Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Copy, not compete with China

China reached its goal of 95 per cent self-sufficiency in food production around a decade ago...
By contrast, India reached self-sufficiency in grain production years before China following the Green Revolution of the 1970s...
China reached self-sufficiency in food production around 1995 and India reached the same target around 1975, but the duration of two decades is underplayed as 'years'.

China dumps Maoism to Capitalism:
China has ... sound agricultural policy that has led to a gradual liberalisation of the sector
China has moved from a system where all the land was collectively owned and the entire food procurement and distribution systems managed by the government to a liberalised set-up where "efficiency rather than only equity" is seen as key.
Since 2001, the China State Grain Bureau has been functioning as a corporation, separate from government and focussed on efficiency.
Today the focus is less on self-sufficiency and more on leveraging competitive advantages.

But the Indian Communists yearn for Maoism:
China's communist history with its emphasis on gender equality and basic education for all meant that China has for long led other developing countries on these parameters of social progress. Since the initiation of economic liberalisation there have in fact been concerns that many of the achievements of the Maoist era in health and education are being rolled back.
Indeed China has gone from being one of the world's most equitable, if poor, societies to one with a massive income divide. Economic and trade liberalisation has meant a painful adjustment for tens of millions of workers laid off from restructured state-owned enterprises and for many in the countryside who suddenly lack health insurance and other basic services guaranteed during Maoist times.
Never mind if Mao's experiments resulted in millions of farmers dead.

Damn India, Indian communist way:
In India, there is much envy of China's six-lane highways and glistening malls. China's world-class infrastructure in indeed worthy of emulation. But China's achievements in education, gender empowerment and food security for households, the result of a mix of sound economic policy and political will, are equally imitation worthy.
It's not enough for India to achieve Chinese-level GDP growth rates of 9 and 10 per cent. Before it can have any illusions of "overtaking" China, it must feed and educate its children who are currently worse off on the whole than even those in Africa.
It is no wonder that the self-loathing Indian communists pray for a Chinese invasion.

Food security:
India has had grain surplus since the 70's and the buffer stock is steadily increasing -- today it is close to 20% of the annual production. However, India still has a very high percentage of malnutritioned children. This clearly points out that although India, as a nation, has strong food security, sections of the people remain unaffected by the Government social schemes. As Prof Huang points out, excellent infrastructure improved the food security at the individual level by enabling movement from surplus areas to deficit areas. So to improve food security, India must invest in infrastructure (like the golden quadrilateral project ) rather than corrupt public distribution schemes ( like the employment guarantee scheme, the money for which was obtained by scrapping the golden quadrilateral project ).

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