Agriculture Current Affair 8 February 2020

UP mills want to make more raw sugar to step up exports

As the working capital requirements of sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh have increased due to higher sugar production and restrictions on domestic sales imposed by the government by way of monthly quota, the industry is trying to maximise sugar exports. As the sugarcane crushing season will soon come to an end closing possibilities of producing raw sugar for exports, north Indian sugar millers are looking forward to getting additional export quota.

Government of India has allowed export of 6 million tonnes of sugar during 2019-20 under Maximum Admissible Export Quota (MAEQ) to help deal with the surplus sugar stocks in the country. After the first quarter of the sugar season that started October 1, sugar millers from Uttar Pradesh, the largest sugar producing state of the country have contracted for export of about 70% to 80% of the quota allocated to the state. Whereas, their counterparts in Maharashtra have contracted for barely about 25% of the state’s cumulative export quota.

Locusts damage crops on nearly 1.5 lakh hectares

Nearly 1,68,550 hectares of crop area in Rajasthan and Gujarat have come under locust attack in 2019-20, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.

Replying to a question in the Upper House, the Minister said a total of 1,48,840 ha (1,34,959 ha in Rajasthan and 13,881 ha in Gujarat) crop area has been damaged by 33 per cent of more. Though locust attack was reported from Punjab and Haryana too, the damage is said to be negligible.

International Seafood Show begins in Kochi

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan has called for efforts to attract foreign direct investment to the marine sector for increasing employment opportunities and boosting the country’s seafood exports.

Inaugurating the 22nd International Seafood Show here, the Governor expressed confidence that India would be able to increase its share in global seafood trade from the present 4.1 per cent to 6.7 per cent by 2030 by increasing production, value addition and diversification.

Highlighting the importance of seafood, the Governor pointed out that 40 per cent of the global population live within 200 km from sea coasts and 12 of the 15 mega cities are on the coasts. In India alone, about 40.5 million people are involved in the fisheries sector, which also contributed one per cent to the GDP, he noted.

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