27 Mar 2020

Lessons from Coronavirus could help Reform Humankind

The COVID-19 virus is a tough story to wrap your head around and so many questions are asked. Where and why did it originate, how did it turn pandemic, are we over-reacting, why is it so much more dangerous than tuberculosis, which is an ongoing pandemic and still kills 1.5 million each year.

The one clear take is that this new virus and the panic-demic, has spread like wildfire thanks to a dense and interconnected world. Budget airlines hastened its reach, and modern day social & electronic media were prompt in spreading its infamy. And our human world is still shaking, hard !

19 Mar 2020

Prepare to Spread the COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 virus is showing all indications of disrupting every individual’s life habits. While social isolation is largely voluntary so far, the fear of the disease is also coercing some to ostracise others who may show related symptoms. The helplessness factor has also initiated a blame-game of sorts, with a few even allocating this corona virus a nationality. Some people are seen to discover religion anew, and many others have displayed acts of kindness, reported from around the world.

Sadly, that means that a lot of pain also abounds, and it is most unfortunate doctors are had to resort to triage – selective treatment of the ill – due to high load on the medical system in a few regions.

This raging pandemic has left everyone focusing on one hope, to ‘dampen the curve’ of the infected. The idea is, to buy time, so that local healthcare networks can ably cope with the numbers expected. We appear to have no other recourse against this invisible enemy, but to consciously isolate from unnecessary proximity... until a vaccine is developed.

13 Mar 2020

The Farm is Humankind's first Solar Powered Factory

Agriculture is most commonly correlated with the act of cultivation (and herding, catching, harvesting) and a few other field activities, carried out by agricultural serfs. It is also mostly linked with food security concerns. However, farming is the heart of the agricultural value system, a value system that is not only ensures that humankind gets food but has also evolved to provide feedstock to industries.

Agriculture has a unique place in the primary economic sector, as its output can be directly consumed (as in milk, meats, fruits & vegetables) and also service the demand of industries (as in cotton, leather, medicinals, chemicals, processed foods, and more). The other main primary sector is mining, where the harvest of natural resources (eg. ore, crude, coal, etc.) has to necessarily undergo transformative processes before it can come into gainful end-use. Like how cotton cannot be worn unless converted into cloth, and oilseeds have to be processed for oil before it is consumable.

10 Mar 2020

FACE2FACE - Pawanexh Kohli with Ramesh Kumar

Answers - Capt Pawanexh Kohli, former CEO of NCCD & Chief Advisor to DAC&FW. He was knowledge partner & member of the Committee on Doubling Farmers Income and is conferred the title of Professor (Post-harvest Logistics) by University of Birmingham.
Questions - Ramesh Kumar, veteran business journalist and author of Naked Banana, 10000 Km on Indian Highways and more. His penmanship is also held at the US Library of Congress and he is a well-known evangelist of India’s logistics & supply chain operators. 

Excerpts from an extended dialogue between Ramesh Kumar and Pawanexh Kohli – about recent developments in cool logistics, his exit from NCCD and more

10 Sep 2017

Farm Productivity is not an End in Itself!

Heard at a recent lecture, the expert recommendation that India should direct greater resources for raising the field level productivity of crops, to alleviate two core concerns: the food security needs of the nation and to improve incomes for farmers. 

As someone who might have believed in these platitudes till a few years ago, I think it is imperative to set some records straight, and offer a more nuanced picture.

While one cannot ignore the 'general sense', it should be understood that productivity in itself is not a 'silver bullet', and except at individual enterprise level, such focus is in many ways contraindicated.

16 Sep 2016

Stop Food Loss to Counter Climate Change

Artificial refrigerant gases cause global warming... and so do gases from wasted food
India has the world’s largest footprint in cold stores. Recent estimates indicate that over the last few decades we have created 130 million cubic metres of refrigerated warehousing space. Most importantly, 97% of these happen to be users of natural refrigerant gases – in effect this is the world’s largest collection of users of ammonia based refrigeration. This is not a petty matter, as most of the developed world has cold stores that deploy artificial refrigerants. Unlike ammonia, these artificial fluids - Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) - either caused Ozone depletion or are negatively impacting Global Warming.

In Europe alone, reports indicate that almost 50% of their food chain refrigeration is using such gases with a thousand times higher global warming potential (GWP) than CO2. Ammonia on the other hand, extensively used in India, has zero GWP.