Agriculture Current Affair 21 July 2020

₹300-cr illegal HT cottonseeds trade thrives in Andhra, Telangana, Maharashtra

About 50 lakh packets of Herbicide Tolerant (HT) Bt cotton (about 24 lakh kg) worth ₹300 crore are in circulation in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra, according to the National Seed Association of India (NSAI), which says that this money is being siphoned off from legal business and goes into the hands of illegal players.

Illegal HT seeds are contaminating breeding material and parent lines of the seed companies, especially those selling BG2 cotton seeds, and State governments are taking action against licensed seed companies if HT genes are found even in a few lots of seeds.

Oilseed imports zoom 226% in four years, exports dip 14%

India is seen importing oilseeds more aggressively than exporting it. As per the government data for past four years, oilseeds imports to India have jumped 226 per cent as against 14 per cent dip in exports.

Data from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), as compiled by the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), showed that during 2019-20, India exported 1,068,215 tonnes of oilseeds worth ₹9,391 crore against 1,247,572 tonnes worth ₹9,060 crore in 2016-17.

On the other hand, India imported 520,871 tonnes of oilseeds for 2019-20 valued at ₹2,838 crore as against 159,330 tonnes worth ₹758 crore in 2016-17.

Agri clinics, agri biz centres help create more than 28,000 entrepreneurs: NIAM chief

The Agri Clinic and Agri Business Centre scheme of the Centre has helped in training more than 71,000 agri and science graduates in the country, according to P Chandra Shekar, Director General of National Institute of Agricultural Marketing (NIAM), Jaipur.

Speaking at a webinar on ‘Business ideas for start-ups in agriculture’, organised by the Atal Incubation Centre of Nitte Education Trust, he said that more than 28,000 agri-entrepreneurs have established their ventures in 32 different categories after being trained under the scheme.

This 45-day free residential training programme offers hand-holding for a year. A start-up loan of up to ₹20 lakh is extended under this scheme.

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