UP holds huge potential in agriculture
it needs right leadership to forge forward-looking path (Indian Express)
Mains Paper 3: Economy
Prelims level: Not Much
Mains level: Agricultural growth in Indian states
The whole of northern UP practically from Upper Doab, Rohilkhand,
Terai and the Awadh region just above Lucknow, to Kushinagar grows
The state has 120-odd operational sugar mills with cane crushing
capacity aggregating over 7, 80,000 tonnes per day, nearly half of it
established in the last 15 years.
Given that the country today is producing too much sugar and,
simultaneously, importing the bulk of its oil requirements.
The Narendra Modi government’s National Biofuels Policy permits
such direct conversion, as opposed to making ethanol only from the residual
molasses after production of sugar.
It has also targeted 20 per cent ethanol blending in petrol by
2030, against an actual all-India average of 4.2 per cent for 2017-18
(December-November) and a likely 7.2 per cent this year.
UP has already overtaken Maharashtra as India’s top
The next goal should be to transform the state’s ganna
belt into an ethanol powerhouse. Give mills the choice whether to
crystallise the juice from their cane into sugar, or ferment it straight
into alcohol for potable, industrial and fuel blending purposes.
At current sugar prices, they would rather produce
more ethanol, making it also easier to clear outstanding dues to cane
growers (Rs 10,500 crore-plus in UP).
It would further help if all taxes on ethanol used for
fuel blending are removed; the government’s revenue interests can be
protected by reserving a certain percentage of mills’ alcohol output for
Similar innovative thinking is necessary for UP’s
potato belt, covering the Middle and Lower Doab regions from Mathura to
Kanpur, and even districts such as Allahabad, Jaunpur and Barabanki.
Like in ganna, there is an existing infrastructure for
aloo in the form of cold stores. Agra, Hathras, Aligarh and Firozabad
together have some 780 cold stores with a combined 65 lakh tonne space,
again mostly created after 2000.
Cluster based approach needed
A cluster-based approach to attract agro-processing investments
can also be adopted for Bundelkhand, a major pulses bowl.
Production of rabi pulses in this parched region has received an
added boost through farm ponds that can store rainwater accumulated during
the monsoon season, and, use it to provide up to two protective irrigations,
just enough for the winter chana (chickpea), matar (green peas) and masur
In the last three years, more than 10,000 such ponds have been
built in the seven Bundelkhand districts by farmers themselves, with the UP
government subsidising 50 per cent of the cost. The results are clearly
showing on the ground.
The logical next step should be to ensure remunerative prices
through government procurement and incentives for setting up dal mills and
downstream processing units.
Such interventions are likely to work better when they are region
Another industry, whose worth hasn’t been appreciated, especially
by the present ruling dispensation, is bovine meat.
UP has 39 registered abattoirs that account for three-fourths of
India’s annual $4 billion buffalo meat exports.
Meat apart, a major byproduct of these modern plants, which have
all come up in the last two decades, has been the increased availability of
quality hide that is freshly flayed, fleshed, salted and folded for supply
The abattoirs sell other byproducts as well tallow (fat) to soap
and lubricant units, bones to manufacturers of gelatin used in drug
Animal tallow is, incidentally, also identified as a raw material
for bio-diesel production in the National Biofuels Policy!
However, forget recognising the potential of an industry that
provides farmers a market for their spent buffaloes enabling them to invest
in new milk-yielding animals and making dairying viable the Yogi Adityanath
administration in UP has embarked on a path of destruction.
What began as a crackdown on so-called illegal slaughterhouses has
extended to forced closure of tanneries in Kanpur, ostensibly for the ardh
kumbh mela from January 15 to March 4.
The mela is over, but the tanneries are yet to reopen.
We have a situation now of abattoirs in Aligarh and Unnao holding
huge unsold stocks of raw hide, even as Agra’s shoemakers have switched to
synthetic leather (basically polyurethane foam-coated fabric) imported from
Q.1) Which of the following conditions should be satisfied by religious
denominations to enjoy the freedom to manage religious affairs under the Part
III of the Indian Constitution? 1. It should be a collection of individuals who have a system of beliefs.
2. It should have a common organization.
3. It should be designated by a distinctive name.
Select the correct answer using the code given below. (a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Q.1) Discuss the significance of the Cluster based approach in UP