Agriculture Current Affair 28 May 2020
In what could be an early setback for the 2020-21 cotton crop, the desert locusts are seen posing a threat to the fibre crop in North India. Farmers in Rajasthan and parts of Punjab have started raising alarm over the locust attack that has started ravaging their recently-sowed cotton crop.
“Tiddis (locusts) have nearly destroyed the fresh vegetation of the cotton plants. The situation is bad in northern and western Rajasthan. The plantation is just at the early stage and if immediate action is not taken, the damage will spread over to other districts,” said Dalveer Singh, a farmer from western Rajasthan. Cotton farms in the northern districts of Shri Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Gharsana and Rawla among others have been affected. The exact acreage affected is not known.
Telangana, AP form bulk of country’s paddy procurement
Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have dominated paddy procurement in the country this season. The two States procured 75 lakh tonnes of paddy as on May 22, while the total paddy procurement in the country is 83 lakh tonnes.
Telangana, which clocked a record production of one crore tonnes of paddy, has procured 52.33 lakh tonnes as against the targeted 91 lakh tonnes.
Quoting Food Corporation of India (FCI) Managing Director DV Prasad, a senior official of the Civil Supplies Department of Telangana has said the State has emerged the leader in paddy procurement. With lockdown disrupting the supply chains and marketyards closed, the Telangana government had decided to procure all of the paddy produced in the State at a cost of about ₹25,000 crore.
Covid-19: As milk prices fall in Maharashtra, dairy farmers feel the squeeze
Dairy farmers in Maharashtra have started to feel the pinch of the lockdown with procurement prices of milk dipping by 20 to 50 per cent. Decline in their income also means lower amount of feed being given to cattle.
Due to lack of demand, farmers who used to make processed milk products such as curd, butter, ghee and khoya as a cottage industry, now sell milk at lower rates in the market. Khoya is an intermediary milk product, which is used as a raw material for making traditional sweets.
Farmer leader and General Secretary (Maharashtra) of All India Kisan Sabha, Ajit Navale, said that due to the lockdown, milk demand from restaurants, tea stalls and sweet shops has come to a standstill. The State Government has assured that 11 lakh litres of excess milk will be procured per day from farmers by the cooperative dairies for which funds would be provided by the State Government. However, it has not translated into additional income for the farmers.