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No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Waning interest in public discussions… Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Wanted: a second airport for Chennai A think tank for Chennai B H Kothari - a tribute The nuclear option to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines A glass full of corruption Fortune for Indian Airlines The few handicaps... The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu The Gulf aviation boom Align crops to agro climate endowments… CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Lalu’s envy, India’s pride IPL type auction for VCs? The brown list of Venkitaramanan Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Nuclear power at the nucleus Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Delhi is distant… Music happens Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... When online building permits work…. Small units prefers to remain small... CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Modi and the lady Gay abandon in pricing Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Why this malaise in medical education? West Bengal: mindless malignancy Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Modi storms Silicon Valley The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Tough task taking states together Make standards certification mandatory... Readers' Mail L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… A professional at the helm of IRDA... Build close rapport with business leaders Multi-faceted Venkat Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Moily’s bold thrust There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Sweet news for TN sugar mills Mersal magnified EVM is tamper-proof Quality education through the PPP mode Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Protest masters... Roaring Ro-Ro facility Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Kulandai was a giant China invests in India Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Where a state respects its litterateurs… The Swadeshi Trump Noble nonagenarians... Editor's Notes A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Russi Mody – a tribute GM Technology at last! MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways The power-full Hindujas EEC at the National Media Centre S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist This scant respect for Law A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Welcome GST Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Kinetic Karnataka Delhi is distant CII projects higher growth… Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Return to king coal for urea... Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? An enemy’s enemy is a friend Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Demise of a media baron... Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Pharma – overdose of copying Airlines in India: cost and space PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals More Shakthi to Das’ elbow A yen for wastage… Shipping woes of Chennai companies Tax agriculture Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks PC’s preference for professionals No engine for this car …and of a popular trade leader Intellectual of rare qualities Poor quality of university VCs The balancing act When nations steal growth from one another… Parliament in paralysis... Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Delhi returns to BJP Streamlining mandatory third party cover Polls and promises Engineering seats go abegging An inexplicable neglect More tributes to GR The Jan Dhan bonanza Strengthen the base... Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Maximising the micro pricing … Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Things happen by accident and not by design... Preserving for the future Fortune 500 review TGS- The king storyteller F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Telangana in top gear… Welcome focus on core competence Tatas moving out of urea production... Mu Sigma – is no more Tatas moving out of urea production... Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Auto components surge… Where is Rajaji? Paytm karo... Medical costs hit the roof... TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Secularism and anti-Hinduism Cement prices continue to rise… The sea- saw battle continues... Editor's Says Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Sri Lanka votes for change Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Five star activism stalls development activity Revving up the manufacturing sector Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Revive development banks... An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... TELANGANA at last…BUT Road development slows down The rise and rise of KCP More heat than light Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Sweeter prospects for sugar Rahman at CIC The rise and fall of Annamalai University Tribute – M V Murugappan Adharma of opposition politics A more liberated TN… Put expensive assets created to use... For whom the bell tolls? IAS invades NDDB... TIAM turns a full cycle Vibrant Gujarat TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Making ‘my Amaravati’... Haul over the coal S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Shale gas and its shallow future Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Banning booze... New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Valli, they are more marginalised When small is no larger beautiful.. CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... ONGC at KG Basin A proud Madrasi Which side are you, Montek? Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Quality silica from Neyveli London, London Narayan Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model GNS - 100: our first subscriber Wise Presidents Discoms deserve better… Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Convulsions in The Hindu Robber barons everywhere SoA @ 80 Funding the un-funded Should we change the official year? Recognition to role of NBFCs.... A friendly business group Gas is the way forward No Maha Koottani in TN... Solar thermal shines… WTO Meet: resolved to meet again The star of Spencers is no more A welcome initiative by the judiciary Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Muffled voices for merit… How Air-India loses customs... A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… IPL - no surprise this scam Breaththrough in malaria control The why of tax incentives Marketing expert Balagopal is no more When the President was rendered homeless… Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Contrarian cousins Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Why land prices zoom in TN? A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Fuel for thought Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Shanti and Sadhana through Music Cutting the nose to spite the face More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Tribute Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Boy, can you beat these? He saved millions from starvation... Come elections, come advertisements... For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Plummeting profits of PSBs Solar, solar everywhere … Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy He continues the focus on social amelioration Delhi Chalo... Kudos to NDTV... Building loyalty through the stomach When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's When Ratan Tata visited SRM Silver Years of Madras Musings Towards speedy justice Another Indian music maestro at the UN Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ
 
A yen for wastage…

A decade ago, McKinsey report mentioned that a third of fruits and vegetables produced in India are wasted through lack of attention to handling these. The report stated that this wastage is equivalent to the total consumption of such products in the UK. Involved with the Agriculture Consultancy Ma-

nagement Foundation (ACMF) promoted by IE to improve productivity of agriculture, I have watched with dismay that such wastages continue to abound in the farms; in transporting the produce from farm gates to the wholesaler; from the mandis to the retailer and finally to the consumer. Cold chains, much bandied about, are a far cry in a country where power shortages are rampant, pervasive and frequent. There is also the consequent high tariff for power, which makes cold storages so much more expensive and unaffordable by the average farmer. One solution is the quick adoption of techniques followed in developed countries. China has done this effectively, inviting large multinationals to extend technology for achieving quantum jumps in productivity of crops like potato; more importantly, in establishing a highly sophisticated system of handling the produce.

The liberalisation of retail trade is expected to attend to this. But the familiar paralysis of governance in Delhi has not enthused large retail chains to set up shop in India with any sense of urgency. Several regional leaders including Arvind Kejriwal are against liberalisation of retail trade. Hopefully, a new government at the Centre by mid 2014 would have sufficient power to focus on such vital issues.

Even while I express concern over this issue, I noticed more callous wastage in that haven for efficiency, the USA. I visited an apple orchard near Boston. There are several of these large private orchards spread over vast areas. They raise a large variety of apples. Adopting scientific practices, they produce in profuse quantities. Of course, they suffer from the problem of high cost of labour to manage these. Mechanisation, which is pervasive in most other aspects of US industry and  agriculture, has not been possible for plucking such fruits.

Private orchards resort to making money through tourism offering the opportunity for visitors spend time at the orchards and pluck the fruits.  For an entrance fee of $ 14, the visitor is provided a bag. He/she can pluck and fill these with apples and pears.  Tractor-trailer rides with hay seats take the visitors (for an additional fee) through different parts of the orchards raising several varieties of the fruits. Instructions are also given on the method of plucking the fruits.

All this is exciting. But, sadly, I noticed humongous wastage by amateurish plucking. On a rough estimate, I found more than half the produce was wasted.

There are well-organised orchards in India where attention is paid to reducing such wastage. Reliance Industries offers an excellent example. In Jamnagar, along side its two world-class refineries, the company has set up a sprawling mango orchard. Thousands of mango trees are raised on scientific basis under the direction of expert scientists and managers. The trees are pruned to a height of less than 10 feet in beautiful canopy shape. A lot of research inputs are made to extend the season as also expand variety and improve quality. The normal wastages seen in traditional orchards of tall trees suffering bird and squirrel bites are avoided. In quick time, the company established a flourishing export market for mangoes.

The lesson is clear: as in other aspects of the economy, agriculture needs science, technology and management. That is possible only by agglomeration of thousands of small land holdings. Punjab and Rajasthan have amended land acts permitting lease of land for 15 years and more. It’s time other states follow this.

 

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