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Failed composting experiment of waste to bio-fertilizer

16/10/2013

We started an experiment in composting the farm waste few weeks ago. Thought I would update you guys with the results.

First the successful part – The technology worked like a charm. It was simple. We had 13 pits filled 10 x10 feet across and 6 feet high. The mixture of leaves and other farm waste had started disintegrating well.

So what gives? Economics!!!! The labor cost of collecting, filling and turning waste every few days was way too much compared to what it would cost to outright purchase the organic fertilizer in the open market. We experimented with both manual and machine (tractor) driven operations but the cost was still too high.

Sadly, we had to abandon the experiment. The half disintegrated farm waste is now lying in a pit to see if it turns into something useful over time. May be not all is lost.

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Power shortage in India

28/07/2013

Since I arrived in India few months ago I have seen frequent power cuts even in one of the posh colonies New Delhi. Three to five times a day for half an hour or so seems to be a norm. In my travels to rural India it’s not uncommon to see power supply for less than eight hours a day. The factory owners name the unreliable power supply as one of their biggest headache.

Zee news puts the shortage of electricity (in Dec 2012) at more than 12 GW. It also claims that lack of power supply is due to shortage of fuels like coal. That’s anywhere from 10 to 20% shortage. How can India manage to grow with this lack of basic building block of Industry and society at large.

Curious, why do I not see more solar panels on the Delhi roofs or wind turbines on rural areas? Lack of (grid) infrastructure? An issue that I wish to explore further in coming days here.

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