts like wings, servos, propellers and glow fuel or batteries are purchased locally, making the parts accessible worldwide. The CropCam lends itself easily to the establishment of a Reseller System due to ease of use, minimal training required, and locally available RC parts. The company is seeking CropCam

resellers worldwide and has a Reseller Program. Functioning of CropCam The CropCam is a radio controlled model glider plane equipped with a Trimble GPS, a miniature autopilot and Pentax digital camera. Hand launched and automatic from takeoff to landing, the CropCam provides high resolution GPS based images on demand. The CropCam weighs 6 pounds. The farmer can stand at one corner of his field and hand launch the CropCam plane. The miniature autopilot and Trimble GPS, does the rest of navigating in a pattern over the field. Both the CropCam and the camera perform automatically to take GPS based digital imagery. After the flight the CropCam will land in the spot it started from. For further analysis, one can choose and zoom in on each image separately. Each individual image is GPS based with latitude, longitude and altitude. Finally, the CropCam Image Software allows one to export images in TIFF format with associated World files (.tfw) for use with other Geo reference software. Benefits

CropCam helps precision agriculture. In addition to GPS mapping, auto steer and variable rate spray, GPS aerial images are being used for crop analysis such as plague scouting, disease scouting and plant development. The CropCam provides GPS based digital images on demand throughout the growing season. The images obtained through the CropCam will allow producers to detect, locate and better assess the actions required to correct the problem. It can fly to an altitude ranging from 400 2200 feet, which can be adjusted to meet regulation or application. CropCam flies for a duration of 55 minutes. Images acquired at 2100 feet above ground have a spatial resolution of approximately 15 cm. However, increased spatial resolution can be achieved by simply programming the CropCam to fly closer to the ground. Advantages over Satellite Imagery CropCam imagery has a number of advantages over satellite imagery: • It acquires imagery below the cloud canopy allowing for imagery acquisition even on cloudy days. Satellite based systems may go months before the farmer’s area of interest has imagery acquired for it. • Increased temporal resolution means CropCam can be deployed to acquire imagery based on need. Satellite based systems may only acquire imagery every 16 days. • Spatial resolution of 15 cm is 40,000 times better than that of some of the most widely used satellite systems and has 44 times more resolution than the most advanced satellite based systems currently in operation. • Satellite based systems have a lag between when the imagery is acquired and when one can purchase it. With CropCamone will have the imagery within minutes of it landing and within a few hours if more complex image processing is required. Usage CropCam gives timely imagery that allows producers and those who advise them to make more informed decisions which can save money. They can quickly and accurately decide whether or not to spray and where. The producers will have a permanent record of the extent of crop damage. CropCamalsp assists in the identification of crop scout locations and create waypoints that can be loaded on to the farmer’s GPS unit. CropCam canalso be used by forest companies and private land owners to assess their woodlots. This includes specie identification and extent as well as volume calculations.

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NEWS - Latest news and developments Thailand Prime Minister, Ms Yingluck Shinawatra comes visiting India!

Thailand looks to India for closer interaction! India, Thailand likely to sign free trade pact this year

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ndia and Thailand are likely to sign the free trade agreement by the middle of the year, the Prime Minister of Thailand, Ms Yingluck Shinawatra said. Addressing a business conference, the visiting dignitary also pitched for broadening the pact by opening trade in services and investments. The conference has been jointly organised by the CII, FICCI and Assocham. Ms Shinawatra was also keen on forging maritime partnership to develop seaport at Dawei on the south-western coast of Myanmar. She said that the two countries can also cooperate in developing the port infrastructure at Chennai. Ms Shinawatra, who would be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations, said, “My government has decided to invest in transport and connect with our neighbours...we could set up a maritime linkage with Chennai and Dawei seaport in Myanamar.” She expects that the bilateral trade between India and Thailand would double to $14 billion by 2014. The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Mr Anand Sharma, addressing the business meeting stressed that the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor offers excellent opportunities for Thai companies to set up manufacturing facilities.

Food production in India at 241256 million tonnes!

Comfortable food situation? Yes, say agro ministry officials. record food production (241.56 million tonnes) in 2010-11 and expectation of the highest ever (123.95 million tonnes) output in kharif of 201112, the Centre has projected a total output of 245 million tonnes in 2011-12. This, despite the the sown area being lower in wheat, oilseeds, pulses and coarse grains this rabi season. Rabi paddy, though, has improved over last year.

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Agriculture Ministry officials appear satisfied with the progress made in 2011(calendar year). In fact, the Ministry recommended lifting of the ban on export of wheat and rice “in view of the comfortable stock position.” Wheat exports, prohibited since October 2007, have been allowed under Open General Licence since September 2011. Pawar’s view Sharad Pawar’s demand for increasing agricultural investments before enacting the food security bill is reasonable! Government spending in the farm sector has focussed largely on food, fertiliser and power subsidies so far. Only a reallocation of public spending on technology upgradation and extension services, supported by big-ticket private investment in agriculture, can boost productivity to meet food security targets, he feels. With the problem of storage (of wheat and rice) staring the gov-

ernment in the face, some diversification is acceptable to it, especially as the requirement of foodgrains for its mandatory obligation under the National Food Security Bill is still far away. All of this was reflected in the difficulty Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar faced in responding to the Rajya Sabha debate on the agrarian crisis and farmers' suicides. A cornered Minister took refuge in the fact that several issues related to agriculture such as irrigation, power, fertilizers, credit and storage were not within the purview of his Ministry. However, cutting across party lines, Opposition members did not relent until Mr. Pawar came up with the suggestion to form a House committee to study the matter. Indian Agri-Business Incubators

World Bank-funded project, boon to farm entrepreneurs

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asmine growers near Coimbatore are now able to export them to the Gulf and the

US, thanks to the packaging technology that has enhanced the shelf-life of the flowers. At Rajpipla village near Surat, a group of farmers have set up a unit to extract fibre from banana stem, considered a waste and pollutant. The unit generates about 3,000 man-days of employment annually, besides generating a modest profit and compost for the village. These fibre extraction and the packaging technologies are a few of the 44-odd such ideas that were incubated and commercialised by the Network of Indian Agri-Business Incubators (NIABI), under the World Bank-funded National Agriculture Innovation Project (NAIP). Ten incubators or business development units (BDUs) operate under the NIABI across the

Indian agri sector share in GDP dips fast! Says Parthasarathi Shome, Director and Chief Executive of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, New Delhi.

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griculture’s share in GDP has been declining annu ally, even as recently as between 2009-10 and 201011 — from 15 per cent to 14 per cent. Yet, 46 per cent of employment is provided by agriculture. The dips in agriculture at particular points in 2008-09 and 2009-10 were stark, crying out for policy redirection. Second, between the fourth quarter of 2006-07 and the third quarter of 2008-09, industry experienced declining growth rates, then picked up, but started declining again from the fourth quarter of 2009-10 (graph 3). Policy needs to be directed to support industry in the light of a simmering global recession. The investment support that industry and agriculture need has not been forthcoming as GDP grows; while direct subsidies rise despite landing up in unintended hands, government salaries grow irrespective of government productivity, and it has to pay out more in interest costs.

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NEWS - Latest news and developments Financial Times, London reports! FAO Predictions!

by their daily maximum limit to a three-week low of $6.11½ a bushel, down more than 6 per cent. Wheat, which had previously been supported by expectations of low corn stocks, fell 6.4 per cent. “There are a number of indicators that suggest that food inflation is going to abate,” said Richard Feltes at US-brokerage RJ O’Brien

in Chicago. Darrel Good, agricultural economist at the University of Illinois, said that consumers would see stable food prices. “The increase in commodity prices that we have experienced in recent years has now been pretty much fully passed through to the consumer.” The price of corn hit a record high of $7.99¾ in June. Prices have since fallen more than 23 per cent. The drop in corn, wheat, rice, soyabeans and other agricultural commodities’ prices pushed the FAO food index in December to its lowest since October 2010. The index, which measures a basket of food commodities, was at 211 points last month, down about 11 per cent from February’s alltime high. The US Department of Agriculture said commercial silos and farmer grain bins held 9.64bn bushels of corn

as of December 1, roughly 200m bushels more than analysts’ expectations. The department’s quarterly stock data are closely watched by commodity traders, food companies and government officials because the US is the world’s leading corn grower and exporter, and so shapes global price trends. The higher-than-expected level of stocks suggests that the sustained high prices over most of the last year have restrained corn consumption. The USDA indicated that domestic feed and industrial demand for corn had declined slightly from a year ago, while exports have taken a hit from high prices. Implied demand for US corn in the most recent quarter dropped 6 per cent from a year ago, though global consumption is still expected to reach an all-time high this year.

In a bid to further promote entrepreneurship in agri-business sector, Icrisat and ICAR are organising the 2{+n}{+d} Global Agri-business Incubation Conference in Delhi from Feb-

ruary 6. Agri-experts and entrepreneurs from over a dozen countries including Africa, Malaysia, the UK and the US would interact with the Indian farmers and policy markers at the three

day event. The conference aims at promoting the concept of developing agri-business and entrepreneurship in agriculture sector, said Dr S. Ayyappan, Director General, ICAR. “We would like the small land holders to benefit from the economic activity,” said Dr William D. Dar, Director-General, Icrisat, stating that his agency was a catalysing instrument by co-ordinating the mentoring process.

Threat of food inflation recedes? Yes, says FAO. Global foodgrain production to rise! There are other factors, futures trade, feed, industrial demand for corn exports etc. to hold down the inflation.

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he UN’s Food and Agri culture Organisation said its food index fell last month to its lowest level in more than a year, reflecting falls in inflation across Asian nations. The threat of food inflation, a serious concern for emerging countries last year, is starting to recede as high prices for grains restrain consumption and better crops in Europe and Russia replenish stocks. The US reported that the country’s domestic production and stocks of corn, a key commodity for the global food chain, were higher than previously thought, sending prices sharply down. Benchmark corn futures fell

Canal closure vexes Rajasthan farmers

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country facilitating commercialisation of innovative agro-technologies. Though the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) is implementing the NAIP, the activity of agri-business incubation through the 10 BDUs is coordinated and mentored by the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-arid Tropics (Icrisat). “Started in 2009, the programme currently has some 75 entrepreneurs whose ideas are being incubated,” said Mr Kiran Sharma, CEO of the Agribusiness and Innovation Platform at ICRISAT. The incubators provide a risk-free environment for entrepreneurs to test a concept or business plan, commercialise an idea and even provide linkages to finance and market access among others, Mr Sharma said.

cloud of uncertainty hovers over cotton growers in the canal-irrigated regions of Rajasthan with the state government likely to close down the Indira Gandhi Canal for maintenance and repair during the time of cotton cultivation for the next four years. The canal is the only source of irrigation for this pre-monsoonal crop being sown between April and June. The state government has proposed to shut the canal for 90 days this April followed by 60-day closure in April for the next three consecutive years. The main feeder linking the Indira Gandhi Canal Project in Punjab has not been repaired for the last few decades. The Centre has sanctioned Rs 932 crore for the work on the condition that it should be completed in the next four years.

Rajasthan produces around 12 lakh bales annually across 4 lakh hectare. Farmers are protesting the move though the decision is pending with the chief minister. "Cotton crops need sustained irrigation. If the canal gets closed down, there will be no source of irrigation for cotton farmers of Sri Ganganagar and Hanumangarh - which account for 80% cotton harvest in Rajasthan," said Ram Naresh Chaudhary, a farmer leader."Farmers will have to do away from cotton cultivation for the next four years.

Farmers seek more support to improve chillies quality

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joint initiative of farmers, exporters, the Spices Board, the Department of Agriculture and agricultural universities is needed to open a new platform and chalk out action plans related to improvement and enhancement of the quality of spices, especially of chillies in Andhra Pradesh, Dr A. Jayathilak, Chairman, Spices Board, said. Inaugurating the Sugandha Sangamam at Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, an initiative to make development of chillies sustain-

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NEWS - Seed, Dairy, Cocoa, Infrastructure, Tractor Indian seed company

Huge opportunity for Indian Seed Industry! The company, with a turnover of Rs 800 crore, is in the process of establishing bases in Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria.

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ew Delhi-based agrochemical company Crystal Group, which acquired Rohini Seeds last week and raised private equity of Rs 150 crore, is planning to expand its operations to Africa and the Gulf. “We will first go there with our flagship agro chemicals. After achieving sustainable figures, we will start seed business there too,” Mr Ankur Aggarwal, Managing Director of Crystal Group, told. “At present, exports contribute Rs 5 crore to the turnover. We would like this to grow by expanding our

operations in Africa and the Gulf region,” he said. The company raised Rs 150 crore from the PE firm Everstone Capital in December. For the acquisition of the Hyderabad-based seed firm, it pooled in resources internally. He said that the Rs 8,000crore Indian seed industry is poised for growth. It is expected to grow to Rs 13,030 crore in the next five years. “There is huge scope for consolidation in the Indian seed industry. We will see more acquisitions in the next five years,” he said.

able, he assured that every possible step would be taken to improve the quality of spices produced in Andhra Pradesh and ensure better prices to the farmers. The event was organised by the Spices Board in association with the World Spice Organisation.

verted into solids that can be used for reconstitution during the lean summer months,” said Mr R.G. Chandramogan, CMD of Hatsun Agro Product Ltd, the country's largest private sector dairy company.

Dairies want the government to create

Cocoa futures dips on gloomy economic outlook

Buffer stock for milk products!

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omestic dairies are seeking creation of a Governmentfunded buffer stock of skimmed milk powder (SMP) and fat (butter oil/ghee). This follows a surge in milk arrivals during the ongoing flush season, resulting from a production rebound after two years. “This is the right time to do it, as animals produce more milk now. This surplus can be con-

iffe cocoa futures eased as a gloomy economic outlook, notably in the euro zone, reinforced concerns about demand prospects, while white sugar and robusta coffee futures nudged higher. ICE futures markets were closed for a U.S. public holiday. Cocoa grindings in Malaysia fell 1 pct to 299,271 tonnes in 2011 from 302,366 tonnes in 2010 because of lower figures in the last two quarters, the Malaysian Cocoa Board said. Cocoa prices remained underpinned, however, by a recent sharp slowdown in top grower Ivory Coast port arrivals. Cocoa arrivals at ports in Ivory Coast are down nearly 4 percent to around 763,000 tonnes by Jan. 15, exporters estimated compared with 793,772 tonnes in the same period of the previ-

ous season as dry harmattan hits farm output. "Cocoa prices will continue to be supported by the recent slowdown in Ivory Coast port arrivals and concerns over the impact of harmattan and dry weather," Barclays Capital said in a daily commodities note. Infrastructure

Tractor industry battle out about their market share!

NHAI fails to receive Tractor battle out in bids for 17 highway the field projects! John Deere has dismissed

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or the first time after the economic slowdown, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) received no bids for 17 highway projects, raising concerns about revival in the road sector. A total of 95 projects were put up for bidding by NHAI in the past year. In December 2008 when the global slowdown had hit the Indian market too, the state-run roads authority failed to get any response for 13 of the 60 projects it had put up for bidding. The lack of interest in bidding has also quashed the claims made by the road transport and highways ministry of solving the problems faced by the sector.

M&M’s claim in a US ad campaign that it is the world’s largest tractor maker televised campaign in the US has led to a war of words for the top spot in the global tractors market. Days after Mahindra & Mahindra claimed in a US ad campaign that it is the world’s largest tractor maker by volume, John Deere, its closest competitor, has hit back. The Illinois-based farm equipment maker told the Financial Times that M&M Vice-Chairman and Managing Director Anand Mahindra’s “proclamation was based solely on individual judgment”.

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Rubber plants raised through root trainers!

Ready for tapping! Plants grown thus develop straight and deep tap roots and profuse lateral roots. Vertical ridges on the inside walls of trainers help the roots grow.

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apping of the first lot of rubber plants raised through the root trainer technique will be inaugurated by the Chairman of the Rubber Board, Ms Sheela Thomas. The technique, developed by the Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII), involves growing plants in specially designed plastic cups called root trainers. Vertical ridges on the inside walls of trainers help the roots grow. Unlike polybag plants, coir pith is used for potting in this method. Root trainer plants grew without failure on transplanting in field trials —

growth was, in fact, better than polybag plants. In 2005, clones of the 400 series and the RRII 105 varietiy were grown in Kanjirappally through root trainer and polythene bag methods. Ninety per cent trees of the 400 series clones and 50 per cent of RRII 105 have now attained tappable girth. Mr V.N. Krishnapillai (President, Rubber Producers Society, Kurumkanni), Dr James Jacob (Director, RRII), senior officials of the Rubber Board and representatives of local bodies will be present at the inauguration.

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NEWS - Airline, Banks, Horticulture

The company, which supplies bigger, high-margin tractors to the North American market, said it was the largest manufacturer of agricultural equipment based on revenues, which were $29.5 billion last year. So far, it was clear that John Deere, which generates volumes at the premium end of the market, is miles ahead in terms of value. But the company is now questioning M&M’s claim of volume leadership as well, though it’s difficult to do an objective comparison as the US firm does not disclose its worldwide or regionspecific sales figures. In its two consecutive annual reports, M&M has been claiming it is the “No 1 tractor com-

pany in the world”. M&M last financial year clocked sales of 214,325 units, including 202,513 in the domestic market under the Mahindra and Swaraj brands. The company does not disclose its sales numbers in China. The company operates through two joint ventures in the world’s second biggest tractor market. As the claims and counter-claims go on, it’s clear John Deere is keen on proving a point to M&M in the latter’s home market. Last week, Deere & Company, which owns the John Deere tractor brand, announced plans of pumping in Rs 400 crore to set up its second factory in India that would produce small tractors for the local market.

RBI puts check on pay of pvt, foreign banks’ CEOs RBI said CEOs and staff of private and foreign banks cannot draw “excessive” salary, but it did not impose any cap.

Horticulture

Strawberry bowl braces for fruitful crop, wider reach

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year after inclement weather took a toll on production, farmers in Mahabaleshwar, the hill-town that produces over 85 per cent of the strawberries in the country, are bracing up for a good 2011-12 season. “This year we expect production to cross 20,000 tonnes against 17,000 tonnes last year,” Mr Kisan Bhilare, himself a farmer and Vice-President, allIndia Strawberry Growers' Association, says. The price of strawberries, at Rs 100-110 a kg at the production end, is also considered to be lucrative. Adding to the cheer is the fact that domestic demand for the fruit is robust, and thanks to improved logistical support, their strawberries are now also finding takers from far-away cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Ranchi and Jaipur.

Till less than five years ago, the highly perishable nature of the fruit limited its marketability to Mumbai, Pune and Goa. “The golden quadrilateral helped reach our strawberries to Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad by road,” Mr Bhilare explains, adding that now thanks to the development of a cargo hub for perishable produce at Pune airport, the fruit is now being air-lifted to cities across the country. Another change that has come about on account of greater awareness amongst

Malaysian low-cost airline

A success story! Air Asia to invest in Indian airlines?

India to allow 49% FDI in Indian civil aviation sector. any international carriers such as British Airways, Singapore Airlines and Air Asia of Malaysia, among others, had shown interest in investing in Indian carriers. The domestic airline industry, despite a feared slowdown, has been doing reasonably well, with passenger growth at 18 per cent in the last calendar year. Also, cash-strapped carriers like Kingfisher Airlines and others like Jet Airways and Spice Jet to name a few would require over Rs 6,000 crore merely to address their losses and much more to expand. “The group of secretaries has recommended allowing foreign carriers to buy up to 49 per cent in Indian airlines. Earlier, the ministry had recommended a figure of 24 per cent but the commerce ministry wanted it to be at 26 per cent. VVIP flights dues! “The government has to pay us Rs 550 crore for VVIP flights. We’ll ask for Rs 250 crore more from the contingency fund,” said a senior Air India official.

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he Reserve Bank of India on Friday said CEOs and staff of private and foreign banks could not draw ‘excessive' salary, but it did not impose any cap on their remuneration.

farmers is the restricted use of chemical pesticides. According to Mr Bhilare, more growers are using natural neem-based pesticides to spray the plants once flowering starts. Mahabaleshwar's strawberry season begins around November 15 and lasts till the middle of April. Visitors heading to the charming town know that they are just a few miles away from it the moment vendors selling mounds of freshly picked red berries begin to make their appearance along the narrow, winding, road. With nearly 2,300 acres under its cultivation, the varieties that reign supreme here are the Californian ones – Sweet Charlie, Camarosa and Winter Dawn, the first accounting for around half the production. The farmers also tried growing blueberry and blackberry on a commercial scale, but with little success, reiterating that Mahabaleshwar will strictly remain strawberry territory.

Issuing guidelines on compensation of CEOs and staff of private and foreign banks, the RBI said all private and foreign lenders would have to obtain prior approval from it for renumeration of CEOs and whole-time directors as per the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. However, the guideline did not specify what would constitute excessive renumeration. Banks are required to ensure that the fixed portion of compensation is reasonable, taking into account all relevant factors, including the industry practice, it said. While designing the compensation arrangements it should be ensured that there is a proper balance between fixed pay and variable pay, it said. Variable pay, however, should not exceed 70 per cent of the fixed pay in a year.

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NEWS - BIOTECHNOLOGY

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t has been over two months since the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) gave its approval to 16 companies and research institutions to conduct open air/field trials on 13 crops and 38 Genetically Modified Organisms in Karnataka. The trials are pending State government’s nod. The government, which had earlier declared that it would not allow GM field trials, has not made its stand clear on whether it will give permission for these field trials. There are growing concerns over the government’s nonchalance, especially because field trials have been approved for more than 10 food crops including corn, rice, potato, sorghum, water melon, banana, tomato, papaya, castor, pigeon pea (tur), groundnut and mustard, apart from rubber. The approvals are for Rabi 2011-12 and Kharif 2012. No approvals were given for Kharif 2011. Monsanto has yet again been given approval for carrying out field trials on corn. In July, after fears of

SBI: Banker to every Indian, except Infy! Software major withdraws all its deposits from the country’s largest bank. he banker to every Indian appears to have fallen out of favour with the country’s second largest software exporter. Infosys has withdrawn all its deposits with State Bank of India (SBI), the largest commercial bank in the country, in the just concluded October-December quarter. The outsourcer’s deposit balance with SBI was nil as of December 31, 2011 compared with Rs 386 crore nine months back. Infosys had Rs 457 crore in deposits with the state-run lender as of September-end. Meanwhile, in the first nine months of this financial year, Infosys’ deposits with top private sector lenders like ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank nearly doubled. Infosys began the financial year

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Karnataka mum on nod for GM crop trials! 16 firms/institutions have been allowed to conduct experiments by panel? transgene leakage and subsequent contamination by Monsanto, which was alleged to have violated bio-safety rules during field trials of GM corn in Bijapur, Agriculture Minister Umesh V Katti had announced that Karnataka would not approve trials. Also, Karnataka is the first State in the country to have come up with an Organic Farming Policy. The BJP government has spent over Rs 200 crore to promote organic farming, apart from keeping aside a budget of Rs four lakh to Rs five lakh for works to be taken up in the 176 taluks. Despite these aspects, the State government has kept the matter in abeyance. When contacted Katti reiterated his statement and said no permissions would be given. His department has, however, not denied the permissions so far - nor has it written to GEAC or the environment ministry asking them not to apwith Rs 689 crore deposits in ICICI Bank. The software firm had Rs 1,500 crore deposits with ICICI Bank at the end of the last calendar year, marginally lower than the Rs 1,663 crore it had as of September 30, 2011. PSU banks’ plight?

How long PSU banks would need government subsidy?

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n a move that will help country's largest lender State Bank of India to improve its

prove field trials for Karnataka. Principal Secretary, Agriculture, Sandeep Dave said a final decision would be taken on granting permits or denying them only after a consultation was held with the farming community and environment groups. “The Centre has every right to give its permission – the State has no locus standi in this matter,” he said. The fact, however, remains that the State governments have been vested with the powers to veto the GEAC approvals. Monsanto opens seed breeding centre onsanto India’s Managing Director Amitabh Jaipuria clarified that the breeding station inaugurated in Chikkaballapur on Monday will not violate the Bio Diversity Act and will be a non-biotech centre. The Rs 25 crore facility will de-

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creditworthiness and lend more, the government has agreed to infuse Rs 7,900 crore into the bank through a preferential issue. When asked whether the bank would seek a review of its credit rating, Pratip Chaudhuri, chairman, SBI said: "We are waiting for the funds to come into our books. In any case we are not too worried about the rating."

velop and test new hybrid seed varieties of corn, tomatoes, watermelon, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, pepper, onions and beans. With research and development, labs, trial fields and greenhouses under one roof, the breeding station located in Kallinayakanahalli is second of its kind in India, the other being in Aurangabad. The breeding centre is spread over 118 acres of which 100 acres was leased out from local farmers. The remaining 18 acres is owned by Monsanto. year’s production probably fell 1.6 percent to 65.39 million tons compared with 2010, the Central Statistics Office said in its third production forecast on Nov. 1. “We expect to add 100,000 hectares of new rice fields,” said Suswono, who uses one name. “We are optimistic to reach the target of 72 million tons because it’s said the climate will be normal.”

Asia news

Indonesia’s 2012 rice Indonesian rubber output may rise output seen up 6 per-

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nhusked rice production in Indonesia, the third-largest consumer, may rise this year as new fields are planted and good weather helps to improve yield, the country’s agriculture minister said. Indonesia’s 2012 rice output is expected to reach 72.02 million tons, Minister of Agriculture Suswono told reporters today at a briefing in Jakarta. Last

cent in 2012

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ubber output in Indonesia, the world's second-biggest producer, is likely to rise 6 percent this year to 3.27 million tonnes compared to 2011, an official at the Indonesian Rubber Association said. Exports of rubber from Southeast Asia's largest economy will rise by 7 percent in 2012 to 2.79

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NEWS - Silicon Valley, Foreign News

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million tonnes, Suharto Honggokusumo, executive director at the association, known as Gapkindo, said. "Our natural rubber output in 2012 is estimated at 3.27 million tonnes, up from 3.088 million tonnes in 2011 because the 2006/2007 replanting program will be starting to produce rubber," Honggokusumo added. Thailand news

Thailand approves rubber market intervention

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he Thai government ap proved a 15 billion baht (RM1.48 billion) budget plan to prop up rubber prices, but the impact of the farmer-friendly intervention is likely to be shortlived because of weak demand. The government agreed to buy unsmoked rubber sheet (USS3) from farmers at 120 baht per kg, up from the market price of 90 baht at the end of 2011, a senior Agriculture Ministry official said.

Vietnam ships 7.1 mt rice in 2011

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ietnam, the world’s sec ond-largest rice exporter, shipped 7.11 million metric tons in 2011, the Vietnam Food Association said. Shipments were 376,365 tons in December, the association said in a statement on its website. Vietnam’s 2011 exports exceed the record 6.75 million tons that were shipped in 2010 according to the association. Shipments first surpassed the previous year’s total in the year to

host of new tech compa nies are creating ways to buy food directly from local food producers, cutting out grocery stores and some of the middlemen. They are also providing new services to educate consumers about what they are eating, down to the growing conditions of a carrot. Founded by alumni from tech giants like Google Inc., the companies are using the same sorts of online tools that changed how people rent an apartment or find a date to make it easier to buy locally grown food. They are part of a growing class of startups targeting food and eating, from sites that deliver celebritychef meals to your door to a business that aims to turn roofs into vegetable patches. Many are steering clear of delivering fresh foods to your door, trying to avoid the pitfalls that felled some food-delivery companies in the past. Among the new entrants is Farmigo Inc., a San Francisco company that has 50,000 subscribers after launching late last year. Founded by Microsoft Corp. and SAP AG veteran Benzi Ronen, Farmigo allows consumers to search for and buy produce and meat from local farms that deliver to pick-up locations in their neighborhood, including offices like Yelp Inc., Twitter Inc. and Google. Many of those inclined to shop from the source rather than the Dec. 8, the association said Dec. 12. The country’s agricultural ministry said Nov. 30 Vietnam may ship 7.37 million tons in 2011. A new President elected in Taiwan!

Where is Taiwan?

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ndia faces a dilemma. On the one hand, the geopolitical stability suggested by a KMT government means greater economic opportunities for India to engage Taiwan. Compared to Japan, South Korea and Singapore, our bilateral trade and investment with Tai-

Times change!

Silicon Valley start-ups in farming business! See what a host of new tech companies are doing! store currently have to hunt for in sales over the past year or so, a seller via word of mouth. out of annual sales of $500,000, Farmigo tries to automate that she says. process and hopes its technol- Meanwhile, former Silicon Valogy increases the number of ley engineer Karl Rosaen cofarmers that sell directly to con- founded Real Time Farms LLC and is building a database of sumers in the first place. "At the end of the day farmers farms and their growing pracwant to be in the field," not cob- tices, making it possible, for instance, to find a place to buy a tomato grown without synthetic pesticides with a few clicks. So far, the site has growing-practice information for a few hundred farms. And Rob Spiro, co-founder of Good Eggs Inc. in San Francisco, left Google in June to start developing software for local food producers, testing ideas like allowing them to sell their prodbling together technology, says ucts via mobile apps and helpMr. Ronen. The company has ing them market with email raised $2 million from Silicon newsletters. Good Eggs is testing a consumer Valley angel investors. Farmers like Annie Salafsky, just site offering information about south of Olympia, Wash., say where local foods are available, they appreciate how Farmigo along with recipes. The goal is lets customers register them- to "make local food even more selves online rather than having convenient than typical grocery to enter in all their data manu- shopping" for national food ally. Farmigo takes a 2% cut of a brands, Mr. Spiro says. His farm's sales through the system company—which raised an unand allows farmers to build their disclosed amount of funding own Web store to sell additional from Silicon Valley venture-capiproducts like lamb and honey. tal firms Baseline Ventures and Those add-ons have brought Harrison Metal Capital in AuMs. Salafsky's farm, Helsing gust—plans to launch its service Junction Farm, about $35,000 this year. wan is negligible. The country accounts for one per cent of India’s foreign trade. At 0.03 per cent of the total foreign direct investment in India, Taiwan ranks below countries like Chile and Turkey. Bilateral trade agreements can help, but only if domestic reforms make India relatively more attractive as an investment destination. On the other hand, a Beijing less preoccupied with issues in its backyard will find it easier to project power elsewhere, including against India. Geoeconomic opportunities are,

thus, stacked against geopolitical risks. So unless New Delhi uses the space created by Saturday’s elections to rapidly scale up economic ties, India will have little upside from Ma’s success.

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SPECIAL ARTICLE - Malaysian Development Model

Malaysian development model!

What lessons for Indian development? There are many lessons to be learnt for Indians. How to build infrastructure. There are also lessons to be avoided from Malaysian Islamisation, the bhumiputra politics!

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r.Mahathir who was Prime Minister for 22 years had transformed Malayasia in line with his vision of a modern, industrialized nation, setting the goal of becoming fully developed by 2020. Once dominant primary commodities already receding Malaysia, gave way to the production of manufactured goods and the embrace of a high-tech future. With the economy expanding at an annual average rate of 6.1 percent for the 22 years he was Prime Minister, Malaysia was one of the developing world’s most successful countries. As the government poured money into highways, airports, skyscrapers, bridges and container ports, Malaysians ditched their bicycles and motor bikes for cars and more cars. With manufacturing growing from about 30 percent to more than 70 percent of exports, Malaysia became an exporter of capital, investing in regions as diverse and distant as Eastern Europe, South Africa and China. The World Bank declared Malaysia, along with neighbours Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia, part of East Asia’s “economic miracle.” Actually, high growth rates in Malaysia were not new. Throughout the 1970’s, the decade before Dr. Mahathir, came to power, the country averaged an outstanding 8 percent a year. Under the tech-savvy driven Dr. Mahathir however, it was the

transformation of the economy, with its modernizing effects that was more palpable than the increase in gross domestic product (GDP), and more resonant in the public mind. The expansion of industry, construction and finance changed the face of the economy and society and fuelled what political economist Lee Hwok Aun called “a nationalistic fervour towards the development project.” Yet Malaysia’s development under Dr. Mahathir was far from smooth. In seeking to industrialize, he directed Malaysians not to emulate the west but to “look east” and become a power house like Japan, with their own steel mills, cement plants and a national car to clog the roads. Almost ten

Per capita income! With per capita GDP almost quadrupling to about US $ 9,000 in purchasing power parity terms, poverty was reduced dramatically. Malaysia experienced accelerated urbanization, and saw the emergence of a growing middle class that included a significant number of Malays. Change was most visible in Kuala Lumpur, where gleaming steel and glass towers sprouted, while mansions appeared alongside luxurious condominium blocks in residential areas to accommodate the newly rich and ostentatiously wealthy.

years of unprecedented prosperity, when Malaysia was the darling of international investors, opened and closed with severe recessions. To deal with the second contraction, the 1997-98 Asian economic crisis, Dr. Mahathir defied International Monetary Fund (IMF) orthodoxy and introduced capital controls. Amid over all progress, signs of increasing inequality at the lower end of society were a cause for concern. While reducing the gap between the Malays and Chinese, the affirmative action New Economic Policy (NEP) was leaving the poorest Malaysians behind. The evidence suggested the NEP was being used- and abused- to channel benefits to better-off Malays, especially those closely connected with UMNO. No element was more controversial or politicized than privatization, where contracts were awarded to help build a Malay industrial and commercial class that was internationally competitive. Although a number of Malay entrepreneurs became household names, their companies faltered during the regional economic crisis, indicating they had failed to overcome their dependence on government support. The NEP itself, originally meant to last for 20 years, morphed into a semi-permanent policy and was regarded by most beneficiaries as an entitlement. Deeply resented by other Malays, as well as nonMalays, it posed an obstacle to national integration. It also hindered the country’s external performance, just when Malaysia needed to sharpen its game to participate in a more competitive international environment. In his writings, Dr. Mahathir identified what he called Malay traits, such as passivity and laziness, as well as negative attitudes to money, property and time, as impediments to progress. He sought to install in Malays a competitive spirit to replace fatalistic tendencies and low aspirations. The new Malay would posses “a culture suitable to the modern period capable of meeting all challenges, able to compete without assistance, learned and knowledgeable, sophisticated, honest, disciplined, trustworthy and competent”. In response to Islam, however, Dr. Mahathir and Ataturk differed fundamentally. Where Ataturk boldly chose secularism, Dr. Mahathir adopted an Islamization policy, leading UMNO to abandon its secular character as it tried to outbid the opposition parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) on religion. The two countries ended up strikingly different. In

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SPECIAL ARTICLE - Malaysian Development Model

Turkey, with a population 99 percent Muslim, citizens readily identified themselves by their Turkish nationality, not the religion. By contrast, in 60 percentMuslim Malaysia, Islam became the most important identity marker for the Malays. Most Malays thought of themselves as Muslim first, Malaysian next, then Malay. Turkey eventually applied to join the European Union, while Dr. Mahathir Malaysia proclaimed itself an Islamic state, though it lacked the attributes of one. While that might be considered a huge disappointment for Dr. Mahathir, regarded as the foremost Malay nationalist of his time, he breezily declared that “Ataturk was wrong” to blame religion for the downfall of the Ottoman empire. Since Islam “is a way of life” and “includes everything that you do,” church and state cannot “really” be separated, he said. On the job, Dr. Mahathir felt the imperative, as did his predecessors, to represent all Malaysians and not just a single ethnic community. The NEP recipients were bumiputras, a term coined from Sanskrit meaning “sons of the soil”, covering not only Malays but those judged to be “other native races”. They included the Orang Asli, original inhabitants, in peninsular Malaysia, the Dusuns, Kaadazans, Bajans and many smaller tribes in sabah, and the Ibans, Bidayuhs, Melanaus and others in Sarawak. Non- Mlay bumiputras, a substantial number of them Christian, formed a majority in both East Malaysian states, though official figures showed a Muslim majority in sabah from 1980. Without lessening his commitment to the Malays, Dr. Mahathir subsumed his most cherished goal within a wider one, that of a rapidly moderinizing Malaysia able to

compete and stand proudly with other economically successful nations. Dr. Mahathir, the Malay champion , assumed the mantle of a Malaysian nationalist, adjusting the country’s sights away from Malay versus Chinese to Malaysians against the rest- usually the West. As one analyst put it Dr. Mahathir, at his most imaginative, looked decades ahead and envisaged a society “in which the races stop looking inwards with prejudice but rather outwards with pride”. When Dr. Mahathir became Prime Minister, Malaysia in 1980 was growing at a lively clip, with a focus on the export of light industrial products. Foreign companies, responding to a range of incentives, were producing toys, air conditioners and electronic components for sale overseas in free-trade zones and providing jobs for tens of thousands of women drawn from rural homes. Malaysia’s switch to the export – oriented employment generating industrialization that was to characterize East Asia’s dynamic economies had taken place in the late 1960s. It was a step towards recognizing that without structural change, the patterns established by colonialism would persist and fail to deliver the dividends most Malaysians expected from independence. Tin, Rubber

Malaysia pursued crop diversification. Cocoa and pepper were added, and the became the world’s biggest producer and exporter of palm oil. The production of oil and discovery of natural gas significantly boosted exports from the second half of the 1970s.

Producing greater quantities of tin and rubber than any where else, Malaya had been Britain’s most profitable colony, integrated into the world economy through the trade in both commodities. While the British left Malaya with one of the highest living standards in Asia, much of the economy was in foreign hands. The small local business community was mostly Chinese. And the main ethnic groups lived separately, the Chinese around the urban tin mines and the Indians on semi-rural rubber plantations, leaving the peasant Malays to their traditional farming and fishing in more remote areas. Conscious that tin deposits were running out while rubber products might be replaced by synthetics, and also trying to guard against commodity price fluctuations. The basic focus was on raising bumiputra corporate ownership from 2.4 percent in 1970 to 30 percent in 1990 other Malaysians would be allowed to own 40 percent ,while the foreign stake would be reduced to 30 percent. A 30 percent quota became the minimum bumiputra requirements for many things, including company ownership, government contracts, public share listings, employment and new private housing plans. As individual bumiputras lacked capital and expertise, the government established stateowned enterprises to enter business on their behalf. All 13 states set up development corporations, which registered companies that were given bumiputra status and fed with resources, such as timber and minerals. The central government also established corporations to hold in trust the shares issued to bumiputras when a company expanded or initially listed. To distribute the shares to individual bumiputras, the government formed the National Equity Corporation, which also bought shares and took over blue-chip companies on the open market and channeled its portfolio into unit trusts. The number of state-owned enterprises in Malaysia rose dramatically, from 54 in 1965, to 656 in 1980 and 1,010 in 1985. Overall, they performed poorly, losing RM 6.8 billion in 1984. Dr. Mahathir brought strong and idiosyncratic ideas to the economy. “we run development as if we are executing a war”, he said, a comment that recalled former premier Razak’s “operations rooms”for rural development a couple of decades earlier. Long before he read an economics text-book, Dr. Mahathir belived governments should spent generously, not just Keynesian –style with

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SPECIAL ARTICLE - Malaysian Development Model borrowed money in economic downturns, but at all times. “I had this crazy idea” that if the government outlays money,” “it stimulates the economy…. Usually it generates a lot of economic activity, and people make money, and of course they have to pay taxes, so the government gets back its money”. Conversely, “if you don’t spend money, then the country will not grow”. It went back to what a teacher had told him in primary school, that when the Malayan government built the railway line from Penang to Padang Besar on the border with Thailand, settlements sprang up along the tracks. Although he was personally frugal, Dr. Mahathir spent freely and Malaysia’s economy grew fast along the lines he had decreed, unhindered by such concepts as cost-benefit analysis and seemingly unconcerned about a future without oil and gas. With a poor opinion of the civil service and determined not to be hamstrung by resistance, red tape and incompetence, Dr. Mahathir devised alternative ways to speed up decision making and build momentum for his initiatives. As he centralized authority within the executive branch, he increasingly bypassed the bureaucracy in favour of special planning bodies answerable to him, as well as independent state agencies and

I read the three chapters in the book, the first about Mahatiris rise from a humble beginning, as the youngest of nine children, his father, a school teacher whose origins are from Kerala and his origins remain a secret, the book says. The same town, Alor Star, the capital of Kedah state, the other side of the Kedah River. On the other side was born, the high society, in fact the royal society heir, Tunku Abdul Rahman, one of the many sons of the Sultan of the state! And a Cambridge educated man of easy habits, the Tunk(a price in Malay language) became the first Prime Minister of an independent Malaysia in 1957. United Malay National Organisation(UMNO) is like the Indian National Congress, still the ruling party. Though born lower middle class. It is of some great credit, Mahatir became interested in politics from early age. Mahatir's mother was a Malay and that too a "Penang Malay" and that was old world! Penang and Maleka were the original towns where the British first settled. KL is a new city, just a century or two ago was just a waste land of sorts. Mahathir Mohammad, the maverick! Mahatir's early years were marked by hard work, ambition, though he first aspired only for a government clerk’s job and yet he saw either law or medicine would give him a place in society. Finally he became a medical doctor. corporations. The Prime Minister ’s Department was more influential than any of the regular ministers, containing national oil and gas company Petronas and the economic planning unit, as well as the politically powerful Attorney General Chambers, Anti-Corruption Agency, Public Service Commission, Electron Commission and others. Dr. Mahathir partner on the economy for much of the time was lawyer –turned – businessman Daim Zainuddin. Serving twice as finance minister, from 1984 to1991 and from 1998 to 2001, Daim was at other times a government economic

Massive infrastructure Chapter seven of the book narrates Mahatir's many of the grand projects. He undertook giant national highways, the 966 km north-sought highway system took 13 years and cost RM 3.42 billion. The international airport,70 km from KL cost RM 9 billion. The Penang bridge,8.4 km of it on water cost RM740 million. Formula one race track RM 270 million. The massive Bakun dam, in 1993,took 14 years, in Sarawak, 80,000 hectares of tropical forest cleared, 10,000 rural dwellers resettled, cost huge sums. The administrative capital, Putrjaya, cost RM 20 billion!.You have to see it to believe it. It is by any standard unprecedented in the modern world! Seri Perdana, the PM's residence cost RM17 million. The Petrona twin towers, then the "world's tallest", 452 meters tall, now no more) cost mindboggling sum. The one conspicuous failure, critics point out, is the cyberjaya, the Silicon Valley. He sought the help of Bill Gates, who though promised help, didnt take off. Bangalore stole the show! The critics pointed out, the Silicon Valley needed a very good higher education. This is lacking even now there. Though Mahatir named universities to teach his thoughts! He was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize that eluded him. He was of course a highly controversial leader. He dabbled in many business ventures, his party indulged in much corruption. Of course Asian countries seem very different even in political corruption. Here our judiciary, executive and Parliament and press are well-established. In Asian countries there are much undemocratic practices. Malaysia is endowed with natural resources, it is the world's leading palm oil, rubber producing country. It is also a top petroleum and natural gas producer and exporter. So, Petronas, the oil and gas company is the major source of government's revenues. It is also the world's top tin producer. So, we see a fast growing country and there is much faster growth in modern infrastructure, especially in highways, bridges, new cities and high-rises! KL's standard of living is definitely ,say eight or ten times higher than what we see in a city like Bangalore. KL's metro rail line is all automated, stops and starts and it is more than ten years old! In every area of development, Malaysia seems to have overtaken India by at least a decade! This opens our eyes in India. We ,Indians seem to be slow and somewhat complacent and there is much empty talk by our leaders here, it seems.

adviser. When the Asian financial crisis spread to Malaysia in 1997, Dr. Mahathir brought Daim back to head an emergency task force that undercut Bank Negara and the finance ministry.Daim was made minister with special functions in early 1998, before becoming finance minister for the second time later that year. He was UMNO treasurer through out this entire period, from 1984 to 2001. Politics and business Both from Kedh, Dr. Mahathir and Daim enjoyed a friendship that contributed to the image and tone of the Mahathir administration. By his actions, Daim made it clear he was not going to let conventional notions of conflict of interest interfere with the way he ran his private business empire, the economy, or UMNO’s financial affairs. They became deeply entangled. Daim’s provocative stance added to the perception that the government was conducting its business first and foremost for the benefit of insiders. Although they remained on talking terms, Dr. Mahathir and Daim fell out politically and parted ways in 2001, with Dr. Mahathir making the extraordinary comment that he was tired of defending Daim against allegations of corruption, “trying to whitewash him, literally”. The same accusations had not unduly troubled Dr. Mahathir for the preceding 17 years. The duo dovetailed in practical ways. With his heart in the business world, Daim was content to try to make Dr. Mahathir’s policies work. As Dr. Mahathir understood from his visits to Japan, a competent political and bureaucratic establishment was guiding the country to an economic miracle. Japanese and South Korean construction companies swooped on Malaysia and bagged about RM5 billion in major contacts within three years, frustrating and angering

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Publisher's Note Agriculture share in GDP is fast dipping!

Agriculture is now only 14 per cent of the GDP! Last year it was 15 per cent!

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et, the share of the people dependent on the fast decreasing agri output is 47 per cent. So, where is the government's promise of raising investments, in industry and agriculture and also generating productive employment? It is becoming rather tiresome to criticise the government for its poor performance every time we talk of the economy or the government. Whom we have to hold responsible for poor governance? Governance so often talked about. The PM doesn’t tire of talking of giving good governance. Now, it is neither good governance nor transparent governance. Where is transparency? The government is saddled with so many scams, every day a scam. Now, P.Chidambaram is linked with Anil Agarwal's Sesa Goa iron ore exports scandal. What is this? The high profile colleagues are all caught in so many scams or exceeding their briefs. Salman Kursheed, one of the really clean ministers in the government is now caught up with criticising the Election Commission and also some other pronouncements for which he has been asked to appear before the EC! He is the law minister! Other ministers, most of them in key ministries like transport, civil aviation and not the least rural development, either they are seen as total non-performers or opportunists of the first rate category, either they talk too much for sometime or they suddenly go off the radar for obvious reasons. Sonia Gandhi is not surely well-served by some of their trusted colleagues. Now, after Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi is drafted for the UP Assembly elections. This is all too much of a deteriorating strategy to pull up the Congress fortunes. The Prime Minister either talks little or what he talks is now verging on the Orwellian language traps. Indian development agenda is lacking in focus. Yes, the need to accelerate investments is a crying need. We need investments and massive investments. Every country of some significance, apart from the US and EU, from the Gulf countries to Japan are promising big investments. The Japanese Prime Minister was here and following him the Japan Transport Minister. It is rightly said by both the ministers, from India and Japan that the further talks must be held at the Prime Ministers' level. Yes, the Japanese can do wonders in transport and other construction activities. We need not just the funds but also the expertise. We have to see the other Asian countries like Singapore and Malaysia to know what gigantic physical infrastructure these countries have built up. Skyscrapers to long highways and massive urban assets. These types of gigantic scale can be achieved only with the Japanese and Korean construction, not just machinery but also the expertise. Indians and the Indian companies must be suitably engaged and integrated so that we in India get and develop this sort of expertise on a vast scale. So too in Indian agriculture, we need not just FDI in wholesale, the time has come to think of retail FDI also. Yes, there is some resistance in some quarters. But these quarters must see what already the big Indian corporates have done in retail. ITC, Reliance and RPG have gone someway. This process will only accelerate and we must accelerate by all means. Agriculture decline is an opportunity. Agriculture can’t wait for the government handouts. In fact, what the UPA-II has done so far is just populist schemes. These might or might not fetch votes. Voters are also tired of this sort of symbolic schemes. The PM has a real handicap. His hands are tied with the Congress Party’s very peculiar handicap. As for the Prime Minister, it is only wise we go for the time-honoured democratic process and elect a leader who enjoys the support of the Parliamentary party. Please watch the developments in Pakistan. Also, here the Army Chief approached the court to resolve his age issue. These are not happy times it seems. Please change your thinking ways. Please think a bit seriously. India is a large democracy, long standing democracy in Asia. Everyone must play his or her role with humility and commitment to preserve our political heritage! Mrs Shenbi Publishing Director

AGRICULTURE &

Industry Survey Vol XXII No.II February 2012 Founder & Chairman V. Isvarmurti Managing Editor Kartik Isvarmurti Production & Design A. Kavitha Published by VADAMALAI MEDIA P. LTD. Regd. Office Pichanur, Coimbatore - 641 105 Editorial Office Vadamalai Media (P) Ltd C-2/286, 4th Main,2-C cross Domlur II Stage, III Phase Off Old Airport Road, Bangalore 560 071. Tel:+91-80-65998208/41255174 Fax : 02266459570 email: help@vmg.in Editorial Inquiries Tel : 41255174/65998208/41255122 Marketing Inquiries Tel :41255174/41698240 Annual Subscription Rate One year Rs.800 DD in favour of "Vadamalai Media (P) Ltd" payable at Bangalore For outstation cheque add Rs.50/Subscribe online at www.agricultureinformation/mag Web Edition www.agricultureinformation.com/mag

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Editorial

Mood of the Nation Opinion Poll, January 2012 The next Prime Minister?

we see? She had chosen persons to the high positions, in the party and the The next President? governments, who, except in a rare way, proved to be unworthy of Indian democracy at the cross roads the high expectations Sonia Gandhi imagined they had and the counhe India Today-ORG Mood of the Nation Poll, conducted in try hoped. The India Today opinion poll voters say that the Prime January 2012 gives, as far as it goes, a sense of direction to Minister is the most disappointing. They also say the PM should what India would be looking like in 2014, the year of the next Lok have resigned (39%) in the wake of the 2G scandal. Sabha poll. If an election is to take place today, it says it will be a Not only that the PM should have adhered some of the highest disaster for the Congress and there is every chance that the next principles of probity when he took office. As a Prime Minister he election of the President of India, whoever wants to aspire for that should have enforced the norms of conduct strictly. high Constitutional office, must have to solicit the backing of the How the A.Raja episode played out? smaller parties, more in particular, by such heavy-weights like the How the subsequent delinquents are left off still on date? Why UP's Mayawati party or Mulayam Singh's Samajwadi party or Sonia and the PM are retaining the corrupt ministers in the Cabinet? How they expect the countrymen to remain fools and men and even the very smaller players who could play the spoil sport! women with no sense of fairness Such is the very divided vote bank, and ethical sense? the voter’s mood, not very pleasDr.Manmohan Singh is a highly learned person. He had spent ant mood it is and as of now the long years in UK. Even if he is not a student of politics or social PM had come to the job with a perceived reputation for many people are clearly in a very low sciences(PPE) he studied in England and even he became qualities. In the end he seems to mood. The general readers must Prime Minister he must have taken lots of inputs from many, not end his office with all lost. A great have read the opinion poll now. necessarily from his peers from other countries but also from tragedy. He is seen as mismanSo, what we want to say now is his own introspections. aged the economy, corruption he rather about the very sensitive issues and also the very grave issues, the very grave questions like had seen risen, economic growth declined, entrepreneurs lost confidence, black money he shied away from disclosing and detecting, he how to choose the next candidates for the very big positions. couldn’t manage inflation, stimulate investment etc. Much more Is India a liberal and open society? Can we ask some questions of gravitas when the country's mood is tragic is the sort of legacy he would leave behind. Supreme Court of India gives a landmark judgement so negative and likely to impact the mood as days go by? The India we are all dreaming, the nation we all feel proud to belong on the PMO. Not on the Prime Minister himself! and the country which is now put and paraded in a manner for the Future historians would decide what this landmark judgement has whole world to see and admire and even feel envious is being ruled for the evolution of democratic practices in India. by such a disappointing group of people. We have always taken a Will India become a role model for democracies in Asia and the national and broad point of view. Vadamalai Media is engaged in a Third World? national task, some of our cherished goals, agriculture, rural devel- Just now I read in The Economist magazine an article on Japan. opment, education and the task of nation building through some It opens with the line: It is rare in Japan to find one bold political constructive national service, have all been very rewarding for us, leader, and even rarer to find two! May be the same line can be used as far as things go. But we have our own regrets and disappoint- to start a similar article on the state of public opinion and media ments too. We have moved with such great leaders like Pandit comment in India. Inside India there is a sort of conspiracy of silence on the sort of politics that is pursued and promoted by the Nehru and his colleagues. Kamaraj and Indira Gandhi were our mentors too. There is much Congress party. more to say on this topic. Kamaraj was the mentor and with whom No vision, no principles but just only one interest and one goal. the founder of the media company was a close colleague. So, when How to put Rahul Gandhi, son of Sonia Gandhi in the Prime we were following the "election" of Sonia Gandhi as a Congress Minister's chair in New Delhi. As soon as possible. But certainly in President we thought she would be a serious person. Now, what 2014, when the next general election takes place.

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AIR India and our civil aviation sector! 49% FDI allowed in civil aviation! Serious issues in civil aviation industry calls for immediate attention. ijay Mallya, the Kingfisher's man says the media in India gives his airline too much attention. Right! The Indian media lost its credibility. No one in the media stands up for the larger cause. National interest. As per the latest reports, Air India, once India's pride, now a pain in the neck, is messing up things, even after it got a new civil aviation minister. There is a very disturbing trend; there was this latest AI pilots strike, over what? Just in the inexcusable delay in paying their wages! Is this not a shame? Is anybody worried? The civil aviation minister seems to be standing up in a queue to get the cheque to pay up the AI employees wages! Much more painful, really amusing indeed is the news the national

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airline is to receive its dues from the PMO for the PM's overseas trips, too many to many countries that runs up to as on date to Rs.110 crore! The real bill was almost twice the size and the total bill couldn’t be cleared for quite some time. This is distressing. Is this the way the public are given to understand the civil aviation industry mess? We have just now come back after a visit to Kuala Lampur (KL) travelling there in the low-cost Air Asia flight; it is a success story in the South Asian countries. No one said of the success story behind Air Asia and now only we realised that in other Asian countries, in particular Singapore, there is another such success story, Silky Airlines, there is intense competition between Singapore and Malaysia in the civil aviation sector, the book on Air Asia reads like a fairy tale success! Tony Fernandez, the man behind the Air Asia has a unique business

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Editorial model that it is worth studying by our domestic number of times! On a number of times! The The new aviation minister will players in the sector. airline in question is to expand the expansion to give us any new hope? Air Asia has tied up with neighbouring coun55 aircraft. India’s own, fully owned low cost How soon? tries like Thailand and Indonesia with the local airline, AI Express came for criticism and needed players so that if you make KL as your hub for to prune its own operations, said the DGCA. flying to other neighbouring countries there is the very same con- All the airlines are facing financial strains and thus, they are likely to cessions, you get the very same facilities and in the days at your compromise with their safety procedures. disposal you can fly to almost all the South East Asian geography There are flaws in almost all the air carriers, including, it is said, Jet with very little additional expenses. For instance, there is a package and Spice Jet, but the problem with AI Express seems to be very for Singapore from KL for just as little as say some 50 or so RMT. serious. IndiGo, has seen, it is said, large number of premature engine Just one thousand rupees! removals in a short span (January-October 2011).As the carrier now Of course when we were in KL we read the latest news that Asia is flies to long haul flights, its operational efficiency is now being realso beset with problems that confront all civil aviation companies. viewed, it seems. Air Asia is to cut down its long haul flights to London and Paris in In the meantime, we just now read the article by Sanat Kaul, Chairthe coming months. It has the unique advantage of flying to desti- man of the International Foundation of Aviation, Aerospace and nations within three hours. From Bangalore it is four hours and Development, India chapter (Deccan Herald) that after the Prime everyday it flies say less than eight hours the same day flying back Minister's level, to safeguard the threat by the US Federal Aviation to KL after dropping and lifting passengers within an hour or so. Authority (FAA) to downgrade the safety level of Indian civil aviaAs we were waiting at the airport to take off to KL, there were tion industry to category II from category I, the PM ordered to 400 breaking news on the TV screen which almost seemed to warn and technical posts in the DGCA to supervise and monitor the safety created a near panic, we are sure, among the waiting passengers. standards. But says Sanat Kaul now that as on date only 10 per cent The breaking news was about the warning the Director General of of the post filled up. This means what? Very serious lapse on the Civil Aviation (DGCA), the boss himself came on the TV screen to part of government, on the very minister, the Secretary of the civil say that many of the civil airlines were compromising with the aviation department to provide the people a high degree of efficient airline safety standards! In fact, the regulator named some airlines, governance. A sensitive subject like the air safety of the multitude of among which were of course, the troubled Kingfisher, Indigo and passengers whose lives are threatened. AI Express which is a government - Run Company! The Gurgaon- Whom to blame? based IndiGo is said to be a profitable company and yet it received Any objective criticism seems impossible in the country today. this warning! Why? It flouted safety norms, the reports say, on a The very credibility of the media is suspect.

Tata’s, Birla’s, Reliance, and Airtel all tried their hands! Why big corporates failed in agri, horti retail? We need to understand farming and farm business!

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es, that is what the men-in-hurry type new corporates try to do in an area where much modern day farming is left neglected. Far too long! See what an average farmer psychology is? An average Indian farmer today is a cellar debtor! He is exploited all around, from the local revenue, court officials. He is tied to his land and the village for too long for various causes. Then, he is a small land holder. The government policy is to keep him so. The finance minister may be a good man. The other day he came to Chennai to open a new building for the PSU bank, IOB. What he spoke? He spoke about the need to open bank branches in every village with 1,000 populations. Yes, it is a tragedy and let us recognise this pathetic tragedy that prevails in all depts. and why even among the corporates. If the Infosys doesn’t keep its huge deposits it becomes front page news! If the huge deposit moves to say HDFC, then it becomes news. Not when a hapless farmer runs down knocking at the bank doors. Since most farmers live and operate in remote corners, it is next to impossible to get to know his plight and that too only when such hapless cases, suicides, take place it makes news. Even such tragedies are not now reported. For such reports won’t sell newspapers either! So, too the big corporates. Bankers have to hide their huge NPAs and also their black money transactions etc from public view, let alone public scrutiny! Now, as for the big corporate to enter the weakly constituted agri sector, all the big players, the Tatas, Birla’s, Mittal and Biyani and others have flopped in the vegetables and fruits procurement, dis-

tribution business. Let us be clear. This horticulture area is basically a small and medium enterprises and family business area. There are success stories aplenty. The Nilgiris, a 100 year old strong brand in food and retail business. So too the MTR. They have drawn heavy investors and made a big profit in selling off to foreign investors. So too are others who are all going strong. In Bangalore, the Namdhari Fresh is a new and high quality venture in F/V business. There is no rational reason why the big corporates like Tatas and Birlas and Mittal failed. Simply because, they had succeeded in other areas like telecom and oil and gas, there is no obvious link with their strategy to enter agriculture. In fact, it is for the simple naive reason that the next big thing is agriculture, a vast area and therefore, the big cos wanted to enter here also. No rhyme or reason! So, with all the bravado that comes with one success these corporates ventured into the agri sector. That is all. Even,where some of the new entrants entered and succeeded, we can see some pattern. The smaller and newer players, be it the food chains or the retail stores as in Chennai and outside, the new department stores, even the fruit vendors or masala makers as in Erode and Chennai, Sakthi and Acchi Masala, we see they are all still small players. Even in other states like as Desai fruits in Gujarat, based in Navasari, which specialises in contract cultivation of banana, its current annual volume is 20,000-30,000 tonnes valued at Rs.50-60 crores and also they export a small quantity of corn and other processed foods, it seems these are all early days. So too the milk producers and milk food makers. One Amul is not the end of the road. There are other state milk co-ops like KMF in Karnataka.

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Personal View Malaysian Economic Miracle

Kuala Lampur's infrastructure development! India and Indians must work harder! Now, Malaysia itself is a vast and diverse country. Its ethnic mix is very interesting.20 million people(compared with India's 100 and odd millions! Malaysia’s ethnic population, the Malays, speak Bahasa Malay language. The others are Chinese 38 per cent, Indians about 10 per cent. Most of the Indians we met are fourth and sixth generation migrants. All proudly say of themselves, as "I am Malaysian India “I am Malaysian Kerala" etc.

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have just now come back from a brief visit to Kuala Lampur. nowhere. Even the buses were few and they were all ultra modern. The Malaysian economic development deeply impressed The physical infrastructure is what makes a great difference to me and impacted me as well. As for deep impressions, it Indian developments. The city centre is really the most impreswas almost a sudden discovery I never suspected in the sive. The famed twin towers, the Petrona Twin Towers are a great South East Asian geography. In fact, it was for the first time story. Why the twin towers only? I closely looked into the Asian map, the geography, the islands, Every major construction is a billion construction contract story the seas and the entire South East Asian region. China lies over a here. Our Oxford friends couple, Kishore and Zill, were our hosts large geographical space, Japan very tiny island lying at the north- (They were together as students along with Kartik, my son at ern end of the immense sea! Somewhere lies South Korea we don’t Oxford Wolfson College in 1995), now Kishore, an entrepreneur in see on these particular vast seas! his own way, put into my hands a book saying “You must read it to Down below Chinese territory we see the land mass that comprise understand modern Malaysian story" was an eye the smaller countries, Myanmar, beside Vietnam, Laos, then Cam- opener."Malaysian Maverik, Mahathir Mohammad in turbubodia and Thailand is the bigger state in this geography. Malaysia, lent times "by Barry Wain, a former journalist who had lived in it is a large peninsular island, in Asia for 37 years, makes a very fact two islands twinned to- Malaysian Parliament, with 219 MPs, have 93 of them as minis- insightful story, he is both a critic gether, the peninsular Malay- ters!33 Cabinet Ministers. Biggest Cabinet than that of India? But as well as an admirer of the exsia and Borneo, Sarawak and then, the Malaysians have delivered! Not so in India! Thoughts for us, Prime Minister and gives a balSabah, then down south lies everybody! May be in India too we are moving towards a sort of anced picture of what the leader Singapore. We then move down- technocratic polity? Men, once in power, move up, automatically, as of the Malaysian people, Prime wards towards the vast many we see in Malaysia. The current Prime Minister is Najib Razak, he Minister for 22 years, from islands that make up Indonesia moved up the scale from Dy PM, in 2010. The current Opposition 1981 to 2003, had achieved and and then other(17,000 islands! leader is of course, the former DY PM, Anwar Ibrahim, who was how Malaysia has come this far 500 languages! And 240 million acquitted by the Supreme Court on the day we arrived in KL! on the international map is a people!) Countries, including Malaysia doesn’t seem to be a liberal and open society. very engaging story. The first the newly created East Timor. chapter gives a fairly positive The capital, Kuala Lampur(KL) simply stunned me and overawed account of a rising Malay young man and an aspirant for bigger me, to say the least. dreams. His wife, Siti Hasmah, a doctor herself, was an able partIt is the most modern and high-tech city, a cosmopolitan city where ner, who played an active role in his dreams and aspirations. there are no two wheelers, no autos and no poverty and no dust and While we visited all the important landmarks, the twin towers, the no sign of any pollution. The city is so unbelievably clean and what Andul Razak (second PM) memorial, the fabulous Suria mall(where I read about the whole modern Malaysian story is all about the biggest book shop, Kinokuniya stunned me again, it was percreating an entirely new Malaysia, creating pride and self-confi- haps the biggest bookshop I saw outside Europe!) dence and to give Malaysians an ethnic unity and a sense of a place We also visited on our way back to the airport, the very new in the modern world. government city, where the government offices were moved, inYes, for an Indian coming from India afresh, the modern Malaysian cluding the grand Prime Minister's office and residence, the whole growth story is simply unbelievable. complex is called, Putrajaya(Putra refers to the first PM) We have all become so accustomed to politics in Delhi and the Mahatir , no doubt is a great Asian leader. Like his many neighbours, states, so much of scandals and accusations, New Delhi and say Lee Kuawan Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore and Deng of China and Bangalore seems a very tiring place to live. Suhrato of Indonesia and some others he was an Asian autocrat and In Kuala Lampur, it is all a sense of vibrancy, so much of wealth, an an authoritarian. He never talked of India. Nor about the Indian expanded middle class and the very modern living standards, I leaders, as far as I can see. In fact, recently he criticised India as counted every two minutes a new Mercedes-Benz was buzzing having too much democracy! Yes, this may be true from his point through the roads, other cars most modern latest models are sim- of view. But then respect for human rights, for a free press and ply taking one's breath away. Our hotel front saw these modern other indicators of human development is not talked about in Mavehicles simply making Kuala Lampur as a transplant of a New laysia as I expected. People don’t read newspapers, it seems. No York. So much display of wealth and affluence. A Porsche was news stands and only very low standard press often about busiparked nearby! The Hilton hotel was 36 floors high and we stayed ness and other things. Also, I noticed no computer shops either! It on the 24th floor. This was certainly a novel experience for travel- is surprising to see too many flashy cars ,too clean city streets! ers from an Asian country. In Sri Lanka, it was also a development Where have all the poor people gone? success story, with all its after-effects of the LTTE menace. But on By any standards, you can’t hide the great heights of economic a lower scale. Autos ply the Colombo city. But in KL they were development Malaysia, a proud Asian nation, has achieved. 40 - Vol. 22, Issue 2 - 2012 - Agriculture

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View from the Village

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griculture, the largest em ployer still and yet the rich politicians, the dynastic suc cessors will define the future of the villages and the future of India as well? We need a grand vision. Who can provide the same? Yes, we want to write about the agriculture sector more. More about lives in the villages. It is very tempting to do so we just now read about the elections at Uttarkhand state where 54% of farms are less than two hectares. The hill districts, 11 mountain districts read life a tragedy. No politician in the elections spoke about agriculture! Why, this is the same story in the agriculturally rich Punjab where the two contending leaders, Mr.Badal and Amarinder Singh are the richest and the biggest land owners! Who cares? Money, more so liquor flowed and yet the poll was peaceful, though the six TV channels and the three major dailies were issued show cause notice. So, this is all too electoral politics? The rich candidates and the poor voters, or the rich vs. the poor will widen only. That is politics and that is also economics too! ============================== India, China The two countries are facing different set of challenges. In China there is this great urban migration on a large scale, it seems. China is a great exporting country; it is the Chinese exportled growth that is in contrast with the largely internally growing economy that is one big contrast.

============================== So, for a change we want to ask some hard questions. Will there be villages in the India of the future?Will there be a rural society? India is a large and diverse country. However, the Indian growth story, as it is called by insiders and outsiders, is what catches the attention of many sections of the Indian audience as well as the foreigners. Now, there is a slowdown, if not a plain fall in the growth rate. The current rate is something like 7.5%.This is compared most often with what China has been achieving, growth in 2011 at 8.9%, without taking note of the two countries very much diversity. China is now concentrating, we are told (see the latest Economist magazine) on building railways, roads and housing. So far it is noted that about 160illion migrants from the countryside provide the cheap labour in coastal cities that concentrate on export industries. Now, there are reports about unrest in the

The future of Indian villages!

Elections and the rural rich! How rich-poor divide will keep Indian villages always exploited! Rich candidates vs. the poor voters and the constant picture of rural India! industrial factories, there are demands for higher wages and even there are unrests in village administrations and also there are political changes with the latest 18th Congress of the Community party since it was established in 1921 and a new set of leaders are going to take part in the change of leaders. We in India don’t have any such situation. In India, we have democracy and now there is a sense of pressure in India for change with Prime Minister Singh running off steam, as such, with a series of corruption scams that have tested the patience of the people. What is talked of now in India is the subject of a policy paralysis. What is this policy paralysis? There is a series of confusions since the starting of the 20-G scam came to the fore. The UPA-II has proved to be a coalition of vested interests. The political allies of the Congress have developed their own vested interests; the Trinamul wants to take cover under some imagined state autonomy. The CM had won such an overwhelming election success but once in power she proved that she has no other agenda except to undo whatever development projects the DMK might have done. These are two examples of how the coalition parties have proved their use or nonuse. So, the question is both political and administrative. In terms of politics we see the Congress has no great vision whatever and whatever little it had it evaporated under the ineffective leadership of the poor PM. Unless, the Indian polity evolves as a genuine democracy, it adheres to some basic democratic and parliamentary principles; it can’t manage the great many challenges. As per the latest opinion polls, the Congress stands a very slim chance of winning in the next elections. So, there is the big question mark. How to compare China with India beyond a point? In China, the Communist party dictatorship is there, in spite of the latest news about unrest in large parts of rural China and also in industrial establishments for higher wages. But it looks, that India must

become a place where large private investment, both FDI as well as investments by private sector must come from. To make the next plan, the 12th plan, a success, it is noted by all, even by those who all attended the World Economic Forum, both the Indian participants as well as the foreign experts, world bank and IMF officials and others, India must attract more FDI, more investments. This is said so many times and we in India must also realise what outsiders say. India is seen as the clear favourite when it comes to investment. Though at present China might be attracting more investment, our democracy and open society must be seen as a long-term advantage. How to ensure that such a democracy and open society addresses the great concerns of the largest number of people, the mass of the people, the poor and the disadvantaged. Here only the role of rural India, the role of our villages come into top priority areas. One great disappointment is that we have some clever men as cabinet ministers. But they have proved flops. Thus, critical areas like education, health, rural development; our much-hyped panchayat raj is not discussed lately. This of course includes the very top issue of agricultural transformation. We have to see that the Indian villages won’t go away! Indian villages would continue to define Indian unity, Indian values and Indian mindset. There are now talks of smaller states. More smaller states welcome! But let us not forget with more states our rural mass of people will get their due. More schools, education opportunities, more panchayat raj institutions getting more funds and autonomy, with the latest technologies, a better and justice-driven distri-

50 - Vol. 22, Issue 2 - 2012 - Agriculture

& Industry Survey



Agriculture & Industry Survey