Agriculture Current Affair 29 May 2020

Maharashtra govt urged to use aircraft for aerial spraying ops against locusts

The All Indian Kisan Sabha (AIKS) has demanded that for the control of locusts in Maharashtra, pesticides be sprayed from small aircraft rather than vehicle-mounted spraying machines as vehicles cannot reach all the corners of the affected areas.

On Monday, Maharashtra faced the first wave of locust attacks. The swarms landed in the orange growing belt around Katol near Nagpur. Vegetable crops such as okra and brinjal were also eaten up by the ravenous pests. Katol taluk is about 60 km from Nagpur and a part of the orange belt of Maharashtra.

Nilgiris tea estates under attack from red spider mite

Thousands of tea growers in the Nilgiris, already suffering the fallout of the Covid-19 restrictions, are now facing a new problem of red spider mite eating into the tea crop.

“The mite is spread across almost every tea field, especially in Kundah-Selas belt and Kotagiri, where there had not been good showers for some time now,” S Ramu, founder Chairman, Small Tea Growers’ Association of Southern India (STASI), told BusinessLine.

“Affected tea fields turn red in colour because of the massive mite invasion,” he said. “The pest sucks out the juice in tea leaves, leaving them dry and unsuitable for tea production.”

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.

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