Agriculture Current Affair 1 September 2022

Agriculture Minister reviews progress on database for identification of eligible farmers for PM-KISAN, other schemes

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Wednesday reviewed the work on the database being created for quick identification of eligible farmers for the PM-KISAN and other schemes.

Tomar, in a virtual meeting with state agriculture ministers, asked states to complete the work of data verification and update at the earliest so that no eligible farmer is deprived of the benefits of the schemes.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme, a financial benefit of Rs 6,000 per year is provided to eligible farmer families, payable in three equal instalments of Rs 2,000.

“A database is being created for quick identification of eligible farmers for PM-KISAN and other schemes and farmers’ welfare schemes to be launched in the future,” an official statement said.

It will have all the farmers’ information — including Aadhaar, bank accounts and land records — linked with their records. The land records of the states will have to be digitally converted to create the database, it added.

Since its launch in February 2019, 11 instalments have been disbursed under the PM-KISAN. More than Rs 2 lakh crore has been transferred to about 11.37 crore eligible farmers through this scheme, it noted.

The benefit of PM-KISAN is given only to farmers with land holdings.

Agriculture Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Bihar were present at the meeting.

Union Agriculture Secretary Manoj Ahuja and Additional Secretary Abhilaksh Likhi were also present at the meeting.

Potato, tomato prices fall up to 30%

Prices of potato and tomato, two staple vegetables in Indian kitchens, have fallen by up to 30% and 20%, respectively, in the last fortnight, trade insiders said.

The potato trade was holding back the crop in anticipation of better prices, but it did not happen, and traders were forced to release stocks, impacting the prices. In the case of tomato, good production this year has pushed down prices.

Farmers in Andhra Pradesh have requested the tomato pulp industry in the state to buy more from them so that they can get some value for their produce, trade insiders said.

Talking to ET, Ashok Arora, president of Potato and Onion Merchants Association said, “A fortnight ago, price of a kilogram of potato in the wholesale market was ₹20. Now it has dropped to ₹14 -16 per kg,” Ashok Arora, president of Potato & Onion Merchants Association, said.

The impact is being felt in the retail market as well where prices have dropped by 25-30%. He attributed to fall in prices to improved supply. Patit Paban De, member of West Bengal Cold Storage Association, said, “Traders were holding back the stock as they felt that prices will go up further.” But potato prices remained firm in recent months.

“Now that they have understood that there will be no further hardening of prices, they have started offloading the stock in the market,” De said.

Cold storages in West Bengal, the second largest producer of potato, had loaded six million tonnes of the tuber in the beginning of the season. Only 40% of this stock has been offloaded till date. Potato crop size in the country has fallen to 53.58 million tonnes this year, down three million tonnes compared to last year. Prices of tomato has fallen to ₹15 per kg from ₹20 per kg a fortnight ago, as per Ashok Kaushik, president of Tomato Traders Association.

Indian rice rates jump on sound demand amid concern over possible export curbs

Prices of rice from top exporter India this week climbed to their highest in more than a year, boosted by strong demand amid concerns over a possible restriction on exports of some grades of the staple.

India’s 5% broken parboiled variety was quoted at $379 to $387 per tonne, their highest since June 2021, from $366-$372 last week. Prices have risen for a third straight week.

Indian parboiled rice prices rose because of a tender from Bangladesh, which could be forced to make big buying this year due to crop damage, said Himanshu Agarwal, executive director at Satyam Balajee, India’s biggest rice exporter.

At the same time, India is considering whether to restrict exports of 100% broken rice, government and industry officials told Reuters on Friday, with the paddy area reduced by a lack of rainfall.

White rice prices were steady because of ample supplies, said an exporter based in Kakinada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Neighbouring Bangladesh was finalising deals with Vietnam and India to import a total of 330,000 tonnes of rice as it races to replenish reserves and cool domestic prices.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s 5% broken rice prices dropped slightly to $415-$416 per tonne from $416-$420 last week.

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