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In this article, the complexities in the relationship between rainfall and sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies during the winter monsoon over India were evaluated statistically using scatter plot matrices and autocorrelation functions. Linear, as well as polynomial trend equations were obtained, and it was observed that the coefficient of determination for the linear trend was very low and it remained low even when polynomial trend of degree six was used. An exponential regression equation and an artificial neural network with extensive variable selection were generated to forecast the average winter monsoon rainfall of a given year using the rainfall amounts and the SST anomalies in the winter monsoon months of the previous year as predictors. The regression coefficients for the multiple exponential regression equation were generated using Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm. The artificial neural network was generated in the form of a multilayer perceptron with sigmoid non-linearity and genetic-algorithm based variable selection. Both of the predictive models were judged statistically using the Willmott's index, percentage error of prediction, and prediction yields. The statistical assessment revealed the potential of artificial neural network over exponential regression. © 2010 Académie des sciences.

Barah B.C.,National Center for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research
Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics | Year: 2010

The unique ecological entity and topographical diversities are the exclusive characteristics of the hill and mountain regions in India. The distinctive socio-economic features, ethnicity, climatic variability and human activities, separate the hill and mountain ecosystem from the rest. Traditional agriculture is the major and dominant activity in the hill economy, which confronts multiple risks and uncertainty. The low yield of food and cash crops, fodder, fuel and other minor forest produce and stagnant growth are the critical pull factors of agrarian economy and in particular the household food security. The small and fragmented land holdings, undulating topography and predominance of cultivation under rainfed conditions are the dominant features of farming in Himachal Pradesh. The analysis revealed that soil in the area is sandy, skeletal, celestius, fridged, which is low in nitrogen, moderate in phosphorus and high in potassium content, apart from low zinc and iron but it contains sufficient copper and manganese to support crop production.

Kumar A.,National Center for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research
Indian Journal of Animal Sciences | Year: 2012

India is the largest milk producer in the world with annual production of about 105 million tonnes in 2007-08. But, milk productivity in India is very low and there is a tremendous scope for its enhancements. The study has measured farm-specific technical efficiency in milk production and has identified its determinants to suggest options for increasing farm level efficiency to strengthen competitiveness of dairy farmers. It has been shown that India has potential to increase milk production by about 25% at the existing level of technological development. However, improvement in technical efficiency in milk production requires adequate and quality veterinary services, augmentation of feed and fodder resources at the farm, integration with formal marketing system, and scaling-up of the dairy enterprise.

Chand R.,National Center for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research | Jumrani J.,National Center for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research
Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics | Year: 2013

Food and nutrition security has remained one of the top priorities of policy planners in post-Independent India. The country followed a multi-pronged strategy to improve and sustain food and nutrition security. The main focus is on the nutrient intakes and monthly per capita consumption expenditure (MPCE) based on the mixed reference period (MRP) wherein the expenditure on items of clothing and bedding, footwear, education, institutional medical care is recorded for a reference period of last 365 days and expenditure on all other items is recorded for the last 30 days. The nutritional status in India during the period 2009-10 was examined by comparing the per capita dietary intake of energy and protein with their respective recommended dietary allowances (RDA) and by estimating the ratio of population that consumed lower than their RDAs. The average body weight of infants is taken as 6.9 kg. Pregnant/lactating women have been excluded from the analysis for simplification purposes as well as due to non-availability of such data.

Birthal P.S.,National Center for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research
Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics | Year: 2013

The article examines the potential of some of the frontier technologies related to breeding of crops and animals, and natural resources management in improving food and nutritional security, and enhancing agricultural growth and rural development. In India, the average yield obtained from front-line demonstrations on farmers' fields is a commonly used indicator of yield potential for practical and policy purposes. Available evidence indicates that there exist significant differences in realized and obtainable yields of most crops both within and across the states which cannot be explained by the local physical conditions. The natural resource base of agriculture is becoming increasingly stressed. Land and water, the two most important factors of production, are scarce, and these are deteriorating fast quantitatively as well as qualitatively due to intensification of agriculture and their increasing demand in non-agricultural uses. Conservation of land and water resources and their efficient use, therefore, are critical in enhancing and sustaining productivity of agriculture.

Birthal P.S.,National Center for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research | Negi D.S.,National Center for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research
Economic and Political Weekly | Year: 2012

Diversification of the agricultural production portfolio to include livestock is an effective way of accelerating agricultural growth and reducing rural poverty. This paper now assesses the situation in India where livestock now accounts for a larger share of the value of agricultural output than foodgrains. It also discusses the technological, institutional and policy options to harness the untapped potential of this sector at a time the demand for animal food products, driven by sustained economic and income growth and an expanding urban population, continues to rise both domestically and globally.

Birthal P.S.,National Center for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research
Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics | Year: 2014

Livestock have been an integral part of India's agriculture since time immemorial, providing livelihood support to a majority of rural population. India has a huge population of different species of livestock and together these account for about 27 percent of the country's agricultural gross domestic product. The performance of a livestock market crucially depends on the disclosure and dissemination of market information on the quality of livestock and market characteristics in terms of infrastructure facilities and support services. A binary logistic regression has been used to test the influence of buyers' demographic and entrepreneurial characteristics on the choice of voluntary or mandatory disclosure of information.

Chand R.,National Center for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research
Economic and Political Weekly | Year: 2010

The main reason for the current surge in food prices is the supply shock due to the drought in 2009 and the carry-over effect of the low growth of food production in 2008-09. As the frequency of such shocks is expected to rise, India needs to have an effective food management strategy to deal with these episodes. It also needs to explore various other options for price stabilisation like maintaining buffer stocks and using trade. The economy has to invest heavily in expanding storage capacity for various types of foods in both the public as well as private sectors. Due to fluctuations in growth, the export of some commodities in one or two years is followed by their imports, which invariably involves a large variation in costs and prices. As India is a net exporter of food, a part of what is now exported needs to instead become part of domestic stabilisation stocks.

Dastagiri M.B.,National Center for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research
Outlook on Agriculture | Year: 2010

India's livestock sector is growing and is playing a vital role in the continent's agricultural economy. The 11th Plan and the National Agricultural Policy have focused on livestock to achieve the target growth rate of 4% in the agricultural sector. However, there has been a decline in public investment in both agriculture and livestock. There is a notion that livestock is a neglected sector in terms of investment, and the distribution of investment is also skewed. This paper looks at the status, growth rates and trends of government spending on animal husbandry and dairy, livestock gross domestic product (GDP), investments in agriculture, agricultural GDP and national GDP. The author assesses the effects of government spending on livestock for promoting livestock GDP and reducing poverty, and suggests policy measures to promote investment in the livestock sector.

Birthal P.S.,National Center for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research | Joshi P.K.,International Food Policy Research Institute | Roy D.,International Food Policy Research Institute | Thorat A.,National Council of Applied Economic Research NCAER
Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics | Year: 2013

Diversification by small farmers toward high-value crops (fruits and vegetables [F & V]) that can raise farm incomes significantly has always been in question because of several reasons such as diseconomies of scale and lack of access to inputs such as capital and information. We present evidence that in India diversification toward high-value crops exhibits a pro-smallholder (rather than anti-smallholder) bias. The smallholders however play a proportionally larger role in vegetables than in fruits cultivation. These patterns are consistent with simple comparative advantage-based production choices. Even with small landholdings if labor endowments are high, such farmers diversify toward F & V. Though fruits cultivation is also labor intensive relative to cereals, it is less so relative to vegetables. Greater capital intensity implies a comparatively important role of credit in fruits. The results are robust to several tests on specification including those related to self-selection. © 2012 Canadian Agricultural Economics Society.

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