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India’s Shrinking Farmlands and Deteriorating Soil Quality: A Cause for Concern

India is the seventh largest country in the world with a total land area of 3,287,263 km (1,269,219 sq. miles)[1]. Of this total geographical area of 3,287,263 Mha, approximately 146.2 Mha land is degraded land. India occupies about 2.4 per cent of the world’s total land area; it supports over 16.7 per cent of the … Continue reading

Does Microfinance Empower Poor Women?

That microfinance helps in extending affordable credit and in mobilizing savings is a well documented fact. Fostering the savings habit and the ability to access credit in a convenient manner and at affordable rates can help in transforming the lives of many beneficiaries particularly women. In the Indian context, mainly for the poor and illiterate … Continue reading

The RBI’s Banking Ombudsman Scheme 2006 – A Mechanism for Addressing Customer Grievances

Banks in India are technology driven in most locations. So much so that the personalized customer service which used to be a hallmark of the Indian banking set-up is almost extinct. Centralization of operations and automation of most processes which was done with the intention of maximizing the benefits of specialization, economies of scale and … Continue reading

Contract Broiler Farming in the Indian Poultry Sector – A Discussion

  Introduction:   Poultry is one of the fastest growing segments of the agricultural sector in India today. It is growing at a much faster rate than any element of agriculture or allied agriculture sector. While the production of agricultural crops has been rising at the rate of 1.5 to 2 percent per annum, the production of … Continue reading

BAIF’s ‘Wadi Program’: A Composite Model for Sustaining Livelihoods in Rural India

( Image Source: flickr.com) Abstract: The article highlights the Wadi[1] approach adopted by BAIF in South Gujarat for promoting the livelihoods of rural farmers. Acute poverty, small landholdings, low agriculture productivity , lack of alternate employment opportunities forced the local tribals, to migrate to nearby cities in search of livelihoods where they usually become victims … Continue reading

Pomegranate Cultivation : India’s Competitive Advantage Lost & Why ?

  Introduction:       A couple of months ago, I was in the Solapur district (Maharashtra-India) on a research assignment related to microfinance. The bus route to the  villages that we had identified for research work, passed through the ‘pomegranate hub’ of Maharashtra. But here was the surprise- there were hardly any pomegranate trees in … Continue reading

Why Indian Banks need to focus on the less Tech Savvy US NRI’s ?

Silicon Valley and the boom in the IT industry propelled by the internet have made the Indian engineering talent a much prized item. Indian educated doctors, dentists too are a much sought after in the USA ( they have to clear the US certification requirements). But there are also a lot of Indians working in … Continue reading

The Turmoil in the Indian Microfinance Sector –Part 1

As I write this piece, SKS Microfinance the bellwether company of the Indian microfinance sector is seeing some turbulent times far from its halcyon IPO time on July 28 2010 which formalized the cross-over of the sector (traditionally funded mainly by grants, foreign aid, PE funds and through the priority sector avenue of banking) into … Continue reading

Public Sector Banks in India: We love to hate em but…

Sure they may seem inefficient, unprofessional and a lot of other things. We love to hate em just because of the whole customer disservice experience that we may have sometimes encountered and they epitomize all things bureaucratic and slow. However there is another view( my personal one of course!) borne out of years of working … Continue reading

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