Saturday, August 4, 2012

60th Week@XIMB

60th Week@XIMB - 29th July to 4th August, 2012

29th July - Sunday is celebrated through a video on rural marketing sharing experiences of Airtel, M&M and Hero Honda in rural India

Eyeing on the monsoon reality, farmers in northern India always use proverbs of Ghagh aur Bhaddari for weather forecasting. There has been research paper - Farming proverbs: analysis of their dynamics and farmers' knowledge by Ranjay K Singh and A Dorjey

The linkage of good monsoons and Indian market is too much close still we keep ignoring reality of the rural market. With an inadequate monsoons the rural consumption falls and so does their overall sales of agri-input companies. There are many more whose sales are indirectly dependent with the agricultural cycle but with the poor monsoon that will also go down. Use of local, non-hybrid seed varieties and cheaper micro-irrigation are the ways in which farmers try to maximise their returns in times of drought.

30th July - A two day workshop on “Markets That Empower Farmers (& Consumers)” has started today at XIMB. This learning and brainstorming workshop is jointly organized by XIMB and ASHA (Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture) is coordinated by Prof. Shambu Prasad. There was detailed coverage on the blog of Kisan Sawaraj.

My Learning :-

1- People had lost many years doing wrong things. But you have to do sometime wrong for long enough to realize this. Its worthwhile to do something not for the sake of money and pleasing society.

2- Too much consumer centric approach has diverted our attention from the problems of primary producers and rural livelihood. Policy, Market and Technology are currently used for agri-business rather than agriculture. Farmers are in crisis, not farming.

3- Diversity is the key concept for sustainable agriculture. Sustainability should be key word for next green revolution. More collectivization of farmers is required for increasing bargaining power. Bina sanskar nahin sahkar, bina sahkar nahin udhar (without morals no cooperation, without cooperation no uplift).

Fact: 5000 liters of water is required for rice in comparison to negligible irrigation required for millet. Per capita yield must be matched with per capita nutritious value of the crop.

31st July - There were guest speakers in ESM class : Joseph Thomas, Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship, IITM and Sridhar Radhakrishnan who runs a Zero Waste Center in Kovalam, recycling local waste and converting them to useful products, thereby generating livelihood for locals. Both of them were critical of the engineers. One of them was about design of sewage system design and other was of on the use of incinerator for the disposal of solid waste.

One quote mentioned in slide quite touched mine emotional chord : “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Concept of waste management is good and useful for assessment of product life cycle assessment. While the whole class was very vocal in their support of organic farming, I found that response quite shallow. As the core message of organic farming forms a antithesis for the students looking their bright future in fertilizer giants like Monsanto, DSCL, Tata Rallies, etc. I will support assumption by quoting Upton Sinclaire : "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

1st August - M-CRIL is Micro Credit Rating International Ltd. M-CRIL is a global leader in the financial rating of micro-finance institutions and in sectoral advisory services.

2nd August - Prof Nonita Yap, Professor in Rural Planning and Development at the University of Guelph delivered a talk on "Greening the economy - opportunities through cleaner production and industrial ecology" at XIMB. She touched the topic of Decarbonisation of the whole energy sector, Industrial Symbiosis at Kalundborg and Quasi Cyclic economy. There was criticism of cluster approach of industries in her talk as these cluster concentrate pollutants. In India, industries rarely see waste as a resource.

3rd August - Immersion course Agribusiness Value Chain Finance (AVCF)and Carbon Management and Carbon Trading (CMCT) started today.

4th August - I was sick with fever still managed to attend few classes of immersion courses. With weekend looming, enjoy this video !

Making the Market Work for the Poor : This session was moderated by Elliot Gerson, Executive Vice President, The Aspen Institute USA and the panelists included Adarsh Kumar, Executive Director, All India Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association; Lakshmi Venkatesan, Founding Trustee and Executive Vice-President, Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust (BYST); Deepender Hooda, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha (Indian National Congress); and Amitava Chattopadhyay, The L'Oreal Chaired Professor of Marketing-Innovation and Creativity, INSEAD, Singapore.

The majority of Indians are still not reaping the benefits of liberalization. While there seems to be growing consensus that the trickle-down theory is not working for India, is there a way that markets can be made more responsive to the rural poor in particular? Beyond NGO activism, how can the poor buy-into the market economy?

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This Blog is meant purely as a personal diary of a rural manager in making. It exists to record information, experiences and opinions about various issues encountered in the line of duty. Any person, institution and organization mentioned here doesn't assume any liability for its contents. This is not a deliberate attempt to defame anyone. And if you have actually read all that is written in the blog and aren't mad at me, then thanks for your time and patience !


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