March Agriculture Current Affairs In Detail Part 1st

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Overview of PM Modi Visit to Uttar Pradesh on Feb 29, 2020 On February 29, 2020, PM Modi visited Uttar Pradesh (UP) to attend several programmes in Chitrakoot and Prayagraj.

PM launched 10,000 farmers producer organisations (FPOs) all over country at Chitrakoot
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also launched 10,000 farmers producer organisations (FPOs) all over the country at Chitrakoot to provide quality seeds, fertilizers and pesticides as well as requisite finances to small and marginal farmers. FPOs will also help achieve the dream of Gram Swaraj that promotes conversion of every village into a self-efficient autonomous entity where all the systems and facilities for a dignified living are available.The government would spend Rs 5,000 crore in the next five years to strengthen FPOs for the benefit of farmers. FPO will facilitate farmers sell their produce against best prices.

Completion of one year of launch of PM-KISAN scheme

The PM-KISAN scheme has completed one year which was launched on February 24, 2019. The Modi government had launched the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme as an income support scheme for farmers to enable them to take care of expenses related to agriculture and allied activities as well as domestic needs. Under the scheme, benefit is provided to the eligible beneficiary to the tune of Rs 6,000 per year. It is payable in three 4-monthly instalments of Rs 2,000 each.

PM Modi Launched KCC cards

The prime minister also launched a saturation drive for distribution of Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) to all the beneficiaries under the PM-KISAN Scheme. Over 6.5 crore of the approximately 8.5 crore beneficiaries under PM-KISAN Scheme possess Kisan Credit Cards. The saturation ensured that the remaining about 2 crore PM-KISAN beneficiaries are also distributed KCCs the statement said. KCC provides provide loans at minimal rates.More than 2000 bank branches in rural areas have been tasked with providing the KCC card to the farmers. Farmers can get up to Rs 3 lakh loan at 4% interest. The government has set an estimate of Rs 20,000 crore which will be utilised to sanction loan to KCC cardholders.

ICAR signs MoU with Patanjali Bio Research Institute (PBRI) for farm research, training, education

On March 01, 2020, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), an autonomous body responsible for coordinating agricultural education and research in India, has signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Hardiwar (Uttarakhand)- based Patanjali Bio Research Institute (PBRI) to add a new dimension to the field of farming by undertaking research work as well as training and education.

Key Points:

i.The agreement was signed in the presence of Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, by ICAR Director General Trilochan Mohapatra & PBRI CEO Acharya Balkrishna. On this occasion, Junior Agriculture Ministers Parshottam Rupala and Kailash Choudhary were also present.

ii.This agreement between ICAR and Patanjali will work in the interest of common farmers with each other’s cooperation related to sustainable agriculture development suitable to different agro-ecologies of the country & ICAR will assist PBRI in technology demonstration, capacity building, seed production for scaling up popular varieties developed by ICAR and transferring them among the farming community of the country.

iii.The MoU will provide internships in various areas of specialization with PBRI to the Post graduate (PG) students of deemed universities and research institutes of ICAR.It will also help The boost the research, capacity building, seed production, entrepreneurship and skill development,etc.

Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurates Krishi Vigyan Mela 2020 in New Delhi

On March 1,2020,The Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar has inaugurated a-3 day Krishi Vigyan Mela 2020 at Mela Ground of the PUSA campus in New Delhi. The mela, is being organized by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), showcases the latest varieties of seeds, technology and other products developed by government and private companies.

Key Points:

i.At the event, 39 innovative farmers and five fellow farmers will also be awarded. ii.The event will help doubling farmers’ income by the year 2022

Steps taken by the Government to double farmers’ income:

The government is providing an annual income of Rs 6,000 to farmers under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme & farmers under the Kisan Credit Card initiative ,it increased the minimum support price for crops, loan facilities to farmers. It is noteworthy that the government aims to set up 10,000 new FPOs(Farmer Producer Organisations).A provision of Rs 6,600 crore has been made in the budget for this initiative. The government will also provide Rs 15 lakh for each FPO formation.

About Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare:

Union Minister – Shri Narendra Singh Tomar
Founded– 1947
Headquarters– New Delhi
About Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR):
Headquarters– New Delhi
Founded– 16 July 1929

National Chambal Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh received eco-sensitive zone tag

On March 2, 2020 Centre notified 870 sq km around the National Chambal Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh(MP) as eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) to prohibit polluting activities like industries, major hydroelectric project,mining, stone quarrying & big construction within the ‘no-go area’ for the purpose of conservation of water bodies, unique geographical features(ravines), flora & fauna.

Highlights

i.It covers about 435 square kilometres & lies across Sheopur, Morena and Bhind districts of MP with a length of more than 400 kilometers.It is home to 75% of gharial,freshwater gangetic dolphins, 9 species of freshwater turtles & more the 180 species of migratory birds.

ii.The area of extent is 0 to 2 kilometres around the boundary of National Chambal Sanctuary in MP as the ESZ.

iii.MP government to prepare ‘Zonal Master Plan’ to develop ESZ & Eco-Tourism plan to promote tourism within the earmarked area.

iv.The Zonal master plan to be prepared within 2 years in consultation of local authorities provides restoration of denuded areas, conservation of existing water bodies, management of catchment areas, watershed management, groundwater management, soil & moisture conservation, needs of local community & other aspects of the ecology and environment that need attention.

v.Under eco-tourism master plan, new construction of hotels & resorts within 1 kilometre from the boundary of the wildlife or upto the extent of the ESZ.

vi.Forests, horticulture areas, agricultural areas, parks & open spaces earmarked for recreational purposes in the ESZ not to be used, or converted into areas for commercial or residential or industrial activities.

About The National Chambal Sanctuary

It is Located on the Chambal River near the tripoint of Rajasthan, MP and Uttar Pradesh & is spread over 2,100 square mile.The key species are critically endangered gharial or fish eating crocodile, red-crowned roof turtle,endangered Ganges river dolphin & common plants like Khair, Palash, Churel& Ber. It is the first and only tri-state riverine protected area in India for the breeding population of Gharial.It is also called as the National Chambal Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary.

About ESZ

ESZ or Ecologically Fragile Areas (EFA) is governed by the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change(MoEFCC). The purpose of declaring ESZ is to create ” shock absorbers” to the protected areas & also act as transition zones.There are no acts to regulate the zones, but are regulated with set of guidelines declared by the ministry.

11th National Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) conference 2020 held in New Delhi

A 3-day long 11th National Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Conference -2020 based on the theme
‘Empowering Youth for Technology Led Farming’ was held in New delhi.It wasinaugurated by Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar.

Key Points:

i.The conference, organized by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR),focused on technology-led farming and youth entrepreneurship through agriculture.

ii.The conference saw the participation of all the KVKs across India. A number of Krishi Vigyan Kendra publications and different products developed by the KVKs were also launched during the conference.

iii.There are a total of 717 KVKs spread across the country, since the creation of the first KVK at Puducherry in 1974.

About Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare:

Founded– 1947
Headquarters– New Delhi
About Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR):
Headquarters– New Delhi
Founded– 16 July 1929

Rs 33 cr for Kaziranga under Project Tiger scheme; Rs 1.51 crore under CAMPA for FY2018-19 & FY19-20

On March 2, 2020, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has notified that under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), a financial assistance of Rs 1.51 crore has been sanctioned to Kaziranga National Park in Kanchanjuri, Assam during the financial years 2018-19 and 2019-2020.For the financial years 2018-19 Rs 94,46,585 was sanctioned while Rs 51,24,670 was allocated for 2019-2020.

• Apart from this, under the Project Tiger scheme, Rs 33 crore was sanctioned. A financial assistance of Rs 10.30 crore was sanctioned for 2018-19 and Rs 22.81 crore was allocated for 2019-20 to Kaziranga Tiger Reserve, which includes Kaziranga National Park.

Utilization of allocation:

-Highlands and platforms have been constructed in national parks to give shelter to animals during high flood.

-Anti-poaching camps in strategic locations have also been constructed with sufficient armed guards, besides deployment of boats during flood and use of modern technologies like ‘electronic eye’ for smart patrolling.

About Project Tiger scheme:

Initiated in April 1, 1973, Project Tiger was started to save tigers from getting extinct by taking preventive measures. It was launched in Jim Corbett National Park, Uttrakhand under the leadership of Indira Gandhi to save Royal Bengal Tigers. After the project, the number has increased from 1200 to around 5000.

About Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC):

Union Minister- Prakash Javadekar
Minister of State (MoS)- Babul Supriyo

35th edition of the International food and hospitality fair ‘AAHAR 2020’ commences in New Delhi On March 3,2020, A 5-day-long 35th edition of the International Food and Hospitality fair ‘AAHAR 2020’ has commenced in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. It was inaugurated by Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal. This fair has been specially focused on promoting the agriculture-community as well as tourism sectors especially hospitality companies.

Key Points:

i.The fair, open for business visitors from 10 am to 6 pm, is being jointly organized by India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) in partnership with the Agriculture and Processed Food Products Development Authority (APEDA), Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries and several apex industry associations.

ii.It saw the participation over 750 people from India and from countries like Hong Kong, Israel, Indonesia, Japan, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, UK (United Kingdom), UAE(United Arab Emirates) etc.

iii.At this much awaited international food and hospitality fair in Asia, visitors got a chance to interact with world-class food traditions including a all kinds of food products, machinery, hospitality, Food and Beverage Equipment and Decoration items, and Confectionery items.

NABARD infused Rs 1.46 lakh crore in rural banking during FY20

On March 3, 2020,According to the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), an Apex Development Financial Institution in India, it has granted Rs 1.46 lakh crore in the rural banking system during the current fiscal-FY (2019-20) with the aim to help them get their resources effectively for handling the credit needs of rural people, including farmers.

Key Points:

i.Break-up: Of the total amount, it had infused Rs 87,069 crore to rural cooperative banks and regional rural banks (RRB) in short-term refinance. Along with this, long-term refinance of Rs 59,502 crore has also been offered to these banks and other financial institutions on February 28, 2020.

ii.Long term & short-term credit: Hence it provided a total outlay of Rs 66,397 crore in short-term credit and Rs 6,704 crore long-term credit to rural cooperative banks. RRBs have obtained Rs 14,141 crore in short-term credit and Rs 8,417 crore in long-term credit.

iii.While the other banks, including small finance banks (SFBs), have availed long-term refinance of Rs 37,895 crore.

iv.Credit to NBFCs& MFIs: NABARD also offered institutional credit to rural sectors through non-banking financial institutions (NBFCs) and MFIs(Micro Finance Institutions), which have obtained Rs 4,638 crore till now during FY 20.

v.Loan given for: The rural banking getting the short-term refinance to allow farmers meet their operational costs.While , the Long-term refinanceavailed by them is aimed at supporting sectors like dairy, poultry, fishery, farm mechanisation, irrigation, and non-farm sectors,etc.

About Nationa Bank For Agriculture And Rural Development (NABARD):

Headquarters– Mumbai,
Maharashtra
Chairman– Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwala

UP Govt to provide monthly grant of Rs 900 for adopting a stray cattle

On March 3, 2020, According to the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister(CM) Yogi Adityanath, the state government has decided to provide monthly grant of Rs 900 to those farmers who will keep stray cattle at their houses. He inaugurated a modern hospital for cattle at Mataji cow shelter home in Mathura,UP.

Key Points:

i.On August 6, 2019, a scheme called “Nirashrit/Besahara Govansh Sahbhagita scheme (stray cattle scheme)”/‘Chief Minister Destitute Cow Participation Scheme’ was approved by the state Cabinet in its meeting chaired by CM Yogi Adityanath.

ii.Total Outlay is Rs 109 Cr will be spent on this exercise annually. A condition has been put that the person adopting the animal cannot sell or let loose/abandon the animal. A committee will be set up in each district to monitor the exercise and each such animal handed over will be ear-tagged for identity and subsequent monitoring.

iii.As per the government’s 2012 census, Uttar Pradesh has 205.66 lakh animals, of which 10-12 lakh are stray animals.

About Uttar Pradesh(UP):

Capital– Lucknow
Governor– Anandiben Patel
National Parks(NP)- Dudhwa NP.
Wild Life Sanctuaries(WLS)– Bakhiara WLS, Hastinapur WLS, Katarniaghat WLS, Kishanpur WLS.

APEDA inks MoUs with various organisations for Implementation of Agri Export Policy

On March 4, 2020, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), an apex body under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has signed Memorandum of Understandings with various organizations namely, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD), Quality Council of India (QCI), Indian Chamber of Food and Agriculture(ICFA),Haryana based Shree Guru Gobind Singh Tricentenary

University(SGT) and Pearl Academy for the collaboration to boost the activities in the interest of agriculture and allied sectors under Agri Export Policy(AEP).

Key Points:

i.Pact with IIT –Delhi: APEDA has signed a pact with IIT-Delhi in the areas of technology development for export promotion.

Under the pact, IIT delhi will help APEDA to develop early detection techniques for detecting spoilage of agri-produce to boost Agri exports & also Share the laboratories for research.

IIT-D will help identify the cause and suggest low-cost mitigation technology and develop Internet of things (IoT) based technologies in tools like early warning systems, efficient and precision farming related to international food exports.

ii.Pact with QCI: As per the agreement Quality Council of India (QCI) will help APEDA to develop training material on various QCI Certification Schemes such as INDGAP certification (India Good Agriculture Practices), Product Certification, Inspection, etc. It will also conduct a Capacity Building program as workshops to spread the INDGAP amongst various stakeholders across various commodities.

iii.Pact with ICFA: Under the pact, ICFA will jointly work with the clusters identified by APEDA to boost the capabilities of all the stakeholders in exports. It will assist agri-startups to enhance their businesses and market level products commercializing.

iv.Pact with SGT University: APEDA with the help of SGT University will develop worthy export varieties of potatoes, groundnut, high TSS onion varieties, Moringa plantation for successful cultivation in Haryana, through a flagship pilot project at SGT University agricultural fields.

v.Pact with Pearl Academy: Under the pact, both the institution will create appropriate media and marketing ways to boost Agriculture, and Processed food export via Digital Marketing, content creation, and social media support, photoshoots promotion campaigns, etc.

vi. APEDA has also been jointly engaged with various state governments including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh,Kerala, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Punjab, Karnataka for the implementation of AEP.

About Agriculture Export Policy(AEP):

launched in 2018, it aims to increase the agricultural export potential of India & to achieve the goal of “Doubling Farmers Income” by 2022. About Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA):
Headquarters– New Delhi
Chairman– Shri Paban K. Borthakur

10 projects of Rs 301.54 crores sanctioned for Food Processing Sector

On March 5, 2020 in a meeting of The Inter-Ministerial Approval Committee (IMAC) which was held under the chairmanship of Union Food Processing Industries Minister Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal sanctioned 10 projects of Rs 301.54 crore with total grant-in-aid of 67.29 crore. These projects are likely to generate employment for 10000 people and benefit nearly 40000 farmers.

Key Points
i.The projects are sanctioned under the ‘Agro Processing Cluster Scheme’ of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY) of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI)

• The scheme aims to develop modern infrastructure & common facilities which will encourage
groups of entrepreneurs to set up food processing units based on the cluster approach by linking groups of producers/ farmers to the processors and markets through well-equipped supply chains with modern infrastructure.

• Under this scheme IMAC approved 8 projects of Rs 230 Crore for 8 districts in TamilNadu.

• The project will generate employment for around 8000 people & benefit 32,000 farmers.

ii.Government through MoFPI makes the following efforts to encourage investments in the business

• 100 % FDI permitted under the automatic route in Food Processing Industries.

• 100% FDI allowed through approval routes for trading including e-commerce in respect of food products manufactured and/or produced in India.

• 100% Income Tax exemption from profit derived activities such as post-harvest value addition
agriculture by FPO’s having annual turnover up to Rs.100 crores.

Gist about PMKSY

The Central Sector Scheme SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) came into effect with the approval of cabinet in May 2017 for the period of 2016-20 coterminous with the 14th Finance Commission cycle. The objective is to supplement agriculture, modernize processing and decrease Agri-Waste. The scheme has now been renamed as the “Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana” (PMKSY).

Govt sets up a committee on Kisan Rail to finalize its modalities
The committee has been formed under the aegis of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, consisting of representatives from Ministry of Railways also, to work out the modalities of ‘Kisan Rail’. During the FY2020-21 budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed to set up Kisan Rail through the public-private-partnership (PPP) mode for a cold supply chain to transport perishable goods. Initiatives taken for transportation of perishable items are as follows:

-To transport perishable parcel traffic, newly designed Refrigerated Parcel Vans were procured through RCF (Rail Coach Factory), Kapurthala, Punjab.

-For the movement of fruits and vegetables to different parts of the country, a total of 98 Ventilated Insulated Containers have been procured, through Container Corporation of India Limited (CONCOR).

-At New Azadpur in Adarsh Nagar, Delhi, Ghazipur Ghat and Uttar Pradesh’s Raja ka Talab, temperature-controlled perishable cargo centres have been commissioned as a pilot project under the Kisan Vision Project by CONCOR, a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiative.

-A similar project is also being developed at Lasalgaon, Nasik in Maharashtra. Also, approval has been granted to CRWC (Central Railside Warehouse Company) to develop temperature controlled storages at Mancheswar and Fatuha.

-In Sonepat, Fresh & Healthy Enterprise Limited has been redeveloped as Agriculture Logistic Center.

About Kisan Rail:

Kisan Rail having refrigerated coaches in Express and Freight trains will help in bringing perishable agricultural items such as vegetables, fruits to the market in a short duration of time inclusive of fish, milk, and meat. It will also build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables and will contribute to government’s plan of doubling the income of farmers by 2022.

Rs 1.83 lakh crore spent under MNREGA in 2017-2020

On March 13, 2020 the government states that Rs 1.83 lakh crore is spent under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, (MNREGA) in 2017-2020 which is nearly double the amount of Rs 92,483 crore spent in 2011-14

• As on 9th March 2020, 526.97 lakh families have been provided employment, against 603.81 lakh families seeking employment under the scheme

• There are provisions for payment of wages in the event of delay in providing employment or
payment to beneficiaries.

About MNREGA:

i.Indian legislation enacted on August 25, 2005. It provides a legal guarantee for 100 days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household who willingly does unskilled manual work.

ii.The aim of the act is to improve the purchasing power of the rural people, to provide primarily semi or unskilled work to people living below the poverty line in rural places.It seeks to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor of the country. One-third of the designated workforce must be women.

iii.The scheme implementation in association with state governments is monitored by The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD)

iv.It is also known as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS).

Phool Dei festival was celebrated in Uttarakhand

On March 14, 2020 Uttarakhand Chief Minister (CM) Trivendra Singh Rawat celebrated the traditional harvest festival “Phool Dei”. The festival also showcases the inner bonding between the communities who all are residing in the hills.

Key Points:

i.About Phool Dei festival: It is the harvest festival of Uttarakhand that is celebrated in the month of Chaitra (March- April) in the Hindu Calendar.

ii.On this traditional festival young girls pluck the first flowers of the season to decorate their houses with flowers and the term ‘Dei’ refers to ceremonial pudding which is the key food in the festival that is made from jaggery, Whiteflour & curd, are offered to everyone.

iii.In some places the festival is celebrated throughout the month with the advent of spring.

About Uttarakhand:

Capital- Dehradun (Winter capital), Gairsain (Summer capital).

Governor- Baby Rani Maurya.

World Sparrow Day 2020: March 20

World Sparrow Day (2020) is observed every year on March 20 and was first celebrated in 2010 initiated by the Nature Forever Society (NFS). This day is celebrated globally to spread awareness about the importance of sparrows and their major functional conservation values.

Key Points:

i.The theme of the World Sparrow Day is I LOVE Sparrows. The theme aims to highlight the love that people have for sparrows.

ii.This day is also celebrated to use it as a platform for conserving sparrows and urban biodiversity. House sparrow was declared the state bird of Delhi in 2012.

Nature Forever Society:

Nature Forever Society(NFS) is focused on conserving common bird species such as House Sparrow. NFS is founded by Mohammed Dilawar, an Indian conservationist who received the title Heroes of the Environment for 2008 by Time magazine. It aims to raise awareness on the need to save both the native flora and fauna of India.

International Day of Forests 2020: March 21

The International Day of Forests (IDF) is observed annually on March 21 to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and of trees outside forests.
Theme of the year 2020: “Forests and Biodiversity”.

Key Points:

i.The UN (United Nations) General Assembly proclaimed March 21 as the International Day of Forests (IDF) in 2012 and the day has been observed since 2013.

ii.The IDF was organized by the United Nations Forum on Forests and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in association with Governments, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests and other relevant organizations in the field.

iii.On this day, the countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities such as tree planting campaigns, symposiums, wildlife education.

NABARD provides Rs 42,313 crore for building rural infrastructure

On March 19, 2020 National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) provides financial support of Rs 42,313crore in the Financial Year(FY) 2019-20 for building rural infrastructure.

Key Points
i.In this FY, NABARD has provided Rs 20,869 crore for irrigation related projects, in addition to Rs 5,686 crore for rural connectivity.

ii.Apart from this it has released Rs 10,935 crore for Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana Gramin (PMAYG) to provide “housing for all by 2022”& for Swachh Bharat Mission to provide clean water and sanitation facilities.

iii.During the last 5 years, it has given Rs 1.98 lakh crore for rural development and till February 28, 2020 Rs 87,069 crore has been given to cooperative and Regional Rural Banks(RRB) as short-term refinance & Rs 59,502 as long-term refinance to cooperative, RRB & other financial institutions.

About NABARD:

At the insistence of the Government of India (GOI), Reserve Bank of India constituted a committee to review the arrangements for institutional credit for agriculture and rural development (CRAFICARD) on 30 March 1979, under the Chairmanship of B.Sivaraman, to review the arrangements for institutional credit for agriculture & rural development. On the committee’s recommendation, NABARD came into existence on 12 July 1982 with
the approval of the Parliament by Act 61 of 1981 with an objective to promote sustainable, equitable agriculture and rural development.

Headquarters– Mumbai
Chairman– Harsh Kumar Bhanwala


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