Archive for the ‘Agriculture’ Category

The Political-Economic Causes of the Soviet Great Famine, 1932–33

August 3, 2021

Andrei Markevich, Natalya Naumenko & Nancy Qian in this new NBER paper study the Soviet Great Famine (1932–33):

How effective is e-NAM in integrating food commodity prices in India? Evidence from Onion Market

April 7, 2021

Rudrani Bhattacharya and Sabarni Chowdhury in this NIPFP paper:


A high growth plan for Indian agriculture

March 15, 2021

Ashok Gulati, Ranjana Roy and Shweta Saini have written a book on Indian Agriculture which one can download for free.  

The authors summarise the book findin

In a recent publication from Springer Nature, Revitalising Indian Agriculture and Boosting Farmer Incomes, which we have co-edited with Ranjana Roy, strategies for six Indian states — Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha —have been proposed. We studied each of these states to identify factors that contributed to their growth and issues which constrained it. In addition to suggesting customised solutions, we also identify best-practices for replication in other Indian states.


As a part of the roadmap, the book makes a case for states to move beyond production-centric approach to a value-chain approach with FPOs at its centre. It highlights importance and requirement of growing public investments in basic infrastructure, like roads, markets, power supplies, and agri-R&D. And finally, in the longer run, rationalising subsidies (both input and output) via direct income transfer is suggested, as that will not only empower farmer but will also give them right signals for efficient use of these resources (fertilisers, power, water). This will help put agriculture on a higher growth trajectory, augment farmers’ incomes, and promote sustainable development of agriculture.

If the Narendra Modi government follows this path of investing in infrastructure, ensuring a more diversified agriculture and linking small-holder FPOs with markets, it will pay rich dividends not only to the farming community but also the entire economy.

Agriculture After the Pandemic..

April 16, 2020

Martin Ravallion in Proj Synd piece say we could have a famine:

This is not solely the familiar, cruel, trade-off between economic welfare and personal health that many poor people face. It is also a trade-off between two aspects of health: illness due to the virus, and hunger and poor nutrition resulting from economic isolation and disruption to markets and institutions, including private social protection.

While the case for a sensible degree of social distancing to combat COVID-19 in developing countries is strong, the case for a lockdown is not. Lockdowns pose new threats, and could even turn the pandemic response into a famine in some poor places. I do not say this lightly; I believe it is a looming threat. Both research and experience demonstrate how famines can result from the sort of institutional and market breakdowns implied by a strict lockdown. We saw this recently in the wake of the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak in Sierra Leone, where starvation soon emerged as a new threat.

Famine among poor and vulnerable people can result from multiple causes, as Amartya Sen demonstrated in his book Poverty and Famines. Sen cited examples in which there was no decline in the total amount of food available. The problem was its distribution among people and over time. And here, markets and other institutions play a crucial role. Lockdowns can disrupt the production and distribution of food, alongside a collapse in poor people’s earnings and higher food prices. We are learning that today’s food supply chains have vulnerabilities, even in rich countries. And even if famine is averted, spells of poor nutrition can have lasting consequences, including higher vulnerability to other illnesses.

Another piece by Wandile Sihlobo says we could see more automation in agri:

After suffering severe labor shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems unlikely that advanced-economy farmers will return to business as usual. Instead, many will probably attempt to mitigate the risks stemming from dependence on foreign seasonal workers by automating more of their operations.

Dvara Research Blog Competition 2019

September 24, 2019

Dvara Research has put up the inaugural Dvara Research Blog Competition 2019. The competition is for students currently pursuing Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in India. The last date for submission is 20-Oct-2019. It is giving great prizes with the first winner getting a cash award of Rs 35,000.

We are delighted to host the inaugural Dvara Research Blog Competition 2019 for students currently pursuing Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in India. The competition is on the theme of “Suitable Finance for Agricultural Households“ and is aimed towards encouraging students to conduct analyses on the Agricultural sector in India, and how suitable finance can serve as a lever for lower-income agrarian households to improve their social as well as financial capital.

Through this competition, we hope to encourage and invite thinking on ways of applying suitable finance to the issues faced by agricultural households. Students are encouraged to submit their original analysis/insights as part of this competition which would be reviewed by an eminent jury and the top three entries will be featured on our blog and will also be monetarily rewarded. The resources section at the bottom has links that may help you get a rounded view of the theme, and we will keep updating this page with additional information during the course of this competition. In case of any queries or if you seek further clarity, please feel free to reach out to us at

The theme:

Theme: Suitable Finance for Agricultural Households

The ill-effects of unsuitable finance tend to be felt more by workers in the unorganised sector, amongst which are those engaged in agriculture. Agricultural workers are unique among other unorganised workers in their livelihoods are dependant on circumstances that are highly unpredictable. This, as well as the cropping cycle usually means that they do not have a regular source of income. As a result, regular finance, with its calculations made based on monthly averages, falls short of being able to address the issues faced by agricultural households.

At Dvara Research, the Household Finance Research Initiative aims to rigorously understand the financial choices and decisions of low-income or excluded individuals and households, and their relation to achieving households’ objectives. We realise that one cannot look at the financial well-being of households without ensuring that they are protected from being prescribed unsuitable methods by which to achieve it. We believe that financial service providers must ensure that the customers’ interests are adequately and effectively protected as a matter of business process.

Pass on the word!

Agri finance: Another year, another panel. Will things change?

September 17, 2019

RBI released a report on Agricultural credit over the last weekend. I review the report in moneycontrol.

The Paradox of India’s Green Revolution

June 20, 2019

Marshall Bouton in this article:

More than five decades after India launched the Green Revolution, its war on hunger is far from won.

The impetus for the Green Revolution came from harvest failures and famine conditions in the mid-1960s. But its main goal was to ensure India’s national food security, more precisely its self-reliance in food grain production. We can see now that the policies adopted then, and left largely unchanged since, have not only failed to eliminate hunger but also made more intractable the challenge of providing adequate and appropriate nutrition for all of India’s people. These policies have included subsidies for fertilizer and groundwater extraction, minimum support prices for food grains (especially rice and wheat), and procurement and public distribution of grains (also mostly rice and wheat).

Most govt interventions have consequences both intended and unintended….

India has entered a regime of “permanent surpluses” in most crops and facing a great depression…

June 12, 2018

Reading Harish Damodaran is a must to get some idea on Indian agriculture.

In this piece, he writes on how there is a surplus in most crops in India. The policymakers continue to think we live in age of shortage leading to familiar responses of quotas and restrictions. What we need is a change in thinking as we are possibly facing a great depression in Indian agriculture:


The globally interlinked mandi..

April 10, 2018

Preeti Edakunny, a PhD candidate at Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani in this piece cautions about moving to a global agri mandi:

The farm support policies and subsidies offered by rich nations, including the United States and the European Union, protect the interests of the wealthy in their own countries, while they distort farm produce prices globally. This hampers the possibility of the farmers in developing countries to earn a sustainable livelihood, as well as their access to markets.


The call to cease all subsidies in the farm sector is the mantra of the hour, the demand coming in both from external economies and from domestic corporates. There is an increased pressure through mechanisms such as the WTO to dismantle (albeit inefficient) agricultural intervention systems and expose the already battered Indian farmer to the distorted market. The urgent pressure is met with responsive eagerness by the government, a fact that needs to be explored through multiple frameworks to understand the reasons for the reciprocity.

Market reforms do not automatically ensure distributive justice. If we dismantle the existing intervention structure, without developing an alternative support system to take its place, we are creating an opportunity for heavily subsidised produce from external economies to enter our markets, killing the only source of employment and sustenance for over 60% of our nation’s population who have no other means of livelihood.

There is continued need for agriculture to receive the protection of the community and the state. Removing these protections would only create an uneven playing field for the farm sector. Without the provision of a real alternative, this will result in the farm sector bearing the brunt of the ever-growing inequity. If such financial unsustainability continues, there will continue to be an exponential migration of farmers out of farming. This comes with multiple societal costs, including loss of national food security. In the absence of the rich nation subsidies, the farmers could be competitive, and even environmentally sustainable food producers.

It is interesting how little things have changed despite several years…

These tractors show 150 years of farming history

March 2, 2018

Nice photo essay showing history of tractors in US.

The word tractor came from traction engine:


After protest over pepper imports, Government fixes Minimum Import Price for pepper

December 8, 2017

One just blogged about how Indian pepper farmers have asked government to intervene against cheap pepper imports from Vietnam.

And as expected, the government has decided to intervene by fixing minimum import price:

The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry has approved the proposal of the Spices Board for fixing the cost, insurance and freight (CIF) value of ₹500 per kg as the Minimum Import Price (MIP) for pepper to protect the interests of pepper growers.

In recent times, decline in the domestic pepper price owing to cheaper import of pepper from other origins has been a major concern among pepper growers. Pepper prices have gone down by nearly 35% in one year and have resulted in a lot of hardship for pepper growers.

Since most of the pepper-producing countries are in the ASEAN region, there have also been apprehensions of pepper from these countries, being routed through Sri Lanka taking advantage of lower duty under SAFTA and ISLFTA, for availing concessional import duty. Farmers’ associations have demanded taking of stringent measures, including fixing of Minimum Import Price for pepper, to prevent cheaper imports of pepper into the country from other origins, a release from the Press Information Bureau stated on Wednesday.

Fixing of Minimum Import Price will help in improving the domestic price particularly when the harvesting season of pepper is fast approaching, it said.

Meanwhile, Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP, welcomed the decision on Wednesday. In a release, Mr. Kateel said that pepper growers had been urging the government for the same. 

…..Price of Indian pepper which was ₹650 last year has dropped to ₹380 a kg now.

Eventually politics triumphs over everything else.

India’s farmers seek restriction on import of Vietnamese black pepper…Good economics?

December 7, 2017

Consortium of Pepper Growers’ Organisation have argued for import restrictions on Vietnam pepper:


Was agriculture the greatest blunder in human history?

October 20, 2017

Prof Darren Curnoe of Univ of New South Wales:

Twelve thousand years ago everybody lived as hunters and gatherers. But by 5,000 years ago most people lived as farmers.

This brief period marked the biggest shift ever in human history with unparalleled changes in diet, culture and technology, as well as social, economic and political organisation, and even the patterns of disease people suffered.

While there were upsides and downsides to the invention of agriculture, was it the greatest blunder in human history? Three decades ago Jarred Diamond thought so, but was he right?

Prof argues that Diamond was indeed right but we can do nothing about it:


How Netherlands has become an agricultural giant by showing what the future of farming could look like.

September 18, 2017

Interesting piece and stunning pictures in Nat Geo’s Sep edition:

In a potato field near the Netherlands’ border with Belgium, Dutch farmer Jacob van den Borne is seated in the cabin of an immense harvester before an instrument panel worthy of the starship Enterprise.

From his perch 10 feet above the ground, he’s monitoring two drones—a driverless tractor roaming the fields and a quadcopter in the air—that provide detailed readings on soil chemistry, water content, nutrients, and growth, measuring the progress of every plant down to the individual potato. Van den Borne’s production numbers testify to the power of this “precision farming,” as it’s known. The global average yield of potatoes per acre is about nine tons. Van den Borne’s fields reliably produce more than 20.

That copious output is made all the more remarkable by the other side of the balance sheet: inputs. Almost two decades ago, the Dutch made a national commitment to sustainable agriculture under the rallying cry “Twice as much food using half as many resources.” Since 2000, van den Borne and many of his fellow farmers have reduced dependence on water for key crops by as much as 90 percent. They’ve almost completely eliminated the use of chemical pesticides on plants in greenhouses, and since 2009 Dutch poultry and livestock producers have cut their use of antibiotics by as much as 60 percent.


Is data the new oil or is data the new soil? Case of Bhutan Hazelnuts..

June 28, 2017

Superb article on how different institutions and companies are ushering the data driven world. Bruno Sánchez-Andrade Nuño, Data Scientist at World Bank tells you data is being collected from Bhutan’s hazelnut farms:


Are farm loan waivers really so bad? The elite RBI view vs an alternate view..

June 26, 2017

The farm loan waivers have been criticized severely by one and all.

He says people understand that farmers are under distress but hit out at loan waivers. The view is elite and best summed by RBI:

Oddly enough, the media and other commentators recognise the reality of farmers’ distress, but take serious exception to farm loan waivers as a means of addressing the problem. The position taken by India’s elite is best summed up in the words of the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
“I think it (farm loan waiver) undermines an honest credit culture, it impacts credit discipline, it blunts incentives for future borrowers to repay, in other words, waivers engender moral hazard. It also entails at the end of the day transfer from tax payers to borrowers. If on account of this, overall Government borrowing goes up, yields on Government bonds also are impacted. Thereafter it can also lead to the crowding out of private borrowers as higher government borrowing can lead to an increase in cost of borrowing for others. I think we need to create a consensus such that loan waiver promises are eschewed, otherwise sub-sovereign fiscal challenges in this context could eventually affect the national balance sheet.” (Press Conference, 6 April 2017).
These are ominous words. Different aspects of this view have been picked up by different interlocutors to create a new and frightening urban legend. What is worrisome is that no one seems to have deemed it fit to critically examine the validity of these claims in the very specific context in which the loan waivers are being considered. Perhaps it is time to do so.  
The first point that needs to be made, and made forcefully, is that this is not the first time that farm loan waivers are being given. Therefore, it is possible to subject its effects to empirical validation. The second is that even if all such effects are valid, they need to be evaluated against the counterfactual – namely, what is the likely outcome if these waivers are not granted? Third, surely somebody should ask whether these repeated instances of farm loan waivers are a symptom of mindless political populism or do they point to a more fundamental problem in the design of farm loans in India?

Pronab Sen provides an altenate view to the ongoing criticism. He says this time the distress and call for loan waivers is mainly due to demonetisation, an action which was mainly enforced by Govt and RBI:

There is a certain ‘holier than thou’ flavour to the words of the RBI Governor which finds echo in the Finance Minister’s flat refusal to assist the states with the loan waivers. This is cynical at best, since there is now a consensus that the present crisis is largely the outcome of demonetisation, in which both the Minister and the Governor were complicit. It almost equals in arrogance the famous American dictum: “it may be our currency, but it’s your problem”10
At the heart of this problem are Constitutional provisions whereby the health of the banks is the Centre’s concern while the health of the farmers is that of the states. This division of responsibility is asymmetric in that if states protect the interest of farmers, they also protect the banks; while the Centre can protect the banks without concern for the farmers. As a result, the ball is always in the states’ court, and the Centre can simply stand back and watch if it so desires.
This state of affairs is not conducive to the health of the country as a whole. The Centre and states need to work together to evolve a farm loan model which protects both the farmers and the banks without bringing politics into it. This is the essence of ‘cooperative federalism’ that this government sets such store by. Until such time, farm loan waivers need to be viewed less ideologically and with more compassion. 
The alternate view point is always important. The political economy of India’s agriculture remains as precarious as ever..

Is the impact of demonetisation on agriculture finally showing and does this mean a rethink on inflation targeting?

June 19, 2017

I should have blogged about this piece last week as it came.

Harish Damodaran says the experts got it wrong on the initial impact of demonetisation which was to expect a decline in crop output. The impact seems to have come in the second round as agri prices have declined like never before:

When demonetisation happened, many, including this writer, thought the decision, taken at the start of rabi plantings in November, would significantly impact farm production. We were proved wrong. Good monsoon rains, after successive drought years, besides the timely onset of winter conducive to germination, turned out to be strong motivations for farmers to sow, even if this entailed begging or borrowing. They successfully weathered the DeMo storm by simply replacing cash with deferred payments, for labour, purchase of seed, fertiliser and pesticides. Informal credit networks and “social capital” ensured that, at the end of the day, we had a bumper crop.

Where demonetisation did have an impact, however, was in the prices received during harvest: Potatoes in Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh, fetched below Rs 350 per quintal this February, compared to Rs 600 or more last year. Moreover, while prices in 2016 had crossed Rs 1,100/quintal by mid-May, they are stuck even now at Rs 350-400. The same goes for rabi onions in Lasalgaon, Maharashtra, that traded at an average of Rs 450 per quintal in May, as against Rs 750-800 and Rs 1,200 in the same month of the preceding two years. Farmers, likewise, sold tomatoes at Kolar, Karnataka, in early May for Rs 300-400 per quintal, down from Rs 1,500-1,600 a year ago.

When was the last time we saw all three — potatoes, onions and tomatoes — wholesaling at less than Rs 5/kg, and even retail prices within Rs 20/kg? And this, in peak summer!

How did this happen? Eventually the decline in cash impacted the chain. 

Well, much of the produce trading in India is cash-based and financed through a chain of mandi intermediaries, processors, input dealers and retailers. While difficult to establish, anecdotal reports suggest that this traditional agro-commercial capital was dealt a body blow by demonetisation. The collateral damage from it has been a haemorrhaging of liquidity from the markets. With the trade, which used to previously buy and stock up whenever prices fell, no longer active — it neither has the cash, nor the confidence now — the produce markets are suddenly without an important source of liquidity. True, this speculative capital was also a source of inflation, wherein, say, a 10 per cent production shortfall led to prices zooming 200 per cent. But today, it’s the opposite: A 10 per cent output increase engenders a 200 per cent price collapse.

One does not know how long it would take for formal finance, banks, commodity trading houses or organised retail, to fill the void left by traditional agro-commercial capital whose transactions were largely in cash. Till that happens and liquidity truly returns, the ultimate sufferer is the farmer, evidence of which is visible in mandi prices and restive hinterlands.

Interestingly, he adds inflation targeting has a role as well. Given high weight of food items in CPI inflation, its success depends on dampening of the agri prices:

But even assuming demonetisation’s effects to be transitory, there is another elephant in the room in the form of “inflation targeting”. The finance ministry and the RBI, in February, 2015, signed a monetary policy framework agreement, obliging the latter to achieve an annual consumer price index (CPI) inflation target of 4 per cent, subject to a plus/minus 2 per cent band. While such inflation targeting may have been adopted by some 29 other countries, the Indian case is unique because of the sheer weight of food and non-alcoholic beverages in its CPI. At 45.86 per cent, this is way above the corresponding combined share of these items in the official CPIs of the United Kingdom (10.3 per cent), Canada (16.41 per cent) or New Zealand (18.84 per cent).

Given the high weightage of agricultural products in its CPI, the success of inflation targeting in India is predicated on what happens to food prices. And since inflation at the retail and not just the wholesale level is what’s being targeted, it inherently incentivises policy actions that depress farm prices (“fire sales” may, after all, not be all that bad a thing for the five wise men and one woman constituting the RBI’s monetary policy committee). That could also explain why our policymakers today are naturally predisposed towards imposing controls on stockholding, domestic movement and export of farm goods, alongside allowing duty-free imports, at the slightest hint of a price increase — while doing nothing when produce realisations hit rock bottom.

Inflation eventually isn’t just a matter of the prices of goods and services going up or down. It is also about whose prices are rising and whose are falling — in other words, winners and losers. In the current deflationary environment, the farmers are the clear losers.

Hmmm… Never really thought from this perspective.

One can’t even blame MPC alone here. We have ignored agricultural economics for a while. Much of agriculture analysis is plain noise. There is hardly any understanding of the sector which drives much of Indian economy and politics. The role of MPC just glamorises the already over the top macro models. An MPC should have clearly tried to be more diverse bringing insights from local economies and sectors. 

The article lists a few agri markets/mandis:

…Garlic and methi (fenugreek) seed prices at Mandsaur — the district in Madhya Pradesh’s Malwa region that’s become synonymous with the ongoing farmer unrest — averaged Rs 3,400 and Rs 3,100-3,200 per quintal in April, whereas these ruled at over Rs 4,100 and Rs 4,700-4,800 respectively during the same time last year. Farmers in Nashik, which has also witnessed large-scale street action, along with the rest of Western Maharashtra, had to dump Sonaka grapes at about Rs 12 per kg in March, having sold the same green seedless variety for Rs 45 or so last year.

Even more illustrative is the story of soyabean, a kharif crop that, at harvest time in November, quoted at Rs 2,800-2,900 in Indore — that price has barely moved since then, even as sowing for the new season has commenced. A similar fate has befallen arhar/tur (pigeon-pea), which realised Rs 4,300-4,500 in January-February at Gulbarga, Karnataka.

How many of us even know of these mandis? 

Kokum fruit has high marketing potential..

May 2, 2017

After jackfruit, it is encouraging to see kokum fruit too get some attention too. Also really nice to see a common name behind both these initiatives: Shrre Padre of Adike Pathrike.

Squash, juice, ointment, jam, multi-purpose powder — all value added products made from Kokum — attracted visitors at the first Kokum Mela of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi at Muliya village, near Vitla, on Monday.

Dried Kokum rind and a spicy value added product of Kokum were among the other attractions. The ointment was made from Kokum butter. 

Adike Pathrike, a farm monthly, Puttur; Halasu Snehi Koota, Neerkaje; and Western Ghats Kokum Foundation jointly organised the mela.Speaking at the workshop to highlight the scope for marketing Kokum and its value added products, Shree Padre, Executive Editor, Adike Pathrike, likened the fruit to “Kalpa Vruksha”.Mr. Padre said that probably only 30 % of Kokum available in the Konkan belt was being used now for making value added products or for direct consumption. Marketing potential for the fruit was high.

Somashekara B.S., author of Garcinia Brothers, said that as Kokum has three major attractive colours — red, yellow and green, the scope for marketing was high. Mr. Somashekar said that there was high scope for Kokum hybridisation.

He said that fruit vendors showcased fruits such as apple better in stalls by giving least priority for wild fruits and local fruits during season. Sometimes, they even kept local and wild fruits on the floor.

One got introduced to Kokam Sharbat on Mumbai’s local train stations and always looked forward to drinking the same. It was really refreshing and provided respite from Mumbai heat.

But how all these local fruits have been lost to fancier varieties.


History of Kiwi fruit: combines considerable luck and a stroke of marketing genius.

February 13, 2017

This is a fascinating article which points how Kiwis were actually Chinese gooseberries which somehow came to NZ. Then one of the firms renamed it to Kiwi fruit as its shape resembled the Kiwi bird of NZ. Then it just took off:

Historical consensus — as presented on New Zealand’s official history website — suggests that the first seeds arrived on New Zealand at the turn of the 20th century.

It all began in 1904, when Mary Isabel Fraser, the principal of an all-girls school, brought back some Chinese gooseberry seeds from China. They were then given to a farmer named Alexander Allison who, planted them in his farm near the riverine town of Whanganui. The trees went on to bear their first fruit in 1910.

New Zealand’s appropriation of the Chinese gooseberry wasn’t inevitable. Around the same time the first seeds were introduced to New Zealand, the species was in fact also experimented with as a commercial crop both in the U.K. and the U.S., wrote New Zealand plant physiologist Ross Ferguson, one of the world’s top kiwifruit researchers, for Arnoldia, the magazine of Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum.

But, as luck would have it, neither the British nor the American attempt at commercializing the fruit was as fruitful. For example, the first batch of seeds brought to Britain’s Veitch Nursery all produced male plants, thwarting the growers’ plans to produce edible fruit. The same fate befell the U.S. government’s attempt. “It seems ironic that the sending of seed by a missionary to an amateur gardener should eventually lead to a new horticultural industry, when the efforts of the Veitch Nursery and the U.S. Department of Agriculture were so much less successful,” Ferguson remarked in his 1983 essay.

The gooseberry’s rebranding didn’t happen until almost 50 years after Allison’s trees bore fruit, according to New Zealand’s official history, when agricultural exporter Turners & Growers started calling their U.S.-bound Chinese gooseberries “kiwifruits” on June 15, 1959.

The fruit’s importer told Turners & Growers that the Chinese gooseberry needed a new name to be commercially viable stateside, to avoid negative connotations of “gooseberries,” which weren’t particularly popular. After passing over another proposed name, melonette, it was finally decided to name the furry, brown fruit after New Zealand’s furry, brown, flightless national bird. It also helped that Kiwis had become the colloquial term for New Zealanders by the time.

Demand for the fruit started to take off, and by the 1970s, the name kiwifruit took root across the Chinese gooseberry trade, cementing its popular imagination as the quintessential New Zealand product. All this happened while China was busy tearing its own social fabric to pieces, during the decade of terror that was the Cultural Revolution.

“I think it was a matter of luck and suitable climate” that the fruit thrived in New Zealand, Ferguson tells TIME. Now an honorary fellow at the New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research, he helped classify the Actinidia deliciosa — the furry, green kiwifruit — as a separate species in the 1980s.

In a twist of irony, Chinese are both the largest producers of Kiwifruit and also think the fruit as foreign..

This is amazing. To see kiwi originate in china is quite similar when people in India are told that potatoes came from Portugal.

Meet the Kerala journalist leading a global campaign to put jackfruit on our dinner tables

January 31, 2017

This is a great story of Mr. Shree Padre, exactly the kind which make your day. These are unsung individuals who are making amazing contrbutions in their own way. Mr Padre is a founding editor of Adike Patrike, journal on arecanut farming:

Living continents apart, Miriam Martinez Joya and Shyamanna have little in common but their deep and abiding love for the humble jackfruit. Joya, a California-based entrepreneur, drives her jackfruit truck selling value-added jackfruit products every day, while Shyamanna, a practicing doctor, steals time away from his patients to care for the thousands of jackfruit trees growing in his orchard in Devanahalli, on the outskirts of Bengaluru.

Those who would consider such passion for a fruit misplaced, should meet Joya and Shyamanna’s inspiration – a man named Shree Padre who has become a self-appointed global campaigner for jackfruit in Swarga, Kerala.

At 61, Padre describes himself as “a farmer by profession and a journalist by obsession”. Padre is the founding editor of Areca News – later re-branded as Adike Patrike or the Areca nut magazine – a Kannada publication aimed at educating farmers. Though the magazine once primarily focused on areca nut farming, it came as no surprise to anyone who knew Padre, when Adike Patrike began to publish stories on jackfruit from 2006 – the year Padre took it upon himself to bring the fruit back into the limelight.

He says jackfruit is the ultimate Kalpavriksha, a tree whose every part is useful..

Superb coverage..

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