Agriculture Current Affair 24 December 2022

Govt sees bright prospect of wheat crop; current temperature conducive for higher yields

Agriculture Secretary Manoj Ahuja on Thursday said there is a bright prospect of wheat crop in key growing states as the current temperature remains conducive for plant growth and higher yield. Till last week, there was a 3 per cent increase in wheat acreage at 286.5 lakh hectares in the ongoing rabi season that began in October, according to the agriculture ministry’s data.

“Wheat crop prospect is bright. The current weather remains conducive for the plant growth and better yields,” Ahuja told PTI on the sidelines of a millet luncheon organised by the Union Agriculture Minister at his residence ahead of the 2023 International Year of Millets.

Better weather conditions and higher area under the crop are expected to lead to higher production in the 2022-23 crop year (July-June), he said.

MSP can only guarantee stable price not best rate, says Niti Aayog member Ramesh Chand

The minimum support price (MSP) of crops can guarantee stable prices but not always the best rates, which can only be ensured through fair competition in the market, Niti Aayog member Ramesh Chand said on Friday. He was addressing an agriculture conclave organised by Rural Voice, a digital media platform.

Speaking on the demand of farmer groups to make MSP a legal right, Chand noted that cultivators want it to get the best price for their produce and also to protect themselves from price fluctuations.

“In my view, MSP is not the best price in all situations. It is definitely a stable price but not the best price. Best price comes from competition. If there is competition in the market, farmers can get the best price,” he said.

The government fixes MSP for 22 crops. It procures wheat and paddy for supply through ration shops under various welfare schemes. Some quantities of oilseeds and pulses are also procured.

Only 50% farmers benefited from farm loan waivers, finds study

The SBI study flags poor implementation rate in Telangana, M.P., Jharkhand, Punjab, Karnataka and U.P.

Only about half of the intended beneficiaries of farm loan waivers announced by nine States since 2014, have actually received debt write-offs, as per a study by State Bank of India’s researchers.

As of March 2022, the poorest implementation of farm loan waiver schemes in terms of proportion of eligible farmers who had received the announced benefits, were in Telangana (5%), Madhya Pradesh (12%), Jharkhand (13%), Punjab (24%), Karnataka (38%) and Uttar Pradesh (52%).

By contrast, farm loan waivers implemented by Chhattisgarh in 2018 and Maharashtra in 2020, were received by 100% and 91% of the eligible farmers, respectively. A similar waiver announced by Maharashtra in 2017 worth ₹34,000 crore for 67 lakh farmers, has been implemented for 68% of beneficiaries, SBI researchers reckoned.

The SBI study was based on outcomes of ten farm loan write-offs worth about ₹2.53 lakh crore announced by nine States, starting with Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in 2014. As many as 92% of Andhra Pradesh’s 42 lakh farmers eligible for loan waivers had benefited, while the number was a mere 5% for Telangana.

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