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IIBM – Agricultural Economics Answer sheet

IIBM – Agricultural Economics Answer sheet


Section A: Objective Type & Short Questions (30 marks)

Part one:

Multiple choices:

  1. Selection and adoption of best packages of practices come under: (1)
  2. a) Agricultural marketing
  3. b) Systems of farming
  4. c) Types of farming
  5. d) Farm management
  1. When the price rises, demand? (1)
  2. a) Decreases
  3. b) Contracts
  4. c) Increases
  5. d) Remain the same

III. Perfect Elasticity is shown by:

  1. a) Vertical straight line
  2. b) Horizontal straight line
  3. c) Slopping curve right to left
  4. d) Lopping curve left to right
  1. Smaller than economic holding is known as:
  2. a) Optimum holding
  3. b) Ownership holding
  4. c) Basic holding
  5. d) None of the above
  1. When an increase or decrease in the level of one product does not affect the production level of another product, this relationship is known as?
  2. a) Competitive
  3. b) Complementary
  4. c) Supplementary
  5. d) Joint product
  1. Specialized farming and diversified farming are: (1)
  2. a) Types of farming
  3. b) Systems of farming
  4. c) Both (a) and (b)
  5. d) None of these

VIII. What is the basic consideration for advancing crop loans by commercial banks?

  1. a) To access the repayment capacity of the farmers
  2. b) To advance loans at cheaper rates
  3. c) Cost of production per unit of area
  4. d) To advance loans to weaker sections

VII. Supply for perishables in the very short run:

  1. a) Can be increased
  2. b) Can be decreased
  3. c) Remains constant
  4. d) None of these
  1. We get maximum satisfaction when:
  2. a) Marginal utility is the same
  3. b) Total utility is the same
  4. c) Average utility is decreases
  5. d) Total utility decreases
  1. Wealth is a:
  2. a) Fund
  3. b) Flow resources
  4. c) Income
  5. d) Capital

Part Two:

  1. What is agricultural production economics? (5)
  2. What is the difference between economics and agricultural economics? (5)
  3. What do agricultural economists do? (5)
  4. What is the nature of agricultural economics? (5)

Section B: Caselets (40 marks)

Caselet 1

Wireless technology for basic telecom services has given birth to a new breed of vehicles: Telecom thetas, or STD-cum-PCO omnipresent thetas [pushcarts]. More than the innovative positioning, it is also a thumbnail view of the bigger picture that is unfolding in the Indian telecom market, i.e., the revival of STD/PCO booths. Public telephones have hit a lean patch following the cellular revolution. Falling mobile call charges meant more users for cell phones. This, in turn, meant lower revenues for booth operators. But with new and innovative business models, private sector telecom operators are paving the way for a second revolution in public telephony, a decade after the first edition during the mid-90s. Here\’s how it works. The basic idea revolves around the wireless technology. Since the fixed telecom handset does not require a conventional telephone wire, it brings down the infrastructure cost and, by extension, the establishment cost. The wireless phones can be mounted on pushcarts, and voila, you have a telecom theta. Fixed wireless telephone services are being offered by both the private sector and PSU basic telecom operators. Apart from Reliance, Tata Teleservices, Bharti, and MTNL, there is HFCL in Punjab and Shyam Telecom in Rajasthan. But as Sajive Kanwar, head of PCO business at Reliance Infocom, says, \”It is a limited mobility business model. Mobility on fixed wireless PCO booth has been disallowed by the telecom regulator and so we have devised a system wherein a person operating in such a kiosk cannot move beyond the boundary of the immediate telecom tower. If he does, we disconnect his connection. So, it\’s not a mobile PCO booth as such\”. Though the pushcarts and rickshaw-mounted booths are more of a Delhi phenomenon, there are about 1,200 in Delhi and 600 in Andhra Pradesh. Reliance is planning to launch it in Maharashtra soon. The overall spread of fixed wireless technology has put back life into public telephony. Reliance numbers alone are enough to give the overall picture. It started its PCO service in April 2004 and had 3.5 lakh booths in the country. It planned for 7-8 lakh by the end of 2005. Add to that numbers of some of the other private sector players and it crosses the 1 million mark. As against this, BSNL has a total of about a million public telephone lines across India. Cost factors are critical to the revival of STD booths. While in the 1980s the commission for STD/1SD operators was pegged at about 10%, it doubled in the mid-90s and stayed at that level for quite some time. The private sector players have increased it to 25-30% coupled with lower establishment costs, making it a lucrative business proposition. When the mobile charges started melting, dropping revenues at the franchise level forced many to shut shop. Those with money graduated into internet kiosks. Anticipating such stagnation the Prime Minister\’s task force on Information Technology and Software suggested recombining STD/ ISD public telephones all over the country, including those in the villages, and upgrading them into internet kiosks. The proposal was accepted and the Department of Telecommunication was directed to accomplish this. Experts say the revival of PCO booths is very much a part of the overall development in the telecom sector. The argument is that even with galloping subscriptions for cellular services, their penetration level is still abysmal.


  1. What are the basic reasons for the decline of PCO booths? (10)
  2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of PCO booths? (10)

Caselet 2

Branding is the current mantra among food commodity players. Category leaders like Agrotech Foods, Satnam Overseas, and Ruchi Soya are trying to climb onto the FMCG brand wagon through forays into fast-growing branded food categories as well as branding their traditional trading businesses. Agrotech Foods has made an encouraging entry into the snack food market with its brand ACT-II reporting a 25% plus growth rate. ACT-II has pioneered the branding of popcorn in India and now the brand umbrella extends to the salted snack foods. The company has also planned a vending initiative under the brand name \”Just Fries\”. The company targeted 10% domestic market share in the Rs. 600 crore western snack food market by 2009. The company has been moving out of bulk food processing businesses and focussing on its branded edible oil portfolio under the banner of Sundrop, its flagship brand. One of the managers of Agrotech Foods, Ashutosh Priya said \”Our experience has been that commodity businesses tend to have low margins that do not cover the risks when the market turns adverse. Going forward, we, therefore, see ourselves focussing increasingly on branded and value-added business which takes more time to build, but once built has higher margins and is more sustainable.\” Satnam Overseas, a basmati rice major, also planned to phase out its commodity and unbranded business segments and move towards being a branded food company with a target of 90% revenue contribution from the branded product basket by 2009. It has ventured into the ready-to-eat (RTE) category which was expected to go up to Rs. 1,000 crore in the domestic market by 2010. Chilled foods is the biggest RTE category followed by frozen and ambient foods. Satnam clocked net sales of Rs. 23 crore in the ambient category in 2006, 100% up from 2005. It has also recently set up a frozen food processing facility and plans into the chilled foods segment within two years. It is expected to grow the branded food business to about Rs. 350 crore by 2009. \”Moving up the value chain, we have focussed on branded foods to create an endowed and sustainable business with exciting opportunities. A globally acknowledged brand \”Kohinoor\” and a strong distribution network internationally, enabled us to serve authentic Indian food products to millions of customers across 57 countries in the world,\” says Gurnam Arora, jt Managing Director, Satnam Overseas Ltd. Ruchi Soya is also considering entry into ready-to-eat foods, snacks and beverages. The company sells oil and soy foods under its premium brand, Nutrela, and has recently decided to bring its other edible oil products also under the Nutrela umbrella. The company is planning to strengthen its retail presence across the country and introduce new high-value products in bakery fats and shortenings. It has also launched \”RUCHI NO. 1\” in the toilet soap category as a further foothold in the FMCG domain.


  1. What are the opportunities available in the RTE category? (10)
  2. How do you find ACT-II as a potential brand? (10)

Section C: Applied Theory (30 marks)

  1. What is agricultural economics and farm management? (15)
  2. What is the importance of agriculture in the economy? (15)

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