Agriculture Current Affair 20 January 2020

Vahdam Teas set to launch its premium range in India

Vahdam Teas and Super Foods, a home-grown tea brand focussed on export of premium teas, is set to launch its products across India. The company did a soft launch in the country recently.

“The awareness level for premium single-estate blends is still low in India. We have just commenced the sale of our range of teas in the country. We will, by the end of the next quarter build an online presence across the top four metros. We are trying to build an omni channel to route our products,” Bala Sarda, founder and CEO, said.

The four-year-old start-up was announced the ‘winner of the Global SMB of the Year’ award at Amazon Sambhav Summit in New Delhi recently.

Labour shortage pushes up cost of manual plucking of cotton

The cotton season in Maharashtra is coming to an end but in those areas of the state where the crop is extensively cultivated over rain-fed land, the cost of manual plucking of cotton has more than doubled due to labour shortage.

Adequate number of labourers are not available in villages to pick cotton from fields. Farmers have to shell out much higher per day wages, leaving very thin profit margin.

NAFED procures over 5 lakh tonnes of groundnut countrywide

groundnut crop projections for the ongoing season, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) has procured over 5 lakh tonnes of the crop from the growing States.

Per NAFED data, as on January 16, it had procured 3.72 lakh tonnes of groundnut from Gujarat at the minimum support price (MSP) of 5,090/quintal. Its total procurement across the country stood at 5.33 lakh tonnes under the Price Support Scheme (PSS).

Groundnut output is projected at about 70 lakh tonnes in the country, of which about 32 lakh tonnes is expected in Gujarat alone, per initial estimates. Due to a bumper crop of the oilseed, which is primarily used as a snack/ingredient besides being used to make cooking oil, the market prices had dipped below the MSP. The MSP is decided on by the Centre to provide remunerative prices to farmers.

Groundnut quoted at 3,800-4,925 per quintal at the Gondal market. The prices have dipped by over 160/quintal for farmers, prompting NAFED to step up purchases.

Apart from Gujarat, NAFED procured 1.44 lakh tonnes of groundnut from Rajasthan and 16,600 tonnes from Andhra Pradesh during the given period. It has been given the mandate to procure up to 25 per cent of the total projected crop under the PSS.

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