India calls for eliminating north-south divide to reach consensus on issues grappling International Seed Treaty
Amid lack of consensus on issues like benefit sharing of germ plasm which will provide access to better quality seeds, India on Monday urged member countries of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) to make headway eliminating the north-south divide. Addressing the 9th governing body meeting of ITPGRFA here, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said people around the world have conserved priceless genetic resources and the treaty must support access and exchange of all crop genetic resources.
Member countries must stress on conservation and utilisation of minor millets, under-utilised potential crops as well as crop wild relatives before it is too late, he said and added, “our fight for climate resilient agriculture and nutritional security leans heavily on your decisions and actions.”
Reiterating that “no negotiations are possible at the cost of food security”, he said that the global forums must not forget that food is the most fundamental right. Developing countries will be driven by the necessity to ensure “rights of farmers producing food” are never compromised.
Maharashtra to produce record sugar levels in new season
India’s top sugar producing state of Maharashtra is set to churn out record levels for the second year in a row as farmers have expanded the growing area for the cane crop, the state government said in a statement on Monday.
Higher production will weigh on local prices and may prompt New Delhi to allow sugar exports in the 2022/23 marketing year starting from Oct. 1. Indian exports could weigh on global sugar prices..
Maharashtra could produce 13.8 million tonnes of sugar in the season, slightly higher than 13.7 million tonnes this year, the state government said.
Mills in the state will start cane crushing from Oct. 15 and the season is likely to last for 160 days.
Government sources last week told Reuters that India is poised to allow 5 million tonnes of sugar exports in the first tranche for the new marketing year beginning in October.
Will ensure wheat supply, rein in hoarders: Food secretary
The government has said that it would take steps to ensure supply of wheat in the market and keep its price under control, even as traders warned of further firming up of the grain’s price ahead of Diwali.
If there is any supply crunch and prices continue to rise, the government will take action, including making it compulsory for traders to disclose their stock position and will keep a check on hoarders, food and public distribution secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said on Monday. He was speaking at an event hosted by the Roller Flour Millers Federation.
India has enough wheat stock to take care of its domestic needs and for the public distribution system, said Pandey, adding the country exported just 4.5 million tonnes (mt) of the grain this year. While government data suggests wheat production in the 2021-22 crop year at just under 107 mt, the trade estimates it at 95-98 mt.
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