Food Corporation of India, the central agency which procures food grains for government and transports it to states, set a new record in single day movement by moving 70 rakes carrying 1.93 lakh tonnes continuously for two days on Friday and Saturday.
“States can purchase 25% of the total production of these commodities at MSP. We have released Rs 1250 crore for the procurement of 1.71 lakh tonnes of chana and 0.87 lakh tonnes of masur,” agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar tweeted.
“State governments are requested to lift their quota of food grains from Food Corporation of India for free distribution of the 5 kg food grains to beneficiaries under PMGKAY. They should ensure that every beneficiary gets the benefit,” Food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan tweeted.
While some states such as Karnataka, Maharashtra and West Bengal already allow cash and carry retailers to buy directly from farmers under the model Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act, several others such as Uttar Pradesh don’t permit this. In these states, retailers procure via the mandis.
In a communication to all states and UTs, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said the farming operations by farmers, farm workers and procurement of agricultural productions are exempted from the nationwide lockdown.
The South Indian tea industry is expecting an output decline in the first six months of 2020 due to the Covid-19 impact. Most of the tea estates concentrated in Tamil Nadu and Kerala are not operating since the lockdown from March 24.
Supply of moong has been disrupted in major suppliers Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, traders said. Also, erratic weather hit output in Rajasthan, the largest producer. “The current availability of moong in Rajasthan has reduced due to a smaller crop.
The government has allowed farmers to directly sell produce from selected warehouses or from premises of farmers producer organisations (FPO) over electronic marketing platform eNAM, completely bypassing the mandi.
Elaborate arrangements were being made to harvest and procure every single grain of wheat, Captain Amarinder assured the farmers, while directing the ACS Development Viswajeet Khanna to further ramp up the machinery for the ensuing harvest and marketing of wheat, and other summer field crops apart from the horticulture produce.
More than 100 traders from Delhi, who get mango from South India, have given Rs 150-200 crore to farmers, said traders. Some 250 traders who buy mango from Uttar Pradesh have provided another Rs 200-250 crore as advance payment and were expected to a give a similar amount ahead of the harvest which begins in May-June, traders said.
We are also prepared to provide them 5 kg free foodgrain for the next three months, as announced under PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY),” said Paswan.
Sugar marketing year runs from October to September.The country produced over 330 lakh tonnes of sugar in 2018-19 but output is estimated to decline to 260 lakh tonnes in 2019-20. .
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research has advised wheat farmers to postpone their harvest to April 20 in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The government is likely to disburse over Rs 10,000 crore to farmers across the country by April 20 as compensation for the loss of kharif crop, which got damaged due to excessive rains in October and November last year. Farmers are likely to be paid in their bank accounts under the PM Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).
Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (Trifed) managing director Pravir Krishna said, “The pandemic has struck at a time when it is gathering time for MFP.
"In order to ensure that farmers do not have to face the situation of paying penal interest and they can continue getting the benefit of short term crop loans at a 4% interest rate, the government has decided to further to continuity the availability of 2% interest subvention to banks and 3% prompt repayment incentive to farmers," the ministry of agriculture said in a note.
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