Nitin Gadkari said the government was focussed on diversification of agriculture into energy and power, and industry must also invest in rural and agricultural sectors to create employment and diversify wealth generation. He said pollution of the air and water, and India’s crude oil import bill, and agricultural crisis were the country’s three major problems today.
Traders said they had not foreseen such an acute scarcity of onion, which happened mainly because of heavy rain. They said farmers were harvesting pre-mature onion to benefit from present high rates. Though onion prices are at their historic highs, it has barely helped many farmers recover past year's losses and get decent returns this year.
Kashmir’s Agriculture department has also approached University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology in Srinagar, asking them to submit a report on types of sweet corn varieties that could be grown in Kashmir. For now, the department imports sweet corn seed variety from Holland.
Onion prices have been ruling high for past few weeks due to fall in production of the Kharif crop following unseasonal rainfall in key growing states, including Maharashtra. The price of onion was ruling at around Rs 120/kg in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, while it was around Rs 100/kg in Delhi on Friday, as per the latest data.
India, the world’s second most populous nation, has already been grappling with the impact of climate change. This year’s monsoon, which typically waters more than half of the country’s total farmland, caused floods and poor rains at the same time.
Nirmala Sitharaman recently asked states to scrap APMCs and join eNAM to help farmers get better price realisation of their produce. APMC is a marketing board meant to moderate prices and prevent big traders from exploiting farmers. Officials said business transactions are growing and more than 150 commodities are being traded on the electronic platform.
The consumer affairs department has also directed MMTC to issue three more tenders for import of Onions, out of which two tenders are country specific namely Turkey and European Union and one is a global tender. Each of these tenders are for 5,000 tonnes.
The government is closely monitoring the prices of onions which is rising everyday due to short supply in the market. There is a huge shortage of the bulb this year due to heavily rains in the onion growing states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.
Usually potato growers are rooted to its cultivation and are not swayed by volatility in price. “But in the few years wholesale potato prices have remained subdued despite higher retail prices.
Top agri players like ITC, Godrej Tyson, Hariyalee Seeds, Spain’s Congelados De Navarra and IFFCO have confirmed their participation in the summit, which will highlight the potential opportunities of growth in this sector as well as the strengths of the Punjab ecosystem.
Out of this, Rs 20,853 crore is under DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) and balance Rs 12,838 crore is other than DBT. FAI also pointed out that Rs 20,434 crore dues are pending for which bills have been generated but not paid and the balance Rs 13,257 crore are pending for which fertilizer companies are not able to generate bills.
The sown area of mustard in Rajasthan—the largest producer of the oilseed—has shrunk to around 2.1 million hectares this winter from 2.5 million hectares a year ago. Mustard seed prices generally follow an uptrend during winters when mustard oil is widely used for body massage.
"A meeting was chaired by the ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) secretary. A committee has been formed to formulate a new scheme" for a long-term permanent solution to stubble buring by farmers, he said. The MoS said that the new committee will come out with a new scheme within one or two months.
The country received monsoon rains during the June-September season that were 10% above average and the rainfall continued during October and November, increasing soil moisture levels required for crop sowing. Rainfall also lifted the water level in India's key reservoirs to 86% of capacity compared to 61% a year ago and a 10-year average of 64%.
However, mills in Uttar Pradesh, the top sugar-producing state, are not keen on converting old stocks to ethanol. In Maharashtra, they are undecided about the benefits of the scheme, even though the state’s sugar industry had pushed for permission to convert old sugar into ethanol.
Sonowal asked the Managing Director of Assam Seeds Corporation Limited to produce seeds to the tune of Rs. 200 crore. He also stressed on creating adequate infrastructure for seed production in the state. Sonowal also asked the Agriculture Department to ensure effective and judicious use of seeds by the farmers.
Copyright © 2019 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service