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Showing posts from April, 2012

Involving Students in Social Science Experiments

Author: Deepti Kc
The development sector in India has been a vibrant scene – many private and public institutions are engaged in efforts to raise the living standards of the rural poor. From non-profit organizations offering financial services to for-profit social enterprises, India has served as a laboratory for social innovation and social entrepreneurship. However, awareness about the social enterprise is fairly low among India’s bright student population, many of whom remained focused on pursuing conventional and lucrative careers. Not many of the urban students are aware or have witnessed the challenges that the poor face, be it in the urban or rural setting. We at CMF have always believed that this fact can be changed by creating a platform for students wherein they can gain systematic knowledge about development programs and conditions in rural areas and urban slums.

How are farmers insured? Thoughts for the next time you purchase rice…

Author: Surabhi Agarwal

“Do you want rice that is 40Rs/KL, 50Rs/KL, or 60Rs/KL?”
A relatively simple question that we, as consumers, face when purchasing rice at a local store. But have we considered how the farmer decides which variety of rice to grow in the season? How does the farmer ensure that the investments he is making in the inputs will result in a profitable output? Generally, insurance is a way to protect such investments. Parchure (2002) estimates that in India about 90% of variation in crop production is caused by changes in rainfall levels and patterns. Through a randomized experiment, A Moshfiq Mobarak and Mark Rosenzweig’s research seeks to study the demand for, and effects of, offering formal index-based rainfall insurance.

A better harvest for Indian farmers – just a phone call away?

Author: Tanaya Devi

A new CMF study explores the potential of a new mobile agricultural extension service to improve farming techniques. 
The Indian government has willingly implemented agricultural demonstrations as a method to develop farming knowledge and techniques. It spent $60 million on agricultural extension in 2009-10 alone. However, these traditional extension techniques seem barely able to deliver, as only 5.7% of a 270 million strong farming population report access to information delivered by these extension services (59th National Sample Survey).

Poverty Line – Where is it anyway?

If one were to look at the last month’s most captivating news headlines – once again it could be said that matters of economics hogged more limelight than the rest. Whether it be the railway budget, Budget 2012-13 or even the Poverty Line.

I came across this article in Forbes, Link: which talks at length about the recent Poverty Line data. In my opinion, if one were to look at what the data is conveying or at least what the committee are trying to communicate to all is that a small change in the poverty levels and voila: we can now say that all the poverty alleviation programmes done in past decade have actually worked! There is something amiss according to me, does a national average or estimate actually give us a right picture? How many of the news-reading population feel Rs29 a day is definitely not enough? A crowdsourcing experiment via Facebook says Rs102 a day in urban areas and Rs66 a day in rural areas would be ideal. But which urban and rur…