Agriculture Current Affair 11 February 2020

Iran overtakes Russia as biggest buyer of Indian tea in 2019

Iran overtook Russia to emerge as the top buyer of Indian tea last year, after sanctions against the Islamic Republic halted imports other than specially negotiated deals.

Indian exports dropped 3 per cent to 248 million kilogrammes last year as bad weather hit production in the crucial months of June and July. Prices rose 8.5 per cent to Rs 226 per kilogramme.

India also saw a 30 per cent increase in shipments to China, the world’s biggest producer of tea, due to rising demand in the green-tea-drinking nation for India’s black-tea brands. Indian leaves such as Darjeeling, Assam and Nilgiri are used in processing the ready-to-drink milk tea popular across Asian nations.

India on track to become self-sufficient in pulses: Union Agriculture Minister

India, the world’s largest consumer and importer of pulses, is on track to become self-sufficient in production of the protein-rich commodity and will further boost the output to meet global demand, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Monday.

He said the government has taken many measures, including hike in the minimum support price and procurement of pulses, to support farmers.

Pulses output

The country had produced 23.40 million tonnes of pulses during 2018-19 crop year (July-June), still short of annual domestic demand of 26-27 million tonnes. The gap is met through imports. However, for the current year, the government is targeting pulses output of 26.30 million tonnes.

‘No significant upward revision’: ISMA President on sugar production

Indian sugar production estimates for the 2019-20 season are unlikely to be revised upwards by much from 26 million tonnes, when the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) meets to review figures towards February-end, the trade body said on Tuesday.

“We are due to meet on February 25 when we will revisit the estimate, and if there is significant change it will come out in the last week of February,” Vivek Pittie, President of ISMA told an industry conference in Dubai. “If you ask me, I don’t see significant upward revision,” he said.

The trade body has said India’s sugar output in 2019-20 could fall 21.6 per cent to 26 million tonnes, the lowest level in three years, after drought in 2018 forced farmers to curb cane planting and flooding damaged crops in key growing regions in 2019.

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