Agri sector hopes for a pivotal push from Union Budget 21-22
For agriculture, which was the only sector to witness growth during the Covid-19 pandemic, expectations are high from the Union Budget 2021-22. The sector is likely to see higher allocations especially in the areas of agriculture credit, PM Kisan and irrigation among others.
Industry players are looking forward to incentives such as lower taxes for agri-tech and specific interventions for crop R&D and post-harvest infrastructure.
Govt body estimates cotton production at 486.76 kg/hectare
In a contrast to the crop estimates suggested by the cotton trade bodies, the Union Ministry of Textiles’ Committee on Cotton Production and Consumption (COCPC) has projected a higher crop at 371 lakh bales (each of 170 kg) for the year 2020-21. Cotton trade had estimated the crop size at 358.50 lakh bales.
In its meeting held on January 25, the Committee, formed in September 2020, replacing the erstwhile Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) estimated the average cotton yield of 486.76 kg per hectare, up from 463.99 kg reported in the pervious year.
Rabi sowing at a record 685 lakh hectares
Rabi sowing scaled new heights with farmers planting winter crops of over nearly 685 lakh hectares (lha), that is about 3 per cent more than 666 lha covered in the same week last year, according to data released by the Agriculture Ministry on Friday.
The area under major rabi crops such as wheat, gram and mustard are at all-time highs this year. While wheat is sown over 346 lha compared with 336 lha planted in the same week last year, gram area stood at 112 lha, which is 4.37 per cent more than that in the corresponding period in 2019-20. Mustard acreage, on the other hand, expanded to 74 lha, which is 7 per cent more than 69 lha planted in the previous rabi season.