Agriculture Current Affair 21 February to 27 February 2023

Government sets up committee to monitor impact of rise in temp on wheat crop

The government on Monday said it has set up a committee to monitor the impact of rise in temperature on the wheat crop. The move comes amid a forecast by the National Crop Forecast Centre (NCFC) that maximum temperature in major wheat producing areas barring Madhya Pradesh was higher-than-average of the last seven years during the first week of February.

Even the Met Department has projected above-normal temperature in Gujarat, Jammu, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, in next two days.

Speaking to reporters, Agriculture Secretary Manoj Ahuja said, “We have set up a committee to monitor the situation arising due to increase in temperature on the wheat crop.”

India’s sugar output could fall further as cane matures early

India is set to produce lesser sugar than previously estimated by industry bodies and government agencies, with the cane crop maturing early and losing weight due to weather conditions in key growing regions, farmers and traders told Reuters.

Lower sugar output could prevent the world’s second-biggest exporter from allowing additional exports, potentially supporting global prices, and helping rivals Brazil and Thailand to increase their shipments.

India was estimated to produce 34 to 34.3 million tonnes of sugar in the 2022/23 marketing year ending on Sept. 30, down from last season’s 35.8 million tonnes, according to trade bodies last month.

Govt’s paddy procurement crosses 700 lakh tonne mark in current year

The government’s paddy procurement has crossed the 700 lakh tonne mark in the ongoing 2022-23 kharif marketing season so far, according to the Food Ministry.

The government aims to procure 765.43 lakh tonnes of paddy in the 2022-23 kharif marketing season (October-September). The actual procurement stood at a record 749 lakh tonnes in the previous kharif marketing season.

The paddy procurement is undertaken by both state-owned Food Corporation of India (FCI) and private agencies. The paddy is procured at the minimum support price (MSP) directly from the farmers and is utilised for meeting the demand under several welfare schemes.

J&K administration approves project worth Rs 463 crore to empower farmers

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has approved a five year project worth Rs 463 crore, aimed at empowering farmers and educated youth through technology-driven and inclusive agri-extension services, a senior government official said on Wednesday. One of the crucial outcomes of the project on “Innovative Extension Approaches for Revitalizing Agriculture in Jammu and Kashmir” would be creation of 2,000 ‘Kisan Khidmat Ghars’ (KKGs), which will serve as an ‘one stop centre’ for extending farmer oriented services, said Atal Dulloo, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture Production Department.

He said the extension system in Jammu and Kashmir faces many challenges, including serving a large clientele with structural complexity and functional diversity.

FCI sells 5.08 lakh tn wheat to bulk consumers in 3rd round of e-auction

State-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) sold 5.08 lakh tonnes of wheat to bulk consumers like flour millers in the third round of e-auction held on Wednesday.

In the first two rounds, nearly 13 lakh tonnes of wheat have been sold under the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) to bulk users as part of steps to cool down retail prices of the foodgrain and wheat flour. The next weekly e-auction will be held on March 1.

“About 5.08 lakh tonne of wheat has been sold to bulk consumers under the OMSS today,” FCI Chairman and Managing Director Ashok K Meena told PTI.

Centre working to increase production of oil seeds and pulses, reduce import dependence, says Prime Minister Modi

As part of the series of Budget webinars being conducted by the government, the Prime Minister on Friday talked about the country’s agricultural sector, and the Centre’s efforts to reduce dependence on imports of oil seeds and pulses.

“The government is working on mission mode to increase production of oil seeds and pulses to reduce import dependence,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Modi also talked of the Union Budget’s focus on agri-tech and creating funding avenues for entrepreneurs in the agriculture sector.

Wheat growers fear crop loss as temperature hits above-normal range

Parwinder Singh, a farmer from Punjab’s Kapurthala district, like many wheat growers in the state, is fearing loss of crops due to above-normal temperature in the past few days. Singh, a farmer from Talwandi Mehma, said at this time of the year, “the crop does not need very warm days. If temperatures continue to remain above normal for several days, it can adversely impact the wheat crop”.

While the maximum temperatures in Punjab and Haryana have been hovering above normal limits for several days, minimum temperatures too had registered an increase. But for the past two-three days, the minimum temperatures have been hovering close to normal range.

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