Agriculture Current Affair 17 September 2021

Indian saffron’s international prices skyrocket after Afghan supply hit by Taliban takeover

The price of Indian saffron has skyrocketed in the international market after the Taliban crisis hit Afghanistan’s export of the world’s most expensive spice.

A kilo of Indian saffron is now available for Rs 2.25 lakh, having vaulted from Rs 1.4 lakh per kg a few months ago.

Saffron is grown in four districts in Jammu and Kashmir– Pulwama, Budgam, Srinagar and Kishtwar. Among them, Pulwama district’s Pampore has earned the title of Kashmir’s “saffron town” for growing the best quality saffron.

Amazon, Microsoft swoop in on India’s $24 billion farming data trove, Microsoft and Cisco Systems are among technology giants lining up to harness data from India’s farmers in an ambitious government-led productivity drive aimed at transforming an outmoded agricultural industry.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration, which is seeking to ensure food security in the world’s second-most populous nation, has signed preliminary agreements with the three U.S. titans and a slew of local businesses starting April to share farm statistics it’s been gathering since coming to power in 2014. Modi is betting the private sector can help farmers boost yields with apps and tools built from information such as crop output, soil quality and land holdings.

Jio Platforms Ltd., the venture controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd., and tobacco giant ITC Ltd. are among local powerhouses that have signed up for the program, the government said this week.

Centre says wholesale edible oil prices showing declining trend

The Centre on Friday said prices of eight types of edible oils in the wholesale markets across the country are showing a declining trend over the last week after it took several measures to boost domestic supply and curb hoarding. The wholesale prices of groundnut, mustard oil, vanaspati, sunflower oil, palm oil, coconut oil and sesame oil declined during the week ended September 14, it said in a statement.

According to Consumer Affairs Ministry, the wholesale price of palm oil fell 2.50 per cent to Rs 12,349 per tonne as on September 14 from Rs 12,666 per tonne a week ago.

While wholesale price of sesame oil slipped 2.08 per cent to Rs 23,500 per tonne, coconut oil eased by 1.72 per cent to Rs 17,100 per tonne.

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