Agriculture Current Affair 24 May 2020

PMFBY: No insurance firms bid for 3 clusters in Maharashtra

Farmers in as many as eight districts in Maharashtra may not be able to insure their crops under the PM Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) scheme in the forthcoming kharif season as no insurance firm came forward to bid for three clusters in the State.

The last day for bidding for 12 clusters – each cluster has between one and four districts – was last Wednesday (May 20), and there were no takers for three clusters, and two others had just one bidder each, according to sources in the know of things.

These districts are Aurangabad, Beed, Bhandara, Gondia, Jalna, Kolhapur, Palghar and Raigarh.

Covid disrupts pineapple supply chain in upcountry markets

Vazhakulam Pineapple, the GI-tagged fruit, which catapulted to global fame the otherwise diminishing agricultural dominance of Kerala, is facing the brunt of the Covid-19 crisis.

Farmers, who carry out farming on leased lands with bank loans, are facing the biggest crisis with supply chains closed and crops going waste. They have sought emergency relief packages from both the central and state governments to tide over the crisis.

James George, President, All Kerala Pineapple Farmers Association, said that farmers on an average spend ₹6.25 lakh per hectare every year, harvesting around five lakh tonns of pineapple. Most of the big timers are farming on leased land, mainly amidst rubber plantations. When the prices were hovering around ₹39-45 per kg during March-April 2019, farmers took more land on lease for farming.

Don’t want to see Covid triggering a global food crisis: President, Cargill India

Covid-19 is a multi-faceted global crisis. From the food industry perspective, we need to examine its implications along two dimensions: demand and supply. While rebuilding consumer confidence and shaping demand is a long-term ask, we need to ensure a robust supply response is in place. In a country where agriculture supports majority of our population, we need to pull the right levers to reduce possible impact on the economy. What we definitely don’t want to have is a food crisis on top of a health crisis and an economic crisis.

We must cooperate globally to ensure food moves from where it is grown to where it is needed. It is important to ensure open borders as it relates to food and agricultural products. This means refraining from export: import restrictions, and where possible, reducing tariffs to control cost escalation of essential products that can inhibit trade and negatively affect both the farmer and the consumer. Trade restrictions can disrupt global food supply chains. Countries promoting self-sufficiency to ensure food security for their citizens, may result in some disruption if we restrict free flow of trade for a sustained period. Edible oil which is a major import item for India has not been interrupted so far, but within the country, we have witnessed stark contrasts in food demand and supply. Images of farmers overloaded with stock, leading to food waste due to their inability to get the produce to the agri-markets (mandis) or get the right price and on the other hand customers lining up at supermarkets to stock food items being met with empty shelves have been observed.

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