Agriculture Current Affair 25 May 2020

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Lockdown: Wholesale vegetable prices fall sharply by up to 60 per cent

Wholesale prices of tomato, onion and other key seasonal vegetables have declined sharply by up to 60 per cent across the country, mainly due to higher production, compression of demand and market disruption amid Covid-19 crisis.

However, the retail prices of most vegetables remain firm.

According to data maintained by AGMARKNET under the Union Agriculture Ministry, the wholesale tomato prices were ruling below Rs 5 per kg in some states on May 24, while that of onion to Rs 6 per kg in the key producing state of Maharashtra. However, potato prices were stable at 12-13 per kg.

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.

Centre allows use of drones to control locusts

As locust swarms make inroads into the interiors of Rajasthan, Punjab and even parts of Madhya Pradesh, the Centre on Thursday allowed the conditional use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), better known as drones, for spraying pesticides to curb the dreaded pest.

Conditional permission
The Ministry of Civil Aviation issued an order granting ‘conditional exemption’ for the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare to carry out the anti-locust operations. The Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine and Storage (DPPQS), Faridabad, under the Agriculture Ministry has been made the nodal agency for the anti-locust operations.

DPPQS may operate its own RPAs or engage third party service providers. The conditional exemption will be limited to the drones deployed by the nodal agency for aerial surveillance, aerial photography, public announcement and spraying of anti-locust pesticides. Also, the exemption shall be limited to battery operated rotary-wing RPAs only. Use of any other type of RPAs is strictly prohibited, it said.

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