Agriculture Current Affair 11 February to 21 February 2023

Government may reduce reserve price of wheat auction from Rs 2,350 to Rs 2,200 per 100 kg

The government may reduce the price of wheat auction under Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) to further bring down prices.

Wheat auction prices may be brought down from Rs 2,350 per 100 kilograms to below Rs 2,200 per 100 kilogramme, informed sources told ANI on Thursday.

The government has taken steps to bring down the prices of wheat in the market.

ADB approves $130 million loan for promoting horticulture in Himachal Pradesh

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a USD 130 million (over Rs 1,072 crore) loan to increase agricultural productivity and promote horticulture agribusinesses to raise farmers’ income in Himachal Pradesh. More than half of Himachal Pradesh’s land area is in the mountains and 90 per cent of the population lives in rural areas who are dependent on agriculture, said ADB Senior Natural Resources and Agriculture Specialist for South Asia Sunae Kim.

“Improving subtropical horticulture in the state offers a lot of economic opportunities to farmer households. Supporting horticulture value chains will also boost the subsector’s contribution to the country’s development and food security,” Kim said.

The Himachal Pradesh Subtropical Horticulture, Irrigation, and Value Addition Project will help increase the income and resilience to the effects of climate change of at least 15,000 farm households in Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Kangra, Mandi, Sirmour, Solan, and Una.

Millets to increase income of small and marginal farmers: Govt

The government on Saturday said popularisation of millets in the country will lead to increase in the income of small and marginal farmers and urged international organisations, academia and hotel industry to revive the forgotten glory of “miracle millets”.

The year 2023 has been declared by the United Nations as the International Year of the Millet, following a proposal by India, which wants to position itself as a global hub for millets. Several initiatives are being undertaken in this regard.

Addressing 9th International Chefs Conference organised by the Indian Federation of Culinary Associations here, Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary said millets are considered traditional food for more than half a billion people across Asia and Africa.

More forest items under MSP scheme likely

In a major outreach to the tribal community ahead of assembly elections in tribal-dominated states, the Centre may increase the number of minor forest produce (MFP) covered under the minimum support price (MSP) mechanism.

With the emphasis on increasing use of millets, the Modi government is considering inclusion of certain naturally growing millets in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Tribal affairs minister Arjun Munda said, “There are products that are being considered for inclusion like barbatti (string beans) of Sahibganj and certain kinds of millets. When we say millets, we mean not the types that are grown in fields but growing naturally.”

India appeals to G20 nations to adopt ‘3S’ formula in agriculture for tackling food security concerns

India on Tuesday called on G20 nations to adopt ‘3S’ strategy – Smart, Sustainable and Serve – for the agriculture ecosystem in order to address the global food security concerns. Addressing media on the sidelines of the first G20 Agriculture Deputies’ Meeting, Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said agriculture for India has always been a priority and for the world it has fully come to the fore now.

“Our thinking is we have to adopt 3S strategy for the agriculture ecosystem to make a mark on the world food system,” Scindia said.

The 3S strategy is ‘smart’ and ‘sustainable’ agriculture which should ‘serve’ all, he said. For smart agriculture, Scindia emphasised on adopting drone and other new technologies for increasing the crop yield.

Drone use not limited to pesticide spraying; tremendous scope in organic, natural farming too: Govt

Union minister of civil aviation on Tuesday said the applicability of drone in the agriculture sector is beyond pesticide spraying and has tremendous scope in organic and natural farming as well. Drone industry in India has grown 6-8 times in the last one-and-a-half years. The drone infrastructure set up in the country is “extremely robust” and an Indian case study of drones as pioneer in agriculture will be exhibited in the ongoing meeting of G20 agriculture working group.

India’s aim is to become a global hub for drones by 2030, for which an industry friendly policy including the Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) is in place, he added.

Wheat production estimated to touch new record of 112.18 million tonnes in 2022-23 crop year: Govt

The country’s wheat production is expected to touch a new record of 112.18 million tonnes in the 2022-23 crop year (July-June), according to the agriculture ministry’s latest estimate. Wheat production had declined marginally to 107.74 million tonnes in the previous year due to heat wave in some states.

The previous record in wheat production was 109.59 million tonnes in 2020-21 crop year.

Wheat is a major rabi crop.

Govt to decide on raising sugar export quota in March after assessing output estimate: Food Secretary

The government will take a call next month on increasing the sugar export quota from the present 60 lakh tonnes for the current marketing year after assessing the domestic production, Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra said on Wednesday. The food ministry has allowed 60 lakh tonnes of sugar exports for the current 2022-23 marketing year (October-September), which is expected to see a drop in the sugar production. India exported a record 110 lakh tonnes of sugar in the previous year.

“We have not yet taken a call. we are closely monitoring the production and we would take a call may be in March depending on what the final figures of anticipated production are,” Chopra told reporters here when asked whether the government will hike the sugar export quota.

G-20 members stressed on increasing climate finance to help farmers take up adaptation measures, says Agriculture Secy

The G-20 members stressed on the need to increase climate finance to help farmers take up adaptation measures in order to mitigate the climate change impact on the farm sector, agriculture secretary Manoj Ahuja said on Wednesday. Addressing media on the concluding day of the G20 first Agriculture Deputies’ Meeting here, Ahuja said: “Climate finance was one of the issues which was discussed. The members felt that there was a need for an environment for increasing climate financing in terms of financing farmers for adaptation measures.”

The member countries also suggested that farmers can be incentivised if they are adopting climate friendly farming or green agriculture. One of the ways was carbon credit, he said.

Two lakh agriculture credit societies, fishery-dairy cooperatives to be set up

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved setting up of 2 lakh new primary agriculture credit societies (PACS) and dairy-fishery cooperatives in uncovered villages and panchayats over the next five years to strengthen cooperative movement in the country. At present, there are around 63,000 functional PACS out of nearly 99,000 PACS across the country. There are still 1.6 lakh panchayats without PACS and nearly 2 lakh panchayats without any dairy cooperative society.

The ministry of cooperation has formulated a plan to establish viable PACS in each uncovered panchayat, viable dairy cooperatives in each uncovered panchayat/village and viable fishery cooperatives in each coastal panchayat/village as well as panchayat/ village having large water bodies, an official statement said.

Maha sugar production to fall from 137 lakh tonnes in 2021-22 to 124 lakh tonnes in 2022-23 due to rains

The sugar production in Maharashtra may go down from 137.28 lakh tonnes in 2021-22 to 124 lakh tonnes in 2022-23 due to adverse climatic conditions in different parts of the state, a top official said on Saturday. Continuous rains rendered the ground wet for long periods, which impacted sugarcane cultivation, Sugar Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad told PTI.

“As a result, the production will be going down in Maharashtra in the ongoing season. Earlier, we estimated production of 138 lakh tonnes when the crushing season started. Now it should be around 124 lakh tonnes. We have conveyed the updated figures of production to Central government,” he said.

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