Agriculture Current Affair 6 July 2020

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Sugarcane farmers in UP demand payment of dues worth ₹14,000 crore

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s claim that over ₹1 lakh crore has been paid to farmers towards sugarcane arrears in the last three years has sparked controversy with some farmers and their leaders urging the government to make arrangements for settling the cane payment due to them in the current season, too.

The CM said last month that since his government came into being in 2017, sugarcane arrears worth ₹1,00,800 crore were deposited in the bank accounts of 47 lakh sugracane farmers in the State, which he claimed was a record.

Put off mandatory BIS certification of animal feed beyond July 27, US asks India

The United States has expressed concern over India’s new directive making it mandatory for all commercial feeds, including imports, intended for food producing animals to comply with the relevant Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) specification and certification norms and pressed for a postponement in its implementation, especially in the light of COVID-19 disruptions.

In a recent submission to the World Trade Organisation, Washington said that the new directive, which is to be implemented from July 27, will have a significant impact on trade in feed ingredients, and potentially on trade in meat and dairy products derived from livestock fed such ingredients in another country, and needed greater discussion.

Agri bad loans shoot up for banks in FY20 as lending targets rise sharply

Raising agriculture lending targets aggressively in recent years has led to overleveraging. Deterioration in credit culture on the back of farm loan waivers and diversion of funds (as pointed out by the RBI’s report on agriculture credit last September)is also a growing cause for worry.

The March quarter results of PSBs suggest that all of this has led to a sharp rise in delinquencies in agri loans. For instance, Central Bank of India has seen its agri NPA ratio spike to 14.7 per cent in FY20, from 9.7 per cent in FY19. Bank of Maharashtra’s agri NPA stood at nearly 26 per cent of its agri loans in FY20, up from 19.3 per cent in FY19. Union Bank, which had agri NPAs at just 6 per cent of loans in FY18, reported 11.8 per cent NPA ratio in FY20.

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