Agriculture Current Affair 12 March 2020

Slowdown in Gulf hits demand for fruits, veggies from Kerala

Weak economic conditions in West Asia has reduced the demand for fruits and vegetables from Kerala over the past few months. Shipments to the Gulf countries have now come down to 120-130 tonnes a day from around 200 tonnes earlier, said Dil Koshy, Secretary, Agricultural Products and Processed Food Exporters Association.

Also restrictions imposed on flight schedules that reduced frequencies, as well as shifting from wide-bodied aircraft to narrow-bodied ones due to lower passenger turnouts, has also affected exports through the three airports in the State.

The slowdown in shipments of perishables comes at a time when concerns have emerged over the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid19). Currently there is no ban on exports of fruits and vegetables to Gulf countries other than Kuwait, which has suspended all flight movements from coronavirus-affected countries, including India.

India’s exports of fresh fruits and vegetables declined by 14 per cent during April-December 2019-20 to $ 909 million as against $1056 million in the same period previous year.

Centre to allot ₹50 cr to create onion storage facilities in Maharashtra

Onion farmers in Maharashtra will get over ₹50 crore in subsidy in 2020-21 fiscal year for creating onion storage facilities under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana ( RKVY).

The Central government’s scheme is aimed at enhancing the storage facilities in the State so that farmers are not left at the mercy of market forces and uncertain climatic conditions.

Food ministry seeks extra Rs 13,000 crore to help states pay farmers

The food ministry has sought an additional subsidy of Rs 13,000 crore to help states pay farmers for foodgrains procured by states for public distribution.

States purchase grain under the decentralised procurement scheme (DCP). Under the Food Security Act , the Centre procures grain either via state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) or pays states for direct purchase, store and distribution.

“The Centre had allocated a subsidy of Rs 33,000 crore under DCP scheme to states for funding their procurement exercise in 2019-20. Many states like Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Assam and Odisha have asked for additional funds to pay their farmers,” said a senior food ministry official, who did not wish to be identified.

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