Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pregnancy period of different animals

The bar chart gives the maximum pregnancy(also called gestation) period of animals including humans.It is interesting to note that the pregnancy period of the animals increase with their size.Small rats have minimum pregnancy period whereas elephants have the largest pregancy periods.

The pregnancy period of various animals in days (click on the image to view larger size)

The data for this visualization is taken from wikipedia, here  , and visualization created with MS Excel '07.

On a related note, the gestation period of animals with the same body size vary depending upon the placenta. BBC article here.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Growing cocoa trees in tamil nadu

Worldwide, there is a huge demand for cocoa and this demand is going to explode in the coming years.
Dr shapiro of IBM research labs says,(BBC ink)
"In late 2007, it became very apparent to me that we would not have a continuous supply of cocoa going into the future if we did not intervene on a massive scale to secure our supply chain."
Vietnamese farmers' success story with the Cocoa plant. (link)

Almost ripe cocoa beans on a 3 year old tree. Persistent international demand has pushed up prices, and farmers are increasingly relying on the crop.
  “A 1000 dollar investment in cocoa saplings can gain a yield for the farmers after 2-3 years of 6000 dollars”

Cocoa cultivating farmer testimonial from tamilnadu, video link.

The tamilnadu agriculture minister stated this in 2009,(The Hindu article link)
“The State produces just 200 kg of cocoa seeds per annum while the neighbouring states such as Karnataka (8,000 tonnes), Kerala (7,000) and Andhra Pradesh (2,500) produce much more. We need to improve this,” he insisted.
Mr. Arumugam said that cocoa could generate revenue of Rs. 1.10 lakh per hectare per annum for which the expenditure was Rs. 15,000.
This page provides the list of nurseries in Tamilnadu, some of them may sell cocoa seeds for planting.

Moreover, TN govt has signed up an MOU with Cadbury to distribute seeds to farmers at very affordable price and also provide technical assistance to the growers.That means Cadbury themselves would buy the produced seeds from the farmers. (Article link)

All these mean that TN farmers can grow cocoa plants within coconut farms and arcanut farms.

This government website provides complete details about planting and maintenance stuff.

Please share more details you may have in comments below.