In the inaugural session National Disaster Management Authority president General Vig explained the functioning of NDMA like providing tents, boats etc. As he was coming out of the venue he told him "Over 200 large dams in India are allowed to fill up very early and not used to "Control Floods". NDMA has not learnt any lesion from "Surat Floods of 2006" when Ukai Dam was allowed to fill up in first month of monsoon season. This year Bhakra Dam was half filled up on July01, 2008 first day of monsoon season in Punjab and Bhakra and Pong Dams were filled up in the middle monsoon season leading to floods in middle of August. Earlier General Kumar had to pay for his life in similar negligence in most devastating floods in Punjab in 1988. You have not learnt any lessons from it.
·There is a foolishly disastrous misconception of filling up of dams in early monsoon. In doing so Dams lose their flood control capability, allow waters to overflow without generating power, generate power when least required at lowest price and release water for irrigation when mostly not required leading to floods and water logging instead.
Bhakra Dam was filled up by restricting irrigation releases during April, May & June when both irrigation needs and electricity generation is most desired and valuable. By August 13 both Bhakra Dam and Pong Dam were almost full. When there were heavy rains both these dams were run at full capacity when there was little demand for irrigation and lowest price for electricity. Floods caused extensive damage.
Neglect of Cotton Industry & Promotion of NANO Car
In last five years cotton production has gone up from 135 lakh bales to 315 lakh bales but Garment Exports are stagnant. India exported close to 100 lakh bales of raw cotton and substantial quantity of yarn last year. It was brought to the notice of the farm leaders how GOI is discriminating against agro industries – there is hardly any promotion of cotton textile industry in India when Cotton crop provides direct or indirectly support 100 million people of India but most of the Chief Ministers are competing with each other to maximum concessions to Nano Car. Why can't our states promote Agro Industries with similar zeal?
Commerce Ministry documents were made available to panelist to show stagnant Garment Exports.
Value of Cotton 10% in Retail Price of Cotton Garments
It was pointed out that even as Cotton is priced at peak to textile industry at INR 70/kg the value of cotton in 75gm vest that retails for INR50 is only INR5 or 10% but farmers get paid only INR3 or 6%. After accounting for expenditure on seeds, fertilizers, irrigation, sowing and harvesting farmers earn not even 4% of the retail value. Yet Commerce Department gave in to the demand of Textile Industry to reduce customs duty on cotton imports to zero to cut down income of cotton farmers with little or no gains to textile industry.
·FICCI and other trade organizations are misrepresenting Agricultural Sector. There is urgent need for independent "Farmers Chamber of Commerce & Industry" to represent farmer's interest and promotion of agro industry.
·Integrated Cotton Seed to Garment units be promoted in Cotton growing areas to make Garment Industry globally competitive. Farmers may have 50% equity in such units to avoid their exploitation.
Infecting Fresh Grains at Grain Markets
M.S. Swaminathan was explained in the absence of non existent scientific food grains handling and storage facilities fresh pure food grains harvest by machines are dumped on ground at grain markets along side older infected crops instantly infecting new grains resulting in loss of quality, value and quantity.
·All surplus food-grains brought to markets must be mechanically cleaned and immediately filled in grain silos. Farmers too should store food in Galvanized Storage Bins. GOI must fund this program. This alone will boost farmer's income by 25%.
·It was bad idea in NDA times to build grain 2 million tones capacity Silos in South when there is little surplus grain and crop season is spread over 6-7 months and bids to set up a Punjab Agro & Cargill venture for similar capacity for 15 million tone surplus food grains was not approved. Punjab and Haryana need 3 and 1 of such 2 million tone capacity Silos in view of 15 milion tones and 5 million tones of surplus food grains production in these states respectively.
Interaction with honorable minister of Haryana H.S. Chatha
As agriculture minister he narrated many misconceptions about agriculture but I am glad he instantly acknowledged the validity of this inventors "Advanced & Enlightened View". I admire his quick response and ability to accept contrary views when people tend to carry misconceptions to grave.
He announced Haryana will also introduce Punjab like legislation to ban paddy transplanting before June10 on grounds land need some "Sleep" to regain vitality and lowering water table and advocated crop diversification.
·This inventor when introduced "Innovative Farming" in Punjab operating from Delhi didn't raise crops between Paddy Harvesting and Sunflower Sowing when returned found 2-3 feet high weeds that also bred harmful insects.
·Punjab has recommended 130-150 day paddy seeds whereas IR36 introduced way back in 1975 had better yield and 105 day crop maturity. GOI was last to certify IR36 in 1981 six years after its introduction by IRRI.
·It takes two years for an agro industry to come up but 3-5 months for most crops to mature. Soybean and Sunflower introduced in Punjab had no market in the absence of Soybean and Sunflower factories- Punjab farmers got a fraction of the market price. Punjab and Haryana may first introduce Agro Industries before forcing diversification.
·April- May- June months are best for farming in Punjab, days are long so crop growth is rapid, pesticides work effectively and early harvests give best price. Three month long paddy transplanting season minimize migrant labor requirement, minimize input & export logistics, minimize storage, harvesting, wastage and milling requirements.
·Soil is always active. Leaving farms unattended promotes growth of weeds that also breeds harmful insects and use up high cost imported fertilizers.
·Five million acre feet of Indus water was not used during summer months that would have generated over 1000 million units of additional power. Punjab and Haryana paid up to Rs.10 per unit to buy electricity this year.. Bhakra Dam and Pong Dams filled up midway of monsoon season that resulted in Manmade Floods and water was released when Punjab and Haryana were lashed with heavy rains and full power was generated when grid price was lowest.
Floods after Summit2008
Even as Agriculture Leadership Summit 2008 was on Heavy Rains lashed Himachal and Uttarkhand. Catchments of SutlejRiver & BeasRiver generated over 150,000 cusecs of peak flows and YamunaRiver generated 4,10,000 cusecs of flow that brought large areas of Haryana under floods.
·BBMB on 21st was by now alerted to its blunders earlier held back peak floods and Punjab was saved. In the absence of storage dams on YamunaRiver there was no way to contain flood flows. Restrictions to flow in Haryana reduced the impact on Delhi and flood damage was largely confined to Haryana.
>>> Dams on Yamuna could divert up to 7 BCM of water that goes waste during monsoon and "Double" water availability in Upper Yamuna Basin States.
>>> 50% to 70% of water is lost in Canals in Punjab and Haryana, Rajasthan loses are 82%. There is huge wastage therefore there is no water shortage but water mismanagement.
M.S. Swaminathan reignited three decades old foolish idea of Ganga - Cauvery Link advocating transfer of Ganga waters to South. Water needs of UP and Bihar is projected at 247 BCM but water availability is 250 BCM and there are 9 other riparian states in India namely Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, MP, Jharkhand, WB, Uttarkhand. Chhatisgarh and Himachal Pradesh.
Punjab produces more food grains than all four South Indian states that have 10 times more river water than Punjab. Actually excess supply of canal irrigation is one of reasons for poor crop yields due loss of fertilizers, nutrients and pesticides. CuveryBasin gets high canal irrigation but lowest paddy crop yields.
>>>Funds earmarked for River Link be transferred for "Irrigation Efficiency Improvement Schemes".
Farmers Access to Quality Seeds
Farmers must be permitted to buy Quality Seeds from anywhere in the world and most importantly within India. TN has developed excellent Seeds but still productivity in TN is very low. Short duration paddy and such seeds developed by TN or IRRI can be easily introduced in other states like Punjab and Haryana.
·GOI should promote Breeding and Production of high yielding seeds on the same terms as Nano car. This shall directly boost productivity and income of 700 million rural population.
Good Plant Breeders & Bad Plant Breeders
Many times plant breeders develop good seeds as in TN but due to local conditions fail to produce good crops and at other places like Punjab seeds are bad but farmers are high performers.
·Recognizing good plant breeders and promoting commercialization of Seeds they develop in other states also would generate competition among Agricultural Universities.
·New seeds may be patented and breeders entitled to reasonable royalty.
·Jobs of Plant Breeders be made transferable and there is need for Plant Breeders exchange among Agricultural Universities. A good pulses breeder in Punjab would more useful in Rajasthan or Gujarat. A good rice breeder of TN would be more useful in Punjab or UP.
Matching of best Plant Breeders and best Farmers could generate Farming Revolution at no cost.
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