Agriculture Current Affair 12 October 2021

Coffee producers urge finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman to restructure Rs 5,000-crore outstanding loans

Coffee producers have urged the Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman to restructure outstanding loans of Rs 5,000 crore, some of which have turned into non-performing assets (NPAs) and some are under stress, amid a financial crisis brewing in the sector.

The industry has sought conversion of the crop loans to term loans, an increase in the repayment period to seven years with a three- year moratorium and reduction in the interest rate on loans to 3%. At present, the loans attracts an interest of 10-12%.

“We had a meeting with the FM recently. We have highlighted the need for restructuring of loans for coffee sector, as it will have a positive impact on its long-term viability,” Jeffry Rebello, chairman, United Planters’ Association of South India, told ET. “It was requested that necessary direction be given to banks to restructure all crop and development loans given to coffee growers into a single term loan.”

India needs a comprehensive rice strategy to deal with challenges: Report

Despite some significant region-specific differences, generic factors, such as, government support in rice production, favorable monsoons, rising number of rice processing companies and increasing exports have positively impacted the Indian rice industry, said rating agency Infomerics Valuation and Rating in a report released on Thursday.

The report – Rice Industry – Emerging Contours is optimistic about the future of the rice industry in India. It highlights the need for a comprehensive rice strategy, with focus on new systems, technologies and new rice seed varieties. It lists the government initiatives on bringing about structural changes in the sector and the efficient ways to reduce the extent of dependence on the vagaries of the monsoon.

The report said that the rice production is beset with a variety of risks. High fertilizer price, plummeting water table, soaring agricultural input prices and asymmetric market price information constitute risk factors. Other issues include high rent charges of agricultural machinery, poor transportation, poor consultancy facilities and adequacy, timeliness and cost of credit.

Prices of cooking oils, except mustard oil, fall on reduction in import duties: Government

The government on Friday said retail prices of cooking oils, except mustard oil, have fallen in the domestic market despite a surge in global rates on the back of its decision to reduce import duties on crude and refined edible oils. International prices of edible oils have gone up in the range of 1.95 per cent to 7.17 per cent after the import duty reduction, according to an official statement.

After the duty reduction (with effect from September 11) on imported edible oils, domestic retail prices have reduced in the range of 0.22 per cent to 1.83 per cent.

Taking into the account of rise in global prices, the net impact on rates is decline in the range of 3.26 per cent to 8.58 per cent since September 10.

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