Agriculture Current Affair 11 January 2020

Rabi sowing crosses 625 lakh hectares

With wheat, coarse cereals and rice registering double-digit increase in acreage over the previous season, the total rabi sown area till the end of the week climbed to 625 lakh hectares (lh), nearly 8 per cent more than 578.47 lh planted in the corresponding week last year.

According to latest rabi sowing data released by the Agriculture Ministry on Friday, wheat, which accounts for more than half the sown area, moved to 326.46 lh, because of an increase in planting in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. While MP planted wheat in an additional area of 20 lh, Gujarat and Rajasthan in nearly 5 lh each and Maharashtra 4 lh, over the same period last year. The area under under wheat during the same week in the previous year was 293.81 lh.

Adoption of zero budget natural farming could save Rs 2,100 crore in fertiliser subsidies for Andhra Pradesh

Close on the heels of the Andhra Pradesh Government’s announcement of a scale-up of Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) with a Rs 711-crore loan from KFW, Germany, comes a study that claims that AP could save big time in fertiliser subsidies.

The savings could be to the tune of nearly Rs 2,100 cr in fertiliser subsidies annually if it scaled up ZBNF to all six million farm families in the state by 2024, according to an independent study released by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).

Scaling up ZBNF could significantly alter the landscape of chemical inputs in agriculture, particularly fertilisers. The study found that 77 per cent of the farmers adopting ZBNF did not use any fertilisers, while the rest continued to use chemical inputs in smaller quantities, along with the adoption of a few critical natural farming practices.

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