Agriculture Current Affair 30 May 2020

Gujarat farmers rush for groundnut seeds as monsoon rains approach

Farmers in Gujarat are seen rushing for groundnut seeds as the monsoon rains inch closer with the approaching cyclonic storm next week. Groundnut cultivation in the State is expected to jump by at least 20-25 per cent to hit a record 19 lakh hectares, up from 15.52 lakh ha reported in 2019-20.

A record groundnut area would mean a sharp surge in seed demand. Apart from the State Seeds Corporation, farmers are also queuing up at the groundnut millers, who are finding groundnut seed selling a promising bet amid increased demand.

Fin, agri-tech start-ups tie-up could help farmers to access finance: Study

Partnerships between agri-technology start-ups and financial institutions could help more farmers access finance through the formal sources, according to a study.

The study, sponsored by Rabobank Foundation was conducted by ThinkAg, a platform for agri and food innovation, and MSC Consulting. The study revealed that only 30 per cent of the farmers access finance from formal sources, while about 50 per cent of the small and marginal farmers are unable to borrow from any source.

Banks provided agri credit of about $168 billion in FY18-19, of which half of it was offered to medium and large farmers, who accounted for only 13.8 per cent of total land holdings. Further, the study revealed that banks are reluctant to offer credit to small and marginal farmers due to poor access, limited information, and unpredictable policy environment.

Lockdown brings black rice, joha rice in minor forest produce list

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs on Friday said black rice and joha rice grown in the North-East will be among the 23 additional minor forest produce considered for minimum support price (MSP) under a Centrally-sponsored scheme to improve marketing and value chain of these produce collected mostly from forest areas.

While medicinally-important black rice, grown predominantly in Manipur, would have an MSP of ₹100 a kg, Joha rice — an aromatic rice grown mainly in Assam and Meghalaya — can fetch ₹50.

With this, the total number of items supported through ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) and development of value chain of MFP’ has gone up to 73 from the existing 50, an official statement said.

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