Agriculture Current Affairs January 2020 Part 1st With Pdf

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2019-2025 National Infrastructure Pipeline report: Rs 102 lakh crore infrastructure plan unveiled

On December 31, 2019 the Union Minister of Finance Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman released a report of the task force on National Infrastructure Pipeline for 2019-2025 (NIP 2019-25) inorder to achieve the $5 trillion economy by 2024-25 .

Based on the information compiled by the task force headed by Economic Affairs Secretary Atanu Chakraborty, Rs 102 lakh crores has been projected on the capital expenditure in infrastructure sectors in India during the fiscals 2020 to 2025. The capital expenditure will be shared by the Centre, States and the private sector in the ratio 39:39:22 respectively.

The report in detail are as follows:

Rs.102 lakh crore project: Out of the Rs 102 lakh crore project, Rs 42.7 lakh crore (42%) worth projects are under implementation while projects worth Rs 32.7 lakh crore (32%) are in conceptualization stage and rest are under development.

Agriculture sector: Fund allocation: ₹ 0.54 lakh crores.

Vision: Doubling of farm incomes by upgrading 22,000 rural haats into Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAM). Moderining storage infrastructure by adding modern silos(tall pit) for capacity of 100 lakh MT(Metric tonne). Usage of drones for about real time weather updates.

• Current status: the Food Corporation of India(FCI) currently has an installed modern silos of capacity 7.25 lakh MT.

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Krishi Karman awards distributed:

PM Modi distributed Agriculture Minister’s Krishi Karman Awards for progressive farmers while commendation awards to the states were also given at a public meeting in Tumkur, Karnataka. Kisan Credit Cards(KCC) were also distributed.

Key speeches: Some of the key speeches while distributing the awards are as follows:

i.Spice production in the country has increased by more than 2.5 million tonnes. Thus the export has increased from Rs 15,000 crores to Rs.19,000 crores.

ii.The govt aims to strengthen fisheries sector through 3 levels. They are 

• Encouraging fisheries in villages through financial assistance to fishermen. 

• Under blue revolution scheme, fishing boats to be modernised. 

• Constructing modern infrastructure related to fish trade and business. A special fund of Rs 7.50 crores has been allocated for this purpose.

iii.Creating of new category in the Krishi Karman Award for Nutri Cereals, Horticulture and organic culture was also requested.

1st of-its kind turtle rehab centre comes up in Bihar

A 1st of its kind rehabilitation centre for freshwater turtles is to be inaugurated in January 2020 in the Bhagalpur forest division of Bihar. This centre spread over half a hectare will be able to shelter 500 turtles at a time. The centre will also treat turtles that are sick, severely injured or smuggled, and then be returned safely into its natural habitat.

Key Points:

i.The turtles will be properly monitored before being released back.

ii.NMCG & WII report: According to a report by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) , the turtle species are under threat due to loss through dams and barrages, pollution, illegal poaching, accidental drowning through fishing nets and threats to their nesting habitats etc.

iii.Traffic India study: According to a recent study conducted by Traffic India, nearly 11,000 turtles are being smuggled in India annually which makes 1,10,000 turtles in the past 10 years.

Paddlefish of China’s Yangtze River, declared as extinct

On January 03, 2020, China has declared that the country’s giant paddlefish often called as ‘Panda of the Yangtze river’ or ‘Chinese swordfish’ has become extinct. The extinction was reported due to decades of overfishing. As per scientists of the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute (YRFRI) the paddlefish with scientific name Psephurus gladius which can grow upto 22 feet (7 meters) in length became extinct between 2005 and 2010.

Key points:

i.The fish can grow at around 10 feet long on average was a native to Yangtze River, the longest river in Asia. The team conducted basin-wide survey between 2017 and 2018. Out of the 332 species that was found, not even single liven specimen of the paddlefish was found.The last confirmed sighting of the paddlefish was in the year 2003.

ii.The conclusion regarding the extiction was based on an evaluation by a panel of experts arranged by the International Union for Conservation (IUCN) of Nature in Shanghai.The announcement was made through a research paper published in Science of the Total Environment.

Eight States finalized Agriculture Export Policy by the Government of India

On January 5, 2020, As per Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development
Authority (APEDA), eight states namely Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Punjab, and Karnataka finalized an action plan for Agriculture Export Policy (AEP) to enhance exports.

Key Points:

i.Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) ensures the involvement for states in AEP.

ii.A MoU was signed with the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) to include co-operatives for active role in AEP. Over 800 farmers producer organizations were signed the agreement.

iii.The product clusters selected are Jalandhar, Punjab (Potato), Sangli, Maharashtra (Grapes), Salem, Tamil Nadu (Poultry products), Theni, Tamil Nadu (Banana), Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh (Mango), Indore, Madhya Pradesh (Onion), Jodhpur, Rajasthan (Isabgol) and Chikkaballapur, Karnataka (Rose Onion).

iv.Under the guidance of APEDA, states are operating a market intelligence cell.

v.APEDA launched the Farmer connect portal on its website to interact with exporters.

About Agriculture Export Policy:

i.Agriculture Export Policy was approved by the Union Cabinet in 2018.

ii.It aims to increase the potential of Indian agriculture to make India a global power in agriculture.

iii.This policy also helps the government in achieving the target of doubling the farmer’s income from 30 billion USD to 60 billion USD by 2022.

2019 Forest Survey of India report: one-fifth (21.40%) of India’s forests prone to fires

According to a 2019 report by the Forest Survey of India (FSI) which was based on a study carried out along forest fire points (FFP) identified across the country from 2004 to 2017, about 21.40% of forest cover of the country has been prone to fires. Among the total forest areas, the north eastern region in the country was found to be more vulnerable.

2019 Forest Survey of India report:

i.Fire prone areas: The extreme fire prone areas accounted for 3.89% of total forest cover, very highly fire prone areas accounted for 6.01% and highly fire prone areas for 11.50%. Thus together they make up the value of 21.40%.

ii.FFPs identified: The forest fire points (FFP) identified during the 13 years (2004-2017) were 2,77,758. These FFPs were identified using moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) on a 5 km x 5 km grid coverage.

iii.Highest fire alerted state: Mizoram topped among all the states with the highest number of fire alerts at 2,795.

iv.Forest alerts in central Indian states: Central Indian States also recorded a high number of forest fire alerts. These include Madhya Pradesh with for 2,723 alerts; Maharashtra 2,516; Odisha 2,213 and Chattisgarh 1,008 alerts.

v.Alerts issued: The total number of alerts issued in all the Indian states from November 2018 to June 2019 were 29,547. The 7 States of the north-eastern region accounted for a total of 10,210 fire lerts that resulted in 1/3rd of alerts in the country.

vi.Green cover: While overall green cover in the country has been increased, forest cover in the north east states such as Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland have decreased drastically. One of the major forest fires in the north-east were slash-and-burn cultivation which is commonly known as jhoom or jhum cultivation

Eight Crore farmer families benefited under PM Kisan Scheme

On January 8,2020 Nearly eight crore farmer families have benefited under PM Kisan (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi) scheme. The scheme was launched on 24 February 2019 by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.

Key Points:

i.Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Ministry reported more than 48 thousand 937 crore rupees has been released under the scheme till date.

ii.A new facility has been provided on PM- KISAN Web Portal- through Farmers Corner link for self-registration and edit his or her name in PM-Kisan database as per Aadhar card.

iii.The common service centre(CSC) helps farmers for self-registration and data correction.

iv.Under this scheme an income of Rs.6000 per year in three equal installments of Rs.2000 is provided to small and regional farmers with landholding up to two hectares.

v.Later the scheme was extended to all farmer families irrespective of landholding size.

Forest Committee approves Green Credit Scheme to ‘trade’ in forests

On January 09, 2020 the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) which is an apex body that considers questions on the diversion of forest land for non-forest uses such as mining, industrial projects, townships etc and also issues granting of forest clearances has approved Green Credit Scheme that would allow forests to be traded as a commodity.

Green Credit scheme:

i.Agencies identifying lands: The scheme allows agencies like private companies, village forest communities etc to identify lands for forest cultivation and ensures plantations are grown.

ii.Compensatory forest land: After 3 years, these identified lands would be considered as compensatory forest land after meeting forest department’s criteria.

iii.Industry approaching agencies: An industry that needs forest land could approach these agencies and pay them for such forested land. This would then be transferred to the forest department & also recorded as forest land.

FAC approval to trade forest as commodity:

i.Scheme implementation: If this scheme is implemented, the forest department will be allowed to outsource one of its responsibilities of reforesting to non-government agencies.

ii.Current system: In the current system the industry should find appropriate non forest land equal to that which would be razed for industrial purposes.

iii.Payment: The economic equivalent of the forest land called Net Present Value (NPV) should also be paid to the state forest department.

iv.Statistics: Nearly ₹50,000 crore had been collected by the Centre over decades, but the funds were unspent because states did not regrow forests. After Supreme Court’s (SC’s) intervention it was found that about ₹47,000 crore had been disbursed to States until August 2019.

v.Previously in 2015, a ‘Green Credit Scheme’ for degraded forest land with public-private participation was recommended. But it wasn’t approved by the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change(MoEFCC), who is the final authority.

5th edition of ‘The pulses conclave 2020’ will be held in Lonavala, Maharashtra

India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), the apex organisation of the import and export trader of pulses and grains in India will host the 5th edition of its biennial conference, ‘The Pulses Conclave 2020’ from February 12 – 14, 2020 at the Aamby Valley City in Lonavala, Maharashtra.

Key Points:

i.Aim: The Conclave aimed at increasing domestic production and consumption & other areas of the trade like improving processing efficiencies, increasing consumption, exports, value addition, post-harvest crop management, etc.

ii.Partakers: About 1000 delegates are expected to participate in the Conclave with trade delegations from all major pulses producing countries like Canada, USA, Australia, Myanmar, Russia, Ukraine, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, etc.

iii.The Conference will help in achieving Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi’s vision to double the farmer’s income by 2022.

iv.India is the largest producer & consumer of pulses in the world accounting for around 25 % of global production, 27 % of global consumption.

Uttar Pradesh government announced to build a 121-acre zoo named after Ashfaqullah Khan

On January 8,2020 The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet has approved a proposal to set aside Rs.234 crore for a zoological garden spread across 121 acres in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh to be named after the freedom fighter and revolutionary Shaheed Ashfaqullah Khan.

Key Points:

i. AIM: To attract tourists and to increase employment opportunities.

ii. The purpose of the zoological garden is conservation of the wildlife.

iii. Shaheed Ashfaqullah Khan zoological garden was proposed in 2008-2009.

iv. At present there are two zoological gardens in Uttar Pradesh namley, Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Zoological Garden in Lucknow and Kanpur Zoological Park in Kanpur.

Shaheed Ashfaqullah Khan:

i. Ashfaqullah Khan was born on October 22,1900 in Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh.

ii. Khan acquainted with Ram Prasad Bismil and found the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) with the aim of winning freedom for the country.

Rajya Sabha MP Chandra Pal Singh Yadav re-elected as the chairman of KRIBHCO

On January 9,2020 Agri-cooperative leader and Rajya Sabha MP (Member of Parliament) Chandra Pal Singh Yadav, Uttar Pradesh constituency has been re-elected unanimously as Chairman of Krishak Bharati Cooperative Limited (KRIBHCO).

He has been the Chairman from July 1999 to May 2010 & thereafter from February 2015 to till date.

Key Points:

i.Sudhakar Chowdhary, a versatile farmer’s leader, was unanimously elected as Vice Chairman of the KRIBHCO.

ii.The special general board meeting was held at NCUI (National Cooperative Union of India)auditorium, New Delhi to elect nine directors.

iii.Eight directors were elected unanimously but there was a fight for the post of the ninth director which was won by Gujarat’s Maganlal Dhanjibhai Vadaviya.

iv.KRIBHCO is an Indian co-operative society that manufactures fertilizers.

Govt. to encourage Indian pompano cultivation in the country

On January 09, 2020 the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh(AP) has successfully cultivated Indian pompano- marine fish species in a brackishwater pond (low salinity)in the region, thus scientifically proving its commercial viability.

It was also the 1st scientific experiment which became successful in Indian pompano cultivation. With this success, the govt plans to encourage more Indian pompano cultivation. The scientific name of Indian pompano is Trachinotus mookalee. It belongs to genus Trachinotus in the family Carangidae.

Key Points:

i.The harvesting of the pompano was attended by AP Fisheries Minister Mopidevi Venkataramana, AP MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) Simhadri Ramesh and officials of the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB).

ii.The experiment was conducted by CMFRI scientists in collaboration with an aqua farmer, Bandi Sunil Kumar.

iii.The yield of the Indian pompano was 3 tons per acre. The profit is estimated to be between 25-30 % against the input cost per acre.

TN’s Fishery and Music universities named after the late CM J Jayalalithaa

On January 9, 2020 Tamil Nadu (TN) Assembly passed the Bills to rename ‘Tamil Nadu Fisheries University’ and ‘Tamil Nadu Music and Fine Arts University’, after the late Chief Minister and AIADMK leader Jayaram Jayalalithaa as ‘Tamil Nadu Dr.J.Jayalalithaa Fisheries University (TNJFU)’ and ‘Tamil Nadu Dr. J.Jayalalithaa Music and Fine Arts University (TNMFAU)’ respectively.

Arunachal pradesh becomes the 1st state in India to initiate IUCN’s red-listing of orchids

On January 17, 2020, Arunachal Pradesh (AR) has became the 1st State in India to initiate the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s ‘red listing’ of orchids at the state level after it has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Itanagar,

Features of the agreement:

i.According to the MoU, the state government of Arunachal Pradesh will cooperate with IUCN and conduct a red-list evaluation of orchids in the state. Within 12 months, this project will spread across the state & various workshops on Red List Evaluation will be conducted by IUCN experts.

ii.The MoU was signed between the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) and Head of Forest Forces  (HoFF), Manmohan Singh Negi and Country Representative, IUCN India, Dr Vivek Saxena.

About IUCN: Formation– on 5 October 1948

Headquarters– Gland, Switzerland It aims to conserve nature and work for sustainable use of natural resources. It collects data and conducts research, analysis, field projects, advocacy and education.

IUCN Red List: IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species is an important indicator of the health of the world’s biodiversity. This list is serving as a powerful tool to inform and catalyze action for biodiversity conservation and policy change. The IUCN has estimated that these are complications for protecting natural resources.

About Arunachal Pradesh:

Capital– Itanagar

Chief minister– Pema Khandu

Governor– B. D. Mishra.

Bird– Hornbill

Dr Mihir Shah appointed as Chairman of 11 member Committee to draft the National Water Policy

On January 14, 2020 Dr Mihir Shah, professor at the Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh has been appointed as the chairman of the 11-member committee to draft the National Water Policy(NWP) and will have to submit the report within 6 months from the date of constitution. The committee was established by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation of govt. of India.

National Water Policy draft committee members: The other members of the committee include

Dr. Mihir Shah’s previous work:

• 2009-2014: He was responsible for shift in water resource management in India as enunciated in the 12th Five Year Plan, during his tenure as Member, Planning Commission, Government of India from 2009 to 2014.

• 2015: He was appointed by the govt in 2015 to chair committee for restructuring the Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB).

• Current position: He is a Professor and Chair, Water Science and Policy Program Department of Center for Public Affairs and Critical Theory (C-PACT), School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SoHSS) at Shiv Nadar University.

Three new frog species discovered in Arunachal Pradesh

On January 15,2020 The scientists of Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) had discovered three new species of tiny frogs in Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh (AR). The three new species of tiny frogs had been named as ‘Liurana himalayana’, ’Liurana indica’ and ‘Liurana minuta’.

Key Points:

i.The frogs are so small in size that one can sit on a coin.

ii. Bhaskar Saika and Bikramjit Sinha are the ZSI Scientists, who discovered these frog species.

iii.A study,co-authored by the scientist Saika and Sinha has been published in a science journal, the Records of the Zoological Survey of India.

iv.Earlier, Saika and Sinha also found a rare frog species, ‘Megophrys pachyproctus’, from Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, AR.

3rd International symposium on marine ecosystems challenges and opportunities (MECOS) 2020 held in Kochi, Kerala

The 3rd edition of the International Symposium on Marine Ecosystems Challenges and Opportunities (MECOS-3) was held at Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) in Kochi, Kerala from 7 – 10 January 2020 with an aim to address the concerns of marine ecosystem and will make new strategies for sustainable utilisation of marine wealth.

Key Points:

i.Organized by the Marine Biological Association of India (MBAI), the Symposium saw the participation of marine scientists, oceanographers, fishery researchers and marine biotechnologists from across the world to discuss various topics, including the impact of climate crisis in marine ecosystems and unusual warming of the Arabian sea.

ii.The symposium also focused on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG-14)of the United Nations (UN),which says Conserve and Sustainably use the oceans and its resources for sustainable development.

iii.The previous editions of MECOS brought together marine scientists, researchers and teachers across the world.

1st of Krishi Manthan 2020 begins in Ahmedabad, Gujarat

The 1st edition of the Krishi Manthan 2020 which is a Food, Agri-business and Rural Development Summit of Asia was held in Ahmedabad, Gujarat on December 28-29, 2019. The event was organised by the Food and Agribusiness Committee of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA).

Key Points:

i.Participants: Nearly 1500 delegates inclusive of students and academicians participated in the summit.

ii.Members present: Anil Gupta, IIMA Professor; Founder of 24 Mantra Organic Shri Rajashekhar Reddy Seelam, former Executive Vice President(VP) of Mahindra Agri Solutions and other officials attended the summit.

APEDA sets up 186 Agri Products testing laboratories across the country

On January 20, 2020, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) ha set up an additional 135 Agri products testing laboratories under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI). Now APEDA recognized Agri products testing laboratories has reached 186 across the Country.

Key Points:

i.The number of Agri product testing laboratories has increased in states like Maharashtra (35), Gujarat (23), Andhra Pradesh & Telangana (10), Tamil Nadu (23) and Karnataka (17).

ii.APEDA has decided to add National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited laboratories in the network of APEDA recognition which will enable the exporters to have easy access to the laboratories for testing of APEDA scheduled products for exports.

Uttarakhand is the 1st state in the country to implement agricultural leasing policy

Uttarakhand has become the first state in India which has made a policy to lease agricultural land. After the approval of Rashtrapati Bhavan, the state government has issued the order.

Key Points

i.Under this leasing policy, instead of giving land on a 30-year lease, the concerned farmer will get the rent for the land.

ii.By this policy any institutions, company, firm or NGO can take farmlands of maximum 30 acres in villages for lease for a period of 30 years and the government land around farm land can be taken for lease by paying the fee with the permission of the District Magistrate.

Uttar Pradesh government implements ‘Mukhyamantri Krishak Durghatna Kalyan Yojana’ for the state’s farmers

On January 21, 2020, Uttar Pradesh (UP) government has implemented ‘Mukhyamantri Krishak Durghatna Kalyan Yojana’ (earlier ‘Mukhyamantri Krishak Durghatna Bima Yojana’) for the farmers in the state w.e.f. 14th September 2019. The assistance of Rs 5 lakh will be provided to the farmers’ family in case of a farmer’s death and Rs 2 lakh if a farmer becomes 60% handicapped or more, while working in fields.

The age limit of the scheme is between 18 to 70 years. This scheme is fully funded by the government of UP. The scheme will also be applicable for Bataidars, the farmers who work in the field of other persons, and share the crop after it is harvested.

Key Points:

i.Within 45 days, the beneficiaries will receive the amount under this scheme. UP government will launch a web portal for this scheme for its easy access.

ii. The amount will be adjusted for the person who is already receiving benefits from Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana or any other schemes which are provided by the government.

iii. Apart from this scheme, UP govt will also implement Mukhyamantri Paryatan Samvardhan Yojana to boost tourism in the state. One tourist point will be developed with a fund of 50 lakh rupees in each and every assembly segment of the state.

West Bengal leads in vegetable production, Andhra Pradesh tops in Fruits in 2018-19: Horticultural production data

On January 20, 2020, According to the State-wise horticulture production data released at a conference organised by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, the state of West Bengal (WB) has been at the forefront of vegetable production in 2018-19 (3rd advance estimates), where the production of vegetables was 29.55 million tonnes (MT). It was followed by Uttar Pradesh –UP (27.70 MT) and Madhya Pradesh (17.77 MT).

Fruit crops Production: Andhra Pradesh (AP) continued to hold the top spot in fruits with 17.61MT in 2018-19.It was followed by Maharashtra (10.82 mt) and UP (10.65 mt).

Key Points:

i.West Bengal’s share in total vegetable production is 15.9 % of the country’s total vegetable production.UP accounted for 14.9 % of the total vegetable production, 9.6% of Madhya Pradesh, 9% of Bihar and 6.8 % of Gujarat.

ii.In the previous crop year 2017-18, West Bengal stood 2nd with production of 27.7 million tonnes. At that time Uttar Pradesh was at the top with a production of 28.8 million tonnes.

iii.The total area under vegetable cultivation rose to 10.10 million hectare (mh)in 2018-19 from 6.74 mh in 2004-05.The area under vegetable production was 10.10 mh in 2018-19.Whereas, area under fruit crops cultivation during 2018-19 was 6.65 mh.

iv.The production of vegetable rose to 185.88 tonnes in 2018-19 from 101.25 mt in 2004-05, while the fruit production accounted 98.58 mt.

India & WB signed $210 million loan pact for Maharashtra’s Agri & Rural Transformation Project

On January 24, 2020, the govt of India, Govt of Maharashtra and the World Bank(WB) signed a loan agreement of $210 million for Maharashtra’s Agribusiness & rural transformation project. This project will help the farmers in Maharashtra to take part in competitive agriculture value chains, enhance agribusiness investments thereby increasing productivity of commodities.

All 36 districts of Maharashtra will be implemented with the project and would benefit nearly 1 million farming households.

Key Points: Agreement signing: The agreement was signed by Shri Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance (MoF) on behalf of Indian govt while from the WB side, it was signed by Mr JunaidKamal Ahmad, WB’s Country Director (India).

ii.Project agreement signing: The project agreement was signed by Shri Eknath Dawale, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Government of Maharashtra & by Mr. Junaid Kamal Ahmad of WB.

iii.This loan is from the WB’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a grace period of 6 years and a maturity period of 13.5 years.

Padma Shri Awards :

Padma Shri, Instituted on 2 January 1954,is given for distinguished service of a high order without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex.This year President approved the conferment of Padma Shri to 118 Persons.

Rahibai Soma Popere  :- Agriculture :-  Maharashtra

Chintala Venkat Reddy :- Agriculture :- Telangana

Radhammohan & Ms.Sabarmatee (Duo) :- Agriculture Odisha *

Batakrushna Sahoo Animal Husbandry:- Odisha

Trinity Saioo :- Agriculture:-  Meghalaya

TN agri university Vice-Chancellor N Kumar honoured 2019 Harit Ratna Award

On January 22, 2020 the Vice-Chancellor(VC) of Tamil Nadu Agriculture University(TNAU) Shri N Kumar was honoured with Harit Ratna Award 2019 at the 5th National Youth Convention(NYC) at Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya (IGKV) in Raipur, Chattisgarh. The award was given by All India Agricultural Students Association (AIASA).

Key Points:

i.Shri Kumar was awarded for the dissemination of Rs 30-crore entrepreneurship project in agri-business and also for motivating students towards the agriculture sector in Tamil Nadu.

Horticulture output to be 313.35 million tonnes in 2019-20: First advance estimates

On January 27,2020, The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India (GoI) has presented the first advance report for 2019-20 & as well as the final estimate for 2018-19 for Area and Production of various Horticulture Crops.


i.Horticulture production: According to the report, horticulture production in 2019-20 can be 313.35 million tonnes (mt),0.84% higher than in 2018-19 (310.74 mt).

ii.Vegetables & Fruits production:Vegetables production was expected to be about 183.17 mt, while fruits production was to be around 97.97 mt in 2018-19(Final).In 2019-20(1st Advance Estimate) Vegetables production was estimated to be around 188.009 mt, while fruits production was estimated to be around 95.74 mt.

iii.The government hopes to increase the yield of these 3 vegetables (Onion, tomato and potato) in the current financial year 2019-20.

iv.According to government estimates, onion yields are expected to increase by 7.17% (24.45 Million Tonne), as against 22.82 Million Tonne in 2018-19., potato by 3.49%(51.94 Million Tonne),as against 50.19 Million Tonne in 2018-19 and tomato by 1.68% (19.33 Million Tonne) in this financial year,as against 19.01 Million Tonnes in 2018-19.

1st estimate of rabi crop released by NCML; record grain output to be witnessed in 2020

On January 27, 2020 agriculture post-harvest management company- National Collateral Management Services Limited (NCML) has released its 1st estimate of for 2019-20 rabi crop production. The year 2020 is expected to make record food grain production led by the wheat crop along with corn and jowar while Oilseeds and pulses may have lower production.

1st estimate of rabi crop by NCML:

Rabi season: This season which contributes 50% of foodgrain production usually starts from the month of November and lasts till the following year’s April month. The Rabi paddy production is also estimated to increase by 5% further.

• Cereal production: Overall cereal production is forecasted to increase by 7% in the current Rabi season i.e., from 2019-20.

• Rabi food grain production: The total rabi food grain production is estimated to be higher by 6% at 1527 Lakh Tonnes as against 1432 lakh tonnes of production witnessed during Rabi 2018-19.

• Rabi oilseed production: The oil seed production is expected to decline by 2.7% for 2019-20.

• Monsoon: The year 2019 witnessed 10% above normal rainfall with 968 mm rainfall level which was higher than the normal level of 880.6 mm. The excess rainfall has generated more favourable conditions for sowing.

Crop production:

i.Wheat Production: Wheat being the main crop of the Rabi season saw a total production of estimated at 1090 lakh tonnes for 2019-20 which is 6.27% higher than 2018-19 production (1021 lakh tonnes). The production is also expected to increase further due to Minimum Support Price’s (MSP’s) increase.

ii.Maize production: Apart from paddy and wheat, in India, Maize is the third largest cereal crop of Rabi season. The maize production during 2019-20 was estimated to be 89.2 lakh tonnes and was higher by 8.25% from 2018-19.

iii.Jowar crop: This crop is primarily grown in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The jowar production was estimated at 31.2 lakh tonnes during 2019-20 as against 20.2 lakh tonnes during rabi 2018, higher by 35.2%.

Pulse production:

The pulse production may show marginal decline by 2% from its previous year production. Indian Rabi pulses production for the year 2019-20 is estimated at 144.8 lakh tonnes as against 148 Lakh tonnes witnessed during 2018-19.

i.Gram: Among all the rabi crops, Gram has the highest acreage (land area). For the current season 2019-21 the gram production is estimated to be lower by 5% at 95.82lakh tonnes from previous production of 101.3 lakh tonnes.

ii.Moong bean: It is estimated to decline by 10% to 4.62 lakh tonnes in 2019-20 from 5.10 lakh tonnes in the foregoing year due to decline in acreage.

iii.Mustard production: Production of Mustard is estimated at 85.79 lakh tonnes for 2019-20 which is lower by 8.8% as against last year’s production of 93.4 lakh tonnes. The oilseed is primarily grown in the states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana.

Horticulture output:

The Horticulture output including tomato, onion, potato etc is estimated to be 313.35 million tonnes(mt) in 2019-20 from the actual output of 310.74 mt of 2018-19.

• Onion production: The overall onion production is expected to increase 7% to 24.45 mt in 2019- 20, which can be seen as a relief to consumers from high prices seen in the past few months.

• Potato production: Production of potato is estimated to go up to 51.94 mt for 2019-20.

PM Modi Addressed 3rd Global Potato Conclave held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat

On January 28, 2020 the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi addressed the 3rd edition of the Global Potato Conclave at Gandhinagar, Gujarat through video conference.

The 4-day conclave from January 28-31 is being organised by Indian Potato Association (IPA) in collaboration with Indian Council of Agricultural Research(ICAR), New Delhi, and ICAR-Central Potato Research Institute, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh and International Potato Center (CIP), Lima, Peru. 3 major events are also being witnessed in the event. They are Potato Conference, Agri Expo and Potato Field Day.

3rd Global Potato Conclave:

i.Conclave aim: The conclave is organised to make the participants exposed to the frontiers of knowledge and to enhance innovation in potato research. During the conclave, scientists, potato farmers and other stakeholders from around the world are participating where important topics related to food and nutrition will be discussed.

ii.Gujarat in potato production: Gujarat is the leading state in potato production and productivity in India and holds the no.1 position for the last one decade. The area under potato cultivation has increased by about 20% over the past 11 years, while it has increased 170% in Gujarat in the same period.

• Gujarat having major potato production companies in the state led it to be a major potato hub in the country.

Potato acreage: The acreage of potatoes increased more than two fold to 13.3lakh hectare in 2017-18.

The yields are at over 30 tonne per hectare in the state.

iii.Themes: The 3rd edition of the potato conference is based on 10 themes out of which 8 themes are based on basic and applied research.

The 10 themes are

1.• Germplasm management and next generation breeding; Potato biotechnology and omics; AI
(Artificial Intelligence) and Information and Communications Technology(ICT)in Potato Research and development (R&D); Climate change and crop management,

2.• Potato disease management; Potato pest management; Advances in seed technology; Post harvest management and value addition;

3.Potato value chain management, Trade and industry and technology transfer, policy and social issues.

iv.Agri Expo: The Agri Expo organised from January 28-30, 2020 showcases the status of potato based industries in trade, potato processing, technology transfer etc.

v.Potato Field Day: The expo will be organised on January 31, 2020 and will demonstrate advancements in potato mechanisation, potato varieties, latest challenges etc. 6000 farmers undertook field visits on field day.

vi.Previous editions: The previous two Global Potato Conferences were organized in 1999, and 2008.

New record: Rs 12,000 cr transferred under DBT of 6 crore farmers:

A new record was created recently were an amount of Rs. 12,000 crores were transferred directly to the bank accounts of 6 crore farmers under the Direct Benefit Transfer(DBT)facility.

Steps taken by govt to enhance agricultural practices:

i.Doubling farmers’ income: India is among the top 3 countries in production of various cereals and other food items as a result of efforts put by the farmers. The govt also aims to double farmers’ income by 2020.

ii.Sampada scheme: The food processing sector has been opened to 100% FDI (Foreign Direct Investment), helping in development through PM Kisan Sampada Yojana (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) with an allocation of Rs 6000 crores from 2016-20.

CM Palaniswamy announced Direct CTO scheme for green industries in Chennai, TN

On January 30,2020 Tamil Nadu (TN) Chief Minister (CM) Shri Edappadi K Palaniswami, announced a new scheme , ‘Direct Consent to operate (CTO) scheme for green industries’ to get faster clearances from government for green category industries. The scheme was announced at the 125th year celebrations of the Confederation of the Indian Industry (CII) held in Chennai, TN.

Key Points:

i.Scheme feature: Under this new scheme the green industries need to obtain permission for establishment purpose & need not wait for final approvals for starting construction work. The scheme would benefit upto 63 types of green industries.

ii.Other announcement: Mr Palaniswami also announced an initiative for land use reclassification in non-plan areas where the approval will be given within 50 days. Previously the approval was done between 6 months to 2 years.

iii.The CII’s role during global investors meeting 2019 was highlighted in which 63 new Memoranda of Understandings (MoU) worth Rs.19,000 crore were signed by the Government. Through this initiative 83,000 new jobs are expected to be created in the State.

iv.Members present: Tamil Nadu Governor Shri Banwarilal Purohit, Shobana Kamineni, past president, CII & executive vice chairman of Apollo Hospital and other officials were present on the occasion.

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