Friday, 19 August 2011

Agriculture Policy

Indian agriculture policy is aimed essentially at improving
food self sufficiency and alleviating hunger through food distribution. Aside from investing in agricultural infrastructure, the government supports agriculture through measures including minimum support prices (MSP) for the major agricultural crops, farm input subsidies
and preferential credit schemes.

Under the price support policy, MSPs are set annually for basic staples to protect producers from sharp price falls, to stabilise prices and to ensure adequate food stocks for public distribution. In the past guaranteed prices have been below the prevailing market prices, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in 2007.

At the same time subsidies on farm inputs including fertilisers, electrical power and irrigation water have led to inefficient use of inputs and indirectly subsidise income. IFPRI concluded that “support for agriculture (from 1985-2002) has been largely counter cyclical to world prices”.
OECD appears to reach a similar conclusion. Its 2007 monitoring report points out that the level of agricultural support (covering transfers from taxpayers and consumers) for India “would appear to be slightly below the OECD average but considerably higher than that of the emerging economies reviewed by the OECD”. Furthermore the instruments of support used are “the least efficient and the most trade distortive forms of support”.

Poultry farming is the practice of raising domesticated birds such as chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese, as a subcategory of animal husbandry, for the purpose of farming meat or eggs for food.

More than 50 billion chickens are raised annually as a source of food, for both their meat and their eggs. Chickens raised for meat are called broilers, whilst those raised for eggs are called laying hens.[1] In total, the UK alone consumes over 29 million eggs per day. Some hens can produce over 300 eggs a year. Chickens will naturally live for 6 or more years. After 12 months, the hen’s productivity will start to decline. This is when most commercial laying hens are slaughtered.[2]

The majority of poultry are raised using intensive farming techniques. According to the Worldwatch Institute, 74 percent of the world's poultry meat, and 68 percent of eggs are produced this way.[3] One alternative to intensive poultry farming is free range farming.

Poultry Farming:

Friction between these two main methods has led to long term issues of ethical consumerism. Opponents of intensive farming argue that it harms the environment and creates health risks, as well as abusing the animals themselves. Advocates of intensive farming say that their highly efficient systems save land and food resources due to increased productivity, stating that the animals are looked after in state-of-the-art environmentally controlled facilities.[4] A few countries have banned cage system housing, including Sweden and Switzerland. Consumers can still purchase lower cost eggs from other countries' intensive poultry farms.


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