Govt further caps stock limit on onion retailers to 2 tons to check hoarding
New Delhi: The Centre on Monday further reduced the stock holding limit for onion to 2 tonnes from 5 tonnes for retail traders as part of efforts to check hoarding and boost domestic supply of the kitchen staple. In a statement, the Consumer Affairs Ministry directed the state governments to undertake anti-hoarding operation with immediate effect on retail traders.
Cotton research bodies in India, Uganda to develop new seed variety
The Cotton Development and Research Association (CDRA) of Southern India Mills’ Association has signed an agreement with Cotton Development Organisation and National Agricultural Research Organisation of Uganda to develop a cotton seed variety that will help increase the income of farmers in both the countries.
Government procured just 3% of pulses, seeds targeted under PM-AASHA scheme
Under the Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan scheme, only 1.08 lakh tonnes have been procured so far.
Less than 3% of this season’s sanctioned amount of pulses and oilseeds have actually been procured so far under the once-hyped PM-AASHA scheme, Agriculture Ministry data show. Arrivals of these crops began in October and will end by February.
A total of 37.59 lakh metric tonnes of procurement had been sanctioned under the Centrally funded scheme. However, only 1.08 lakh tonnes have been procured so far, according to data placed in the Lok Sabha on December 3.
what is PM AASHA Scheme
The PM-AASHA or Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan, was announced with great fanfare in September 2018, as an effort to ensure that farmers growing pulses, oilseeds and copra actually get the minimum support prices they are promised for their crops each year. Apart from initiatives to allow cash payment to farmers or procurement by private traders, PM-AASHA’s main feature was a price support scheme whereby Central agencies would procure pulses and oilseeds directly from farmers.
Under the new PM-AASHA scheme, the existing Price Support Scheme (PSS) will continue for pulses and copra, with Central agencies — including the NAFED and the Food Corporation of India — physically procuring the produce whenever the market rates fall below MSP, up to a maximum limit of 25% of the total harvest. The Centre will bear the costs, according to the existing guidelines. However, for oilseeds alone, the States will be allowed to choose between the PSS or two new schemes, the statement said.
While Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh called the policy an important step to double farmers’ income by 2022, experts remained sceptical about its implementation. “NAFED has a stock of more than 4 million tonnes [of pulses and oilseeds] because of the last two years’ procurement, but their distribution policy is non-existent. When market prices are 30% lower than the MSP, who is going to bear the loss,” asked Ashok Gulati, an agricultural economist with the ICRIER and former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, which sets the MSP.