Blog Posts by Mavericks

Trofi’s Rainout Shelter Technology! / Published January 10, 2016 by Sam Sundar D

Sam Sundar D

Trofi’s Rainout Shelter Technology!

“Frame and curtain” version of a lightweight rainout shelter powered by solar panels. Rain sensors automatically control rolling of the covers along the built pole-structure (can be done manually in case of rain forecasts or insufficient solar power). Paths will be dug around the structure in order to guide rainwater to a reservoir.

Disclaimer: Image is for illustration only.

Rainout Shelter technology – The Options! / Published January 10, 2016 by Sam Sundar D

Sam Sundar D

Rainout Shelter technology – The Options!


Rainout shelters are designed to protect a certain area of land against receiving precipitations so that an experimentally controlled drought stress can be imposed on that area. Many types of rainout shelters were designed and used, with better or lesser results.

There are two main designs:

(1) static and
(2) movable.

Within the moveable design there are automatic/motorized and manual versions. The automatic version is signaled to move over the protected plot by a rain sensor and an electric drive system. The manual version is moved either by manually switching the drive on ("manually driven") or by manually pushing it ("manually pushed") over the protected plot. The 'manually pushed' must by lightweight and hence it is cheaper and can cover a limited land area.

The manual version is moved from its parking spot onto the protected plot whenever a rain is expected and not when the rain begins. It is moved into the parking space whenever rain is expected to cease completely. Good weather forecasting service is therefore important. If forecasting is unreliable, better have the shelter over the protected plot more time than expected. Therefore, the shelter construction must allow sufficient light inside as well as some ventilation.

The area around the shelter should be managed in consideration of surface runoff and the drainage and diversion of rainfall flowing off the shelter especially under storm conditions. Hence ditches and other means of protection should be properly placed around the installation, with respect to topography. Consideration should be given also to the fact that horizontal flow of water in a saturated soil can be appreciable.

SOURCES:

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00442-002-1024-3

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=1616668

http://www.plantstress.com/methods/rainout/rainouts.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKkNb0CN0xs

Shreyaa Sreenivasa

Research Paper identifies climate and middlemen as deterrents to food security!


We recommend reading this research paper published on the Journal of Agriculture and Social Research (JASR).

The abstract is as below-

“This paper appraised the roles of middlemen in the distribution of agricultural products and the inherent implications to food security. The results showed that climate and weather are known limiting factors of production in agriculture. Also, middlemen intervention raise price for consumers. The result showed that farmers encounter high production costs in their efforts to boost production but hardly get fair pricing of their products from the middlemen, the bulk farm gate buyers. The real profit goes to the middlemen who buy up the farm products at almost give away prices and sell at outrageous prices to the consumers. This attitude of middle men have discouraged genuine investors getting into agriculture because of the marginal profit associated with it as the middle men cart away the bulk of the profits. Thus, the activities of middlemen seem to be a threat to food security.”

To read the entire research paper visit -

http://www.ajol.info/index.php/jasr/article/view/67575

Case Study: The End of Hunger in Belo Horizonte, Brazil / Published January 10, 2016 by Sam Sundar D

Sam Sundar D

Case Study: The End of Hunger in Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Belo Horizonte, the third most populous metropolitan city in Brazil, is one of the most progressive actors in poverty reduction. Home to nearly 2.5 million, Belo Horizonte practices the Right to Food that perceives food as a human right rather than a commodity. Poverty rates have dropped dramatically in Belo Horizonte since policy makers enacted this act in 1993.

The Right to Food guarantees healthy and accessible food to all citizens in Belo Horizonte. Policy makers use systematic approach to effectively execute this law by implementing the following techniques:

1. Integrating logistics and supply chains of the food system
2. Tying local producers to consumers to reduce prices and increase food sovereignty
3. Regulating markets on produce that guarantees the right to healthy, high-quality food

Poverty has reduced drastically in Belo Horizonte, Brazil since the Right to Food law passed in 1993. Benefits include:

1. Reduction of the child mortality rate by 60 percent
2. Reduction of child undernourishment under the age of 5 by 75 percent
3. Fruit and vegetable intake increase by 25 percent

The Right to Food law is an award winning policy and serves as an inspirational example of how food redistribution saves lives. UNESCO named the Right to Food law, Best-Practice in 2003. The Right to Food law also received the Future Policy Award by the World Future Council in 2009.

Insights:

We at Trofi believe that we need to tackle the issue of Hunger from a bottom-to-top approach. By eliminating middlemen in agriculture we can isolate the detrimental effects of competition in the market and eradicate them, thereby emphasizing the freedom in free markets. Eliminating middlemen would ensure more profits for the farmers, guarantee high-quality food (easier regulation) and bring down prices for the consumers.

Sources:

http://www.unesco.org/most/southa10.htm

http://borgenproject.org/end-hunger-belo-horizonte-brazil/

Why are Indian farmers poor? / Published January 10, 2016 by Shreyaa Sreenivasa

Shreyaa Sreenivasa

Why are Indian farmers poor?


In a country such as India, just 8% of the population is responsible for growing crops to feed the entire nation. With figures such as these, the profits made by the farmers should be quite large. However this is not the case as according to a recent study, 36.2% of the farmers in India fall in Below Poverty Line category (expenditure below Rs. 32 in a month for rural areas).

This would lead us to the question of where these profits go.

In India, farmers incur huge production costs in order to meet the demand for crops. But in order to distribute the crops to the population, there are middlemen, who purchase from the farmers and sell to the consumers. This seems to be pretty normal considering that most markets function in the same manner. However, a majority of the farmers are uneducated or have prior debts, which force them to sell their crops to the middlemen at extremely low rates. As a result of this, they end up receiving poor prices for their crops and hence hardly make any profits.

The middlemen purchase the food products for throw away prices but sell the same at high prices to the consumers. As a result, the cost of the farm product when it reaches consumers increases.

The high production costs as well as the low selling prices not only affects the profits being made by the farmers, causing a majority of them to fall in the BPL (Below Poverty Line) category, but also discourages people from entering the agricultural sector.

It can be concluded that in the Indian agricultural industry, the real profits are made by the middlemen. Elimination of the middlemen and connecting the farmers to the consumers, directly or through a single agency, would greatly benefit both the farmers and the consumers.

Sources:

http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/02/26/farmers-struggle-to-escape-middlemen/

http://www.moneylife.in/article/middlemen-reap-benefits-of-rising-food-prices-not-farmers/17852.html

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