Is India still a deficit food economy?
And Russia and other big economies are using their agriculture power as a political and diplomatic tool? Yes, we read every day about our agriculture development news. As bit players filling up our newspaper columns as a box news item, saying how the Kharif sowing, for instance, as normal or very likely to be a deficit, this Kharif season, as it blows targets. This is all about our Agri reporting and as things are almost as a concession to our usual urban-minded English newspaper readership.
Agriculture is not a high priority national goal either with our political leadership or with the non-agriculture industry hubs, the high profile industry lobby that is very entrenched with all the political heavyweights.
For all pretensions, we display agriculture issues don’t create the right resonance with the agriculture policy making either at the Centre or the States level politics. As we write there is the looming danger of the entrenched farmer’s groups at the borders of the Delhi city and we don’t know how long this protest group’s politics would go on and if there is any guess to be made it is better to leave the matter as it is, better neglect it or forget and pursue some other topic or course for media reporting.
Indian media industries growth itself seems skewed and unpredictable with so much feared mindset at all levels of our living. And see what a contrast it is with the big economies and big agricultural countries that use the agri sector as a powerful tool.
Take Russia for instance, as per the latest write up in the high profile, London Financial Times newspaper that Russia today has emerged as the country’s biggest wheat producer and wheat and grains exporter. The title of the article is Russia sows the Seeds of wheat diplomacy. When the long-ruling current Russian leader Vladimir Putin became the President he was told by his colleagues that Russia imported more than 50% of its food was imported. When the president heard this comment, it is told, his face went pale.
The report says that when he heard this comment Putin has made it his goal to provide better food security in the country. He vowed that Russia would become self-sufficient in food by 2000 when it had been a net importer and that won’t be the scene anymore. As one who attended his meeting said that the President dreaded dependency and thanks to his vow, today Russia is number one in wheat and today Russia has reached a stage where other countries, friends, and foes who are becoming reliant on Russia for their food.
The food sector by 2000 was neglected, today others have come dependent on Russia.
Today the Russian agriculture goal is 80-95 percent of self-sufficiency in key products. A decade later a grain charter to boost transparency in the market was introduced.
After the political controversy surrounding the annexation of Crimes and stand off with neighboring Ukraine the EU imposed sanctions against Russia and this made Russia become more sensitive to the food crisis and hence the move to boost wheat production and given the Russian gigantic landmass of the country, there is no physical limit to expand agriculture opportunities.
Russia has the world’s biggest country by landmass, now the top wheat exporter and passing the US and Canada. Russian exports, wheat, and grains to Saudi Arabia. Cut its oil production to balance its external trade. Today 10 percent of Saudi Arabia’s grain imports are from Russia.
Russia has tripled its 2020 beef exports and doubled this of pork and beef, Saudi Arabia opened its huge market for chicken and grain. Vietnam is now the largest importer of meat from Russia in the world.
The UN calculates that the world willed to produce 40 percent more food by 2050 simply to keep pace with a world population that is expected to rise by 2 billion people over the next 30 years. We are determined to keep the certain growth of the food industry and our success in the food industry, says one confident Oleg Rogachev, board member. Rosagrotrans, Says she: It is profitable because of Russia’s geographical position. Most others are located in our underbelly. They are very close, in Africa, the Middle East, the Asia Pacific countries.
Yes, there are bigger issues, climate changes and other international issues, food exports to Iran and in return Russia sells Iranian oil. Agricultural outputting the country has grown almost 50 percent since 1991.
Russia is not all about oil and gas exports. Says one expert: Russia is not about green land, blue water, and clean food. America is of course still the world’s biggest agricultural economy. But Russia’s new thrust into agriculture and food exports is catching up.
Still the USDA, the agriculture department of the USA is very well organized and knows each inch of the world’s agriculture regions.
India has many lessons to learn from the current developments in the worlds’ leading agricultural regions. We have to know more about how to accelerate our agriculture production strategies.