原文标题：Organized agriculture: How China & India are a world apart
SHIFENG, SICHUAN: As dusk falls, the expressway from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, is smooth as butter, newly built after the 2008 earthquake. But soon after leaving the city, traffic is slowing down. Is it smoke or fog that is drifting in from the open fields on both sides? Or, is it smog, for this is a heavily industrialized region?
Hao Yuenan, a knowledgeable and charmingly nationalistic official of the provincial government, snatches the mike on the bus and reassures everybody that this is not industrial pollution.
“It is farmers burning the agricultural waste and residue in their fields,” he announces rather sheepishly.
“There is a law against it, but who is going to implement it! And, the farmers get important minerals for their fields from the ash,” he adds.
The rapeseed crop has been harvested, the tiny mustard-like seeds threshed out manually, ready for the oil mill. The dry seedless plants can be seen piled up all along the road in small fields. Some are already burning furiously, as families stand by poking at the embers.
The scene is almost India-like except that the kisan doesn’t burn agricultural residue in such quantities. Perhaps the stubble of cut off stems and leaf litter may be burnt. But piles of dry plants have multiple uses in the subsistence economy of Indian farmers – from feeding cattle to mixing with cowdung for fuel to roofing material.
But in China, things are different. One hardly sees cows or buffaloes in the fields or roadsides – their cattle population is less than one- third of India’s. China has 108 million heads of cattle compared to 322 million in India. In any case, cattle is fed on more nutritive fodder than dry stems and leaves.
With better fodder, and genetics, milk yields are vastly different in the two countries. Under village conditions, an Indian cow yields about 956 liters per year and a buffalo 1,300 liters. Chinese cows yields as much as 3,700 kgs per year. The Chinese farmer works under the “household responsibility system”. All land is owned by the state. At various administrative levels authority is given to the corresponding government body to supervise land use. So, the village council, led by the village Communist Party branch works out a system of allocating land plots to families. These plots become the responsibility of the allottees – they cultivate whatever they want and sell it wherever they can for whatever price they get.
A Chinese farmer’s family of four earned about 1,973 yuan (about Rs17,500) per month in 2010 according to the National Statistics Bureau of China. This is about one fourth of an urban resident’s average income. In a small hamlet of post-earthquake resettled farmers, Zhou Zheng Ying confirms that he earns about 2,000 yuan from growing corn, vegetables and some fruits.
Tang Hua, a live-wire young woman turns out to be the village Party secretary. She carries out a staccato exchange with Zhou after which his wife is summoned from the kitchen. She clarifies she too is earning, by working in a factory. So their income is about 4,000 yuan.
Sichuan is a relatively more developed province and this particular region is also industrialized. Hence incomes are higher, says Hao. In remote provinces like Gansu, monthly income of a four member rural household may be as low as 993 yuan or about Rs 8,600 per month.
The village council provides highyield seeds, arranges fertilizers and pesticides (although in Sichuan a lot of “pollution-free” produce is also grown). Water for irrigation is no problem in the region because of canals, says Tang. And thereby hangs an incredible tale. “All water in the region is coming from the Dujiangyan system,” says Hao proudly. Built in 256 BCE, this gravity flow system is still functional, holding and redirecting water from the Min River to over 5,300sqkm of cultivated land. Dujiangyan is a Unesco World Heritage site today.
As we continue towards Mianyang city, vineyards and tobacco fields can be seen stretching towards the horizon. Like every city in China, Shifang too has several other names -” Hometown of Chinese Cigar” is the obvious one because it is one of the largest cigar production centers in China. It is also called the “Land of Chinese Mineral Water” because Dujiangyan sends mountain water into taps. But residents prefer this most – “Pearl of Western Sichuan”.
If there is anything in common between India and China, it’s that you have a billion people to feed every- single-day. It’s a good time to learn how to do this better by sharing techniques and wisdom. Two heads are better than one. x
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You see, when Indians are reporting about China, it is either negative and bad or very overdragged. Like somehing saying at the same time “I hate Obama” and “but he is great”. I am suprised because it is the same kind of view from the White people in the 19th century. When you ask most chinese about India, they just say they like your food and ancient culture. And that is it , nada, nothing more. I think it is sad because you can learn so much from each other. You are so close but also so far away. Now taking an example: India can learn how to improve its basic infrastructure where china can learn how to bring more equality in their system.
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Siloo Kapadia (Singapore) replies to arda92
Chinese have been busy learning from abroad since the early 1980s. What about India? Does the Indian want to learn? I think not! Indians are too xenophobic and too high-nosed to think they can learn from anyone else, much less a fellow Asian. We are too busy watching cricket, screwing ourselves, and pretending to be white. Oh yes, and comparing ourlseves favorably to Pakistan, a failed state if ever there was one. We SHOULD compare ourselves to China or Singapore or Malaysia or Thailand, but we won’t. In fact, we can’t. They are all generations ahead of us. Pity, we have so much potential, yet so much ca-ca to deal with.
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b.n.roy (nagpur) replies to Siloo Kapadia 15 days ago
Ms Siloo, the middle class Indians favourite hobby is to ape the Americans, their dream is either to go themselves, or send their children for further education to USA. I have been to some technical seminars abroad, everywhere the attending experts ask just one thing “Why does not India share or learn from the experiences of Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, China, etc instead of adopting western technologies”. The colonial mentality of the Indians is so deep rooted that we have taken it to heart that the white man is much-much superior to us. 800 years of slavery has completely warped our minds. Unfortunately Ms Kapadia the Singaporeans too are also suffering from the same mentality, they are proud of their British colonial days, and most of the names of streets are of English officials. Even today the Singapore Govt is very close to USA & UK. In this respect since China was never under any colonial power for a long period the spirit of nationalism is still there.
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Siloo Kapadia replies to b.n.roy
Thank you for your comment. You are right but Singapore is slowly getting less gorawalla-minded as time goes on. I am here. I see it and feel it. Yes, the street names are left the same but now everyone in school (yes, including the non-Chinese) learns Mandarin. I hear more and more of how many want to study abroad but they all want to come back or go to China or Japan or elsewhere in Asia. VERY FEW want to immigrate to the West. This is totally different from the Indian mindset. I remember, we lived near Rutgers University in New Jersey. We met many young Indians and Chinese among others. Despite what the press says, most of the Chinese wanted to learn and go back to get rich and make China great. The first question the Indian students would ask, however, was “how do I get my greencard?” Very sad indeed.
Yes, you are right. Indians are totally brainwashed. I am a Parsee and we Parsees are the BIGGEST GORAWALLA-BUTT KISSERS IN THE WORLD. I can only feel ashamed. India took us in, and we only think of ourselves as “Westerners” or “Anglo Saxons” or even “Persians,” I apologize on behalf of the Parsee community to my fellow India for this type of horrible behavior. I only hope that Indians can develop a closeness for their fellow Asians and not miss out in this, the greatest transfer of wealth and power in the history of the earth, from West back to East.
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Badabing (USA) replies to Siloo Kapadia
Siloo, I’ll say it again, it’s USA’s loss not having you here. Hopefully this shift of wealth that’s already in progress unfolds peacefully.
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Siloo Kapadia replies to Badabing
Thank you Badabing. But leaving USA and moving back to Asia was the BEST THING THAT WE HAVE EVER DONE. Deekra, if you can get out too, get out. Things there are only going to get worse. And YES, the shift is well under way. You will feel it the moment you set foot on this continent.
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FACTS (Mumbai) 15 days ago
Sichuan is one of the poorest provinces in China, ranked 24th out of 29 provinces in China in terms of per capita GDP.
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Toga (Gandustan) replies to FACTS
the sad thing is that it’s still way above the indian level.
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Indian (India) 15 days ago
How about comparing apples to apples??? “Indian cow yields about 956 liters per year and a buffalo 1,300 liters. Chinese cows yields as much as 3,700 kgs per year.” What’s the use of comparing litres to Kgs? Or does the TOI reporter believe that BOTH are the same???
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I am so sorry. That is a mistake – it should be 3700 liters.
FACTS (Mumbai) replies to Indian 15 days ago
One KG of milk is about 2 liters (assume milk has the same density as water), so 3700KG == 7400 liters. In other words, Chinese cow produces 8 times the milk as Indian cows.
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Subodh Varma (delhi) replies to FACTS
Actually 1 liter of milk is about 1.032 kilograms, at 4 degrees Celsius. Or conversely, 1 kg milk is about 0.969 liters. So Chinese cow’s average yield is 3 to 4 times not 8 times.
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truthteller (USA) 15 days ago
Chinese farmers do not pay any tax for their agricultural incomes, which make them work very hard to produce. The more you produce, and you keep all.
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Subodh Varma (delhi) replies to truthteller
There is no tax in India too. And Indian farmers too work very hard. The difference is that they are owners of what they produce, and they get better prices in the market. In India half the rural population is landless working on other people’s land. And farmers are not getting any return because input prices are very high. Also, half the cultivation is dependent on rain. These are some problems that we have to resolve in India
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Dharmendra Gupta (Mumbai)
You know the punishment for corruption in China? If the amount is more than 10000 yuan, the convict is shot dead. A repeat offender (caught 3rd time) is shot dead. Cases reach judgement within 15 days. Imagine such a thing happening in India where even the fodder is eaten up by corrupt politicians who have no fear of justice.
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jeffirish63 (US) replies to Dharmendra Gupta
Not true. If the corruption is over 10,000 yuan, then that government officer will be sent to prison for several years.
pasupati iyer (hyderabad)
Is there a lesson to be learnt from China? If there is, as I see it, it is that we should totally abandon ”Gandhian” ideas on agriculture, economics, governance, industry, health, … and make ourselves follow SCIENTIFIC methods.
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jeffirish63 (US) replies to pasupati iyer
No need to learn from other counries. Just like many countries learned “democracy” from USA, but eventually these countries become disordered. Every country has their own features and problems. They need to buy a clothes that suits her own size.
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China is future (India) 14 days ago
Dear Indians, China is future of the world and future belongs to China. We are only wasting our time by believing those reports which compare India with CHina and tell us that we are at par with our northern giant. In everything China leads India. China’s poorest provinces are better than our richest. Their worst cities are better than our best. Their worst raliways are better than our best. I mean China has quality of everything. We Indian at the moment can laugh that how these Chinese produce low quality goods but don’t get fooled by such reports because these things are very minor issues and in due course of time they will correct it as well.
They might have less developed engineering and technology than USA but even US agress that eventually China will surpass them in technology and science as well. And don’t get fooled because China is also focussing on improving its engineering, scientific, and technological disciplines. They don’t need lecturing from USA about how to run their country nor they need certificates. So ultimately Chinese will have the last laugh and till then Indians can laugh at cheap Chinese products which are also produced for Indian markets. They have corrected the major issues first and they are on fire. It has become impossible to think of something and China is not in top 3 or 5 or at least top 10.
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Toga (Gandustan) replies to China is future
the future will be a multi-polar world.