Agriculture Current Affair 19 March 2020

Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh top in farm credit disbursals

Tamil Nadu has topped in disbursement of agriculture credit by giving away loans worth ₹1,63,289 crore out of a total of ₹10,33,183 crore distributed across the country till December 31 this fiscal. The South Indian State led from the front in disbursing agricultural loans last year too with disbursal of ₹1,90,222 crore.

In a written reply in the Lok Sabha earlier this week, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Andhra Pradesh (₹1,06,303 crore) and Uttar Pradesh (₹77,349 crore) were second and third in agricultural credit disbursals. Interestingly, Kerala, which is not a major agricultural State, came fourth.

Scientists ready for field trials of pest-resistant cotton variety

Whiteflies are one of the top ten devastating pests in the world that damage more than 2000 plant species and also function as vectors for some 200-plant viruses. Cotton is one of the worst-hit crops by these, in 2015 two-third of the cotton crop was destroyed by the pest in Punjab. In a move to fight against whiteflies National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) Lucknow has developed a pest-resistant variety of cotton and is going to start field trials this year from April to October in Faridkot Center of Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana.

Agro-chemicals industry opposes penal provisions in new Pesticides Bill

An agro-chemicals industry body has opposed penal provisions in the new Pesticides Management Bill, saying they do not differentiate between minor and major offences.

The prices of pesticides should not be controlled as these are not essential commodities, the Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI) said.

Last month, the Union Cabinet approved the Pesticides Management Bill, 2020, to regulate the business of pesticides and compensate farmers in case of losses from usage of spurious agro-chemicals.

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