Green Revolution Amidst Recession

December 2, 2008

The world has seen a recession; many countries from super power to no power have experienced the heat wave of recession. Commodity prices have increased to sky high and still spiraling towards north. For a common man especially for the lower and lower middle class the proverbial uncle's stick has come down very hard.

In finance sector, Stock Markets have crashed to rock bottom, people who have invested in equity seen sharp decline in their portfolio. Central Bank (RBI ) generally increase the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) to keep the inflation steady, instead reduced Cash Reserve Ratio from 8.5 to 5.5 and injected crores of Rupees into the banking sector to keep the liquidation going, Repo Rate has also seen in the reverse direction to have access to more funds from RBI. Few months back, the Participatory Notes which had given enough headaches to the SEBI and the Government, has now become a handy instrument for inflow of Foreign Funds.

Many large financial institutes with base in US have already announced itself bankrupt. Even though the US government has bailed out and pumped huge funds into troubled mortgages and toxic assets to stabilize the institutes, these institutes are still struggling. Because of the strong and well regulated Indian banking system, Banking /Financial institutes have not yet given any nightmares to its depositors.

Many people have cursed the government without knowing the reality. Government is giving assurance over assurance regarding safe deposits to keep the esteem high. Non-ruling political parties have not wasted any time to grasp the opportunity to bucket another issue. Even though the western countries bet on capitalism, people
started discussing role of socialism over capitalism. Some Think-tanks argue if the country had followed the principles of Marxism, we would have escaped from this

Great Evil - 'Recession'.

Projected GDP target is reducing day by day and now it has reached to somewhere around 7 – 8 per cent for current fiscal, though some private consulting firms project it around 6.6 per cent.

Realty sector has seen a sharp decline in enquiries or in new deals. Some of the market giants have already slashed prices or giving some other add-ons. Builders who have made enough profits are able to hold their projects with reduced turn-over. Though the government has intervened and reduced interest rates for various advances, the quantum of buyers are not much, as seen in the booming industry. Some builders have started marketing in gulf countries to take advantage of the increased dollar value.

Automobile industry is worst hit, some the international giants have already gone bankrupt. If we look at the Indian market, some of the automobile industries have temporarily shutdown their plants to match production with the orders. Therefore, the small scale contractors and suppliers who were dependent on these manufactures are
hit very hard. Various industries have rejected Finance Ministry’s offer to reduce the price owing to higher direct or indirect costs.

People working in the private sector are already bearing the brunt with reduced recruitment, delayed or no promotion, lower incentives and non-existent pay hikes. There are number of organizations that are already handing out pink slips. If the same situation continues for another 6 months we may see a sharp decline in foreign
funds flowing into the country along with our NRI brethren heading towards home. Some of the top foreign fund remitting countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE are feeling the heat.

Rubber plantations, once the most sought after farmland in Kerala, now find no takers because of the plummeting price of natural rubber in the last few months. People who have converted the fertile land into rubber plantation are feeling the heat wave the most. Government has already imposed restrictions on export of non-basmati rice to have a steady price and availability.

Closer home, if we take a walk in the vegetable market, vendors and consumers have created their own space. The vegetables that were selling at Rs.10/Kg, today they priced at around Rs.50/Kg. Is it the shortage of vegetables? A lower middle class person earning Rs.100-150/Day and have to feed a family of 4-5, may not take this
view of the commodity market.

In short, each and every industry has going through a bad phase. According to the industry experts, it may take another 2 years to overcome the recession.

There have been other impacts. Are they just as gloomy? Where is the silver lining?

What is the outcome of this great recession?

As UN rightly predicted it's the GREEN REVOLUTION !

"The direct benefits will be reaped by the rural populace through their own on-farm adoption, greater agricultural employment. Empowerment will be more mixed and depend heavily on local socioeconomic conditions."

As a result, People who were never been to their fields, today they are watching the beauty of their fields. People, who never knew how to cultivate their daily needs, have started learning farming skills. People who have taken VRS for cultivating crops are testing the fertility of their fields. And hence, agriculture output will increase and people will realize the importance of farming. If this inflation continues for at least another year, the cultivatable land will rise exponentially.

As a country like ours, where 65 per cent of the population depends on agriculture for a livelihood, India needs a detailed strategy to protect farmers from the impact of the recession.

by Ronald Brayan Nazareth
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Comment on this article

  • ronald, barkur-bhadrigiri

    Thu, Dec 04 2008

    Indeed there are sky high rises which can only be explained by private price-fixing, where middle men pocket whopping profits. In fact I hear that Udupi District suffers vastly from this artificial price rise. The BJP government which promised lower prices has not taken any interest in price control. In fact they are rising dangerously and across the board. To counteract this menace, greening of our own land is the best policy.

    The entire problem is due to the massive loss of local agriculture in the land of Parusharama, especially after the true colours of globalization were manifested, and as a result of which both the producers in the inland Karnataka and consumers in coastlands are squeezed by middle men who manipulate the prices of vegetables at will sometime by 100% within a day’s time ! For example, the price of Capsisums had risen to Rs 80/kg, even unpopular sweet potatoes to 18/kg etc. But there are well-to-do customers who help these greedy middle men. Imagine how easy it is to stop this if people were to organize rallies against this manipulative “price fixing”. Remember these vegetables are perishables - a few united and determined public rallies and decisions can defeat the greedy middle men, e.g what if the whole of Mangalore or Udupi got together and decided not to buy sweet potatoes or tomatoes for a week when prices suddenly go up sky high ? Nowadays even onions do not have a shelf life of more than a few days let alone the yearly preservation of the olden days [That itself speaks of globalization/ GM crops - both menaces (The EU countries have shunned GM crops wisely].

  • Sowmya Aneesh, Mangalore

    Wed, Dec 03 2008

    Very nice article Ronald.your thoughts are so very true.Hoping to read many more articles from you.Keep up the good work...

  • Mohammed Ravoof, Mangalore / Qatar

    Wed, Dec 03 2008

    Dear Ronald, the article is interesting and open eye article for those people forgot the basic needs of the people. that is food and grain. people are behind the wealthy stuff in the world and forgot the farmers's involment in the daily food items , rice to vegetables. good eye opener article for those who are suffering for world financial crisis. Thanks Ronald

  • Lavin Noronha, Paladka / Bahrain

    Tue, Dec 02 2008

    Hi Rony, It was a wonderful article. Hope to read more such article. keep up the good work.. God Bless you

  • seetharam shetty, Mangalore/Jeddha

    Tue, Dec 02 2008

    Green revolution should be given priority.Farmers should be trained how to extract maximum productivity by applying advanced techology.

  • A.D'Cunha Shenoy, mangaluru

    Tue, Dec 02 2008

    Agriculture is the only sector which will feed humanity. India is 80% agrultural economy and all efforts must be made by our governments to maintain this share. This is the only sector that is sustainable but care must be taken not to Corporotise agriculture. Green is clean. Lets all talk about agriculturalism and not capitalism.

  • Kiran, Manipal/USA

    Tue, Dec 02 2008

    Great article!

  • Dominic, Scotland

    Tue, Dec 02 2008

    Hey Ronald gud thoughts wel done!!! Look forward for many more articles in future..

  • Herold, Mumbai

    Tue, Dec 02 2008

    Good article, Now only World recession, After Financial Crisis, If the tension between India and Pakistan continues, there would be definately food crisis. Now everybody running behind money making machine. But, this is not the ultimate. We need to be srong from the grass root level. India is more dependednt on Agri products, and as mentioned in this article only another Green revolution as in 70's will uplift the country and our standards.

  • Satheesh Poojari, Kundapur/Mumbai

    Tue, Dec 02 2008

    Congrats Ronald for a straight forward and Excellent article on recession. After financial crises world is going to face food crises.

  • Prashant, Mumbai

    Tue, Dec 02 2008

    Good article. Hope everybody realize the importance of farming and will become self dependent.

  • Navneet Shetty, Mangalore/UK

    Tue, Dec 02 2008

    Dear Ronald, Thanks for your article. Indeed a very good article and simple language for common man. I totally agree with your opinions on UN's view. If this happend god only help our people in Gulf and other countries.

  • Purushottama, Byndoor

    Tue, Dec 02 2008

    Good article. There is a Sanskrit saying that " Krishito Naasti Durbhiksha- Japato Naasti Patakah: which means he who devotes to agriculture will not starve and who chants gods name will get rid of sins. The value of agriculture is being realised now. Recession or no recession- farm produce has constant demand because we can not stop eating! The article is enriched by nice photos.

  • Andrew L D Cunha, Mangalore

    Tue, Dec 02 2008

    After financial crises world is going to face food crises. Goverment should give top priority to agriculture sector so that we are ready to face this crises. Yes, we need sepecial agri zones. Excellent article.

  • Mohan H Naik, Mangaluru

    Tue, Dec 02 2008

    Dear, Congrats for a straight forward, simple article on recession. I must say there are alot of theory, rather much complicated, to be understood by common men. Your article, provide a brief,simple understanding of the present scenario. As mentioned, if Agriculture sector is going to boom, i feel, it is a blessing in disguise to Indins, as ours is a country of rural flock. Once again thanx for giving nice article.

  • Jossie, Kinnigoli/UAE

    Tue, Dec 02 2008

    totally agree with you Ronald on the Green Revolution. We need Agri Zones in DK and not SEZ's. Hope we realise soon before it's too late to turn back the damage.


    Tue, Dec 02 2008


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