Energy utilisation in rural industries in Karnataka
Ramachandra T.V.
Energy and Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore - 560 012.

Cashew Plantation: An ecological perspective

A cashew crop among plantation crops has the unique distinction that it can be cultivated in a wide variety of soils. It can survive on lands of low fertility and can be grown in all soil types from sandy seacoast to laterite hill slopes, but the best soils are deep, triable, well drained sandy loams without a hard pan. It grows and yields well in shallow and impervious soils such as sand hills where no other economic crop generally grows well; it is tolerant of saline and heavy clay soils; it grows on red and laterite soils. It cannot withstand water stagnation, flooding or bad drainage. In Karnataka, cashew is planted mainly in the coastal belt, which receives an annual rainfall ranging from 1300 to 3500 mm.

The area under cashew plantation at the end of 1984-85 in Karnataka was 47,442 hectare. The productivity in Kumta taluk of Karnataka on an average is 13 quintals per hectare. This data regarding productivity was collected by interviewing some farmers randomly selected in the Kumta taluk. The total production from the Government Horticulture Department estimates was 22,115 qtl. in Kumta taluk during 1992-93 (the area under cashew cultivation is 1595 hectares). Due to favourable weather and rainfall the scope for increasing the yield is more in the hilly region of the west coast.


Specific Energy Consumption (SEC): SEC can be identified as the ratio of Energy Consumption in rupees to Production in rupees. Thus:

SEC = En / Pr (Rs. / Rs.)

Energy Intensity (EI): EI is the ratio of Energy Consumption and Production in "per unit" terms. EI would be helpful in industries where the end products of a industry are cash products.

EI = En / Pr (kg/kg) or (kWh/kg)

The intra and inter variation in SEC and EI among the industries producing similar products reveals the extent of inefficient/efficient energy consumption. The higher the variation in the value of SEC and EI for the same amount of Production among industries producing similar product reveals the extent of disparity in energy consumption.

Percent Production Capacity Utilisation (PPCU) = ratio of actual production to the total production / installed capacity

If Pr is actual Production, P is total Installed Production capacity then PPCU = (Pr/P) * 100.

Relationship between variables: Applying standard statistical techniques, the relationship between the variables En and Pr can be represented by any of the following mathematical models depending upon the best fit (least error techniques).

(i) The linear En = A + B Pr.

(ii) The parabolic En = A + B (Pr) + C (Pr)2

(iii) Exponential En = A Exp (B.Pr)

linearized form: Ln (En) = Ln (A) + B (Pr)

(iv) Power law En = A * (Pr)B

linearized form: Ln (En) = Ln (A) + B Ln (Pr)

Ln = natural logarithm

The En: Energy mix in rural industries comprises of mainly (a) fuelwood for heat and (b) electricity for lighting purposes [very minimal]. Regression analysis is carried out to look at the role of Energy Consumption and Specific Energy Consumption in this sector.

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