Agriculture Current Affair 31 March 2020

Govt extends crop loan interest benefits till May 31

Farmers who have taken short-term crop loans will get time till May 31 to repay the loan without losing the benefit of interest subvention and other additional incentives offered by the government on timely repayment, an official statement said here on Monday.

Taking into consideration the problems faced by farmers because of the nation-wide lockdown, the government has decided to extend the benefit of 2 per cent interest subvention to banks and 3 per cent incentive on prompt repayment to all farmers up to May 31 for all crop loans up to ₹3 lakh given by banks which have become due or are becoming due between March 1 and May 31 this year, the statement said.

Scientists develop new drought tolerant chickpea variety

Chickpea is a major source of protein for the people in India. It is grown mainly in semi-arid regions during the post-monsoon season and face drought during flowering leading to huge drops in yield. There is a serious need to develop high-yielding chickpea varieties that can tolerate periodic water-deficit conditions and possess higher seed mineral content for nutritional benefit.

A group of scientists from Department of Biotechnology’s New Delhi-based National Institute of Plant Genome Research, University of Hyderabad and Indian Institute of Pulses Research has raised a genetically modified chickpea variety that shows high drought tolerance and high iron and zinc content in seeds by reducing the level of a plant growth substance called cytokinin in the root.

Orange growers’ body wants Mother Dairy to procure the fruit and market it

The Orange Growers Association of India (OGAI) has requested the National Horticulture Board to utilise companies such as Mother Dairy and its fruit and vegetable subsidiary Safal for procurement of oranges from Nagpur and Amravati region as the 21-day nationwide lockdown has affected the movement of inter-State trucks.

Mother Dairy has an efficient procurement system in Nagpur and Amravati region, said Amol Totey, Working President, OGAI.

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