Agriculture Current Affair 28 February 2023

El Nino threat raises fears of stress on lenders’ agri books

Farm loan exposure of banks has started to come back to analyst focus, amid forecasts of a possible occurrence of El Nino that could hurt crop production and potential calls for farm loan waivers in the run-up to next year’s elections.

While the climate effect could leave farmers with less money to repay their loans, any promise of loan waivers by political parties could be a sentiment dampener, as there would be uncertainties while governments evolve mechanisms to pay lenders back.

Government looks to integrate 100 more interstate mandis with e-NAM

The government is looking at integrating 100 more interstate mandis with the Electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM), to promote trade between the wholesale markets.

“We are focusing more on integrating interstate mandis now,” said a senior official.

The trade between interstate mandis on e-NAM increased to 3,929 quintals during April 2022 to January 2023 from just one quintal a year earlier. In the first 10 months of fiscal 2023, the value of interstate trade was Rs 1.87 crore, against the overall trade of Rs 61,257 crore on e-NAM.

Wheat prices may go below MSP as arrivals begin in Gujarat, MP

Wheat prices are fast moving downwards in states such as Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, where the arrival of the new crop has started.

Prices are expected to go below the minimum support price (MSP) by mid-March, when arrivals will pick up further.

Meanwhile, Food Corporation of India (FCI) has called a meeting of wheat growing states on March 1 to take a call on starting procurement operations for the 2023-24 rabi marketing season. It is expected to consider an early beginning of the procurement operations.

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