Excess output hits onion garlic farmers
Farmers growing garlic and onions are making losses due to excess production, subdued demand, lower exports, and increased cost of production inflicted by excess rainfall. Although, tomato prices have started improving since last week, farmers fear losses due to rainfall induced damages.
“Wholesale garlic prices have been ruling in the range of Rs 10-40/kg for two months, which makes it unviable for the farmers, who have to bear the logistics, packaging and other costs,” said Pravin Kumar Dhamija, a garlic trader from the Azadpur Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) in Delhi.
Farmers from Madhya Pradesh, the largest garlic growing state, are struggling to recover the cost of production, forcing the state government to constitute teams for exploring markets in other states.
Cattle feed prices soar due to GST on pulses by-products
Cattle feed prices in the country have soared due to the levy of 5% GST on some by-products of pulses such as their supplements and husks, prompting millers to request Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman to withdraw the tax.
During the milling of pulses, a wide range of by-products such as chilka, khanda, and churi are obtained. These by-products, after varying degrees of processing, are used as cattle feed by dairy industry for better palatability and higher nutritive value.
Prices of these cattle feed ingredients have increased sharply since the introduction of GST on them early last month.
Representatives of All India Dal Mill Association have met the finance minister, urging her to scrap the tax. “As the by-products of pulses are used by livestock farmers of the country, we have requested her to reconsider the imposition of a levy of 5% GST,” said Suresh Agrawal, president of the association. “The minister has assured us that she will look into the matter,” he added.
Total wage rate for tea estate workers in Assam to increase by 9%
ICRA, in its latest report on bulk tea, has indicated that the total wage rate per man day (including bonus, other cash components and benefits) for tea estate workers in Assam is estimated to increase by 9% with effect from August 1, 2022, given the recent announcement made by the Assam government on increase in the basic wages on an interim basis by 13% to Rs. 232per day from Rs.205 per day.
The wage hike, as per ICRA estimates, would lead to an increase in the cost of production by Rs. 14per kg for bulk tea producers based out of Assam, which contributes 60% and 50% of the North India and all India production respectively. Full year impact in FY2023 would, however, be lower at Rs. 9/kg, given that the revised wage rate in Assam is applicable only from August 2022.
Commenting on the recent announcement by the Assam government Kaushik Das, Vice President and Co-Group Head, Corporate Sector Ratings, ICRA, said “Despite the back-to-back increase in wage rates in West Bengal and Assam from January and August 2022 respectively, which together contribute around 80% to the all India production, the pressure in the margin of large bulk tea players in North India (NI) may not be material, given the considerable increase in the prices of good quality crush, tear, curl (CTC) as well as orthodox teas in the recent past. The price trend is expected to sustain, given the flattish trend in NI production, which is expected to support the CTC prices. An 18% drop in Sri Lankan production during the first seven months of calendar year 2022 is expected to keep the orthodox tea prices also at a significantly higher level on a Y-o-Y basis.”
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