Agriculture Current Affair 22 September 2022

On the cards: Sops for natural farming

New Delhi: India could offer sops to farmers to adopt natural ways of farming as part of a soon-to-be-launched national mission.

Incentives being considered include monetary support to buy good quality seeds and natural manure for farming as also marketing support for produce. A final call on the incentives will be taken soon, said a senior government official.

The government is readying to launch a national mission on natural farming, which will lay out a road map for adoption of sustainable and cost-effective natural farming techniques, said the official, who did not wish to be identified.

Natural farming is a traditional, chemical-free farming method in which crops, trees and livestock are integrated and there is no use of fertilisers. It is largely based on on-farm biomass recycling with emphasis on biomass mulching, use of on-farm cow dung-urine formulation, periodic soil aeration and exclusion of all synthetic chemical inputs. The proposed plan also aims to open up export avenues through certification of naturally produced agricultural commodities. Besides, some other support measures such as for marketing could also be undertaken, said the official.

India’s cotton production to increase by 15% in 2022-23

At a time when the central government is worried about the closure of the 50% of the spinning mills in the country due to cotton shortages, the production in the October-September cotton year 2022-23 is expected to increase by about 15% provided the weather remains conducive till October offering relief to the entire cotton value chain.

Government agency Cotton Corporation of India (CCI), which carries out cotton procurement operations when prices fall below the minimum support price (MSP), has pegged India’s 2022-23 cotton production higher by 15% to 360 lakh bales of 170 kilograms each.

Prices of Indian cotton had increased from Rs 60,000 per candy (of 356 kilograms) in January to Rs 1,10,000 per candy by May. Thanks to such high prices, area under cotton sowing has increased by 7% to 8%.

“The area under cotton has increased to 128 lakh hectares against 120.55 in the previous year. As yields are also expected to increase due to excellent weather conditions, production of cotton is expected to increase to 360 lakh bales,” said Arjun Dave, deputy general manager, CCI. He was speaking at the All India Meet on Cotton Trade organised by the Khandesh Gin Press Association, Jalgaon.

India has enough wheat stock; Govt to take action against hoarders if needed, says Food Secy Sudhanshu Pandey

Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey on Monday claimed that India has sufficient wheat stock and that it will take action against hoarders to boost domestic supply, if needed.

Government may also consider using measures like asking for disclosure of wheat stocks by traders and imposing stock limits to augment domestic availability.

Addressing the 82nd AGM of Roller Flour Millers Federation of India, Pandey said there is no problem of wheat in the country and the Centre has 24 million tonne of wheat in godowns of state-owned FCI.

The secretary pointed out that wheat prices have gone up due to “speculative trading”.

According to news agency PTI, Pandey said the government’s wheat production forecast is around 105 million tonne in rabi season of 2021-22 crop year (July-June) while the trade estimates are 95-98 million tonne.

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